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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

10 Dec '12

Signs of weakness that make for strong spiritual leaders

I doubt a book entitled signs of a weak leader would make the best seller list. Of course, the Scriptures were never that trendy or politically correct and what Jesus and Paul considered good leadership practices are often antithetical to common wisdom. Yet, Paul makes a strong statement that "when I am weak, then I am strong." So what are the signs of weakness that actually bring leadership strength Jesus style?

Dependence
The world celebrates independence while Scripture celebrates dependence on God. When Paul prayed that his thorn in the flesh would be taken away, God said No! It would stay to keep him humble and dependent on Him. Paul got the message and celebrated his weakness because in it he was forced to rely on God's power. Corinthian "pseudo apostles" came in pride and clever words while Paul came in weakness and dependence and the Holy Spirit's power.

Humility
The world celebrates personal power and strength while Scriptures celebrate humility. A humble leader puts himself or herself under the authority of God. They recognize and celebrated the gifts and strengths of others and understand their strengths and weaknesses well and don't pretend to be other than they actually are. Humble leaders don't lead alone but allow the Holy Spirit and others to speak into their leadership.

Service
In the world, leaders are served and fawned upon and often live in a bubble of privilege while in Jesus' Kingdom, leaders serve those they lead to help others be successful. Jim Collins definition of level five leadership in Good to Great redefined leadership along New Testament lines. My leadership is only as good as my service to those I lead and the staff who work under my stewardship.

Meekness
In the world, leaders are celebrated who exert power and authority while the Scriptures celebrated those who exhibit meekness. One of the better definitions of meekness is "power under control." It includes submission to God, teachability, patience in suffering, gentleness, kindness and not needing to platform oneself. Meek leaders are leaders without guile or selfish agenda.

Truth 
The world often celebrates and practices versions of truth designed to strengthen one's position while Scripture celebrates true truth because God is a God of truth. This often means saying things that are hard, admitting that one was wrong, and avoiding spin which is a redefinition of truth (or untruth). Spiritual leaders are not afraid of truth.

Stewardship
In the world, leadership is often about me. In the Kingdom, leadership is about Him and serving His interests and leading as He would lead. It is leadership as a stewardship which is not about us but about leading on His behalf. It reflects a conviction that life is not about us but about Him and His interests.

Weakness can in fact be strength. We can be strong leaders by the definition of the world or by the definition of the Kingdom.Which definition are you leading with?