There’s been a bit of pushback in recent years to the concept of Christian leadership. Some have even gone so far as to deny that the church needs any leaders at all. That doesn’t fit with what I see in the Bible.
We do well to note that Jesus spent a lot more time talking about the characteristics of followers than he did of the characteristics of leaders. And what is said of leaders doesn’t sound much like what the world tends to think of in a leader.
But God has called certain Christians to tasks of leadership, specifically to the job of equipping the church for ministry. These people are to be respected and emulated. They are to be listened to. When they need correction, such correction should be done gently.
Christians need to learn to be good followers. And we need good leaders.
A few verses on leaders and leadership:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
“Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers.”
“If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
“You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it.”
(1 Corinthians 16:15–16)
“Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:12–13)
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”