Some say, Good leaders have followers, but I dispute that. Cult leader Jim Jones had followers and he led them straight to their tragic deaths. I would rather go with what scriptures reveal about leadership, and I encourage you to consider this as you narrate leadership to your children.
Good leaders are humble. Moses, Esther, David, Isaiah, and John the Baptist all felt deep humility and a dose of fear when called by God to lead. ” Who am I and what is my family?” and “Woe is me!” are just a few of the phrases used as they conversed with God about leading others. A good leader recognizes his or her sinfulness and need for forgiveness.
Good leaders serve and protect. Jesus taught his disciples to heal, feed, and preach good news. The disciples were slow learners, of course, wanting fire from heaven to consume those who rejected Christ. Peter even used his sword to whack an enemy earlobe. Hey, we all may feel like punching people in the face, but good leaders do not use personal attacks and retaliation when people disagree with them.
Good leaders are meek and gentle. We need not look far to find quintessential leadership in the person of Jesus Christ who said, “I am meek and gentle at heart.” Jesus did not yell, cuss, insult, and brow beat to get his point across. His strength was in his calm and welcoming personality. Sure, he used a whip to urge the money changers out of God’s house, but he was defending God, not himself.
Good leaders love people more than ideas. We know from I Corinthians 13 that love is not rude. This same chapter says that loveless people sound like crashing cymbals:noisy and annoying. Good leaders lace good ideas with love for all people.
This simple checklist is great for all of us to measure the quality of leadership presented to us in this year’s presidential election. It’s also a wonderful guide as your children take on leadership roles. Maybe they are being asked to serve at school. Maybe they are selected to give speeches or be team captains. Maybe they are grown and headed for political office or leadership on the job.
Whatever the case, we moms lead too. It’s our obligation to point our children to what scriptures say about leadership so that they don’t become mindless followers or enthralled by poll numbers. After all, Christ was forsaken by his disciples and left alone as he saved the world. Clearly, the size of his crowd didn’t define his greatness.
Quick-tempered leaders are like mad dogs—cross them and they bite your head off. It’s a mark of good character to avert quarrels,but fools love to pick fights. Proverbs 20. 2-3 (MSG)
Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity. Prov.20.28 (MSG)