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Christian Leadership - Jonathan McLean

May 13, 2015

While I have not yet had extensive experience in positions of Christian leadership as a recent college graduate, I believe Christian leadership primarily involves discipleship and service.

The two most widely recognized facets of leadership of any type are making decisions and developing people. For the sake of the topic of this article, I will first focus on that developing people aspect of leadership. Great leaders do not only make decisions: they also invest in those under them and train those who will follow after them. Christian leadership, however, becomes distinct from other types of leadership in how it follows the model of Jesus Christ. In His earthly ministry, Christ had a specifically mentioned group of 120 disciples; 70 distinct ones from that; 12 named ones that we know well; 3 in an inner circle; and arguably 1 in whom He invested the most. He lived life with them, He taught them, and He cared for them deeply. Jesus took an assorted group of men who knew nothing of His way of life and left them as bold advocates of His kingdom. Christ is our best example of Christian leadership, and the point is that He set the example of Christian leadership through discipleship.

The other important aspect of Christian leadership is service, and for this we also must look to the example of Jesus. Repeatedly throughout the course of His ministry Jesus stated that leaders must serve, and that is exactly the model He set. Memorably, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, a job reserved for servants of that day; and most importantly, Jesus demonstrated service through ultimate, sacrificial love by dying for the world. By giving His life for people to whom He owed nothing, Jesus demonstrated that He is the ultimate servant. Philippians 2:5–11 sums up this aspect of Jesus’s ministry well:


“. . . but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. . . and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. . .”


Michael LaPierre May 14, 2015 @ 11:37AM
Jonathan, thank you for your insight into servant leadership. With Christ as our example and modeling the ultimate leadership can we go wrong? We need to simply take 2 steps forward and implement/executive what we believe! Thanks again for your commentary.

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