Romans 12:8, Matthew 23, Revelation 17:14, Philippians 2:3-8

Matt Summerfield considers a leaders ability to follow, serve and love.

Matt Summerfield
Matt Summerfield

'If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.' (Romans 12:8)

When Paul writes 'take the responsibility seriously', he used the Greek word 'spoude', which means, 'to get to it, to work hard, to be committed'. Great leaders will always lead like this.

Having said that, there are plenty of hard-working leaders in history that we still might not want to follow. Author and leadership guru, John C Maxwell, tells us that ultimately leadership is about influence.

When you consider leaders like Hitler, or Osama Bin Laden, you couldn't deny that they had great influence, but they were also driven by a terrible vision.

Why was that? What was the problem?

Oswald J Smith once said that the heart of the problem, is the problem of the human heart.

In Matthew 23 Jesus launches an all-out assault on the respected leaders of the day, the Pharisees, who were the leaders of the church. He reveals that they have a big problem and it's a problem with their character...their heart. They are hypocritical, legalistic, self-centred, proud and uncaring. They have their priorities seriously messed up.

This is not what true leadership is supposed to look like.

Jesus makes it clear that if you live your life and lead like this, then it's all going to end in tears. Over and over again he says, 'What sorrow will befall those who behave like this.'

So what does godly leadership look like?

1) To Lead is to Follow

That might seem like a strange thing to say, but as Christians we understand that first and foremost we're called to be followers. We are followers of Jesus.

'...he is Lord of lords and King of kings and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.' (Revelation 17:14)

What the writer, John, is saying in this verse, is that God is the ultimate leader. He is ultimately the one worth following.