19 July 2008


As a "graduate" of an institution that places higher value on leadership than anything else, my "default" position on matters of leadership is always the leadership principles and traits taught to and practiced by Marine Corps leaders.

As Christians, we are in a war with Satan, so leadership principles developed and intended for use on (or in preparation for going onto) the field of battle may have some applicability here. There is a maxim that "we should train as we will fight," so that when the enemy is confronted, our reaction is instinctive. There being no cagier enemy than Satan, we must be ready when he rises up and assaults us.

In his recent discussions about leadership for pastors (and, I suggest, any other leaders in a congregation)Bill Crawford says

. . . people need Good, Average, Leadership.

Good - biblical, humble, risk taking, passionate proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. In other words - orthodoxy no matter what. It can't be man made it has to be God breathed.

His exposition on "good" pastoral leadership is right on. What leadership principles and traits apply to this part of Bill's analysis?

First, the principle that a leader must KNOW YOURSELF AND SEEK SELF IMPROVEMENT. That means a humble recognition that the leader does not have all the answers. In addition, after self-examination identifies weak areas, the leader will demonstrate the traits of INTEGRITY, JUDGMENT, and UNSELFISHNESS. The leader must be of upright character, truthful and honest, to himself and to others. He must strive to make sound, well-informes, and Scripturally-based decisions. This requires the leader to be unselfish with his time and talents.

Second, the principle that a leader must BE TECHNICALLY AND TACTICALLY PROFICIENT. She must continually increase her KNOWLEDGE of Scripture, and must work to understand the people who have elected her to a position of trust. She must have prepared herself to meet the expressions of need and the requests for guidance that will come her way

Third, the leader must SET THE EXAMPLE. "Passionately proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ" requires BEARING, COURAGE, ENDURANCE, and ENTHUSIASM. In particular, in today's America, a Christian leader must expect that he or she will come under attack from both without and within the MAN-MADE boundaries that seek to define "the Church." Those without may heap scorn and derision upon the Christian leader, while some from within will seek to take the easy and safe route by watering down orthodoxy in the name of peace and unity. They will pester an orthodox leader to death wilth criticism and entreaties to "just get along."

Several prominent leaders of the PC(USA) have recently been quoted as saying that they have surrendered their fight for orthodoxy because they are "tired." Endurance means that we keep going when the exhaustion, mental, physical, and spiritual, whispers "Stop."

Finally, in response to my first post on this subject, one blogger asked, "Who are the 'subordinates' in the Christian Church?" While I will discuss that in greater detail later, I promised to respond in this post.

In Christ's Church, there are no superiors or subordinates among believers, except that we are all subordinate to Him. Likewise, in our respective congregations, there are neither superiors nor subordinates in the sense of a military organization. However, every leader has one or more people who are looking to him or her for guidance, direction, instruction, advice, or comfort. In that sense, our "subordinates" are those whom God has placed in our charge for some specific purpose of His. If the leader is the shepherd, then when applying the principles and traits, the sheep are the "subordinates" in the leadership equation.

1 comment:

Elliott Scott said...

Great post, Mac.

When I think of leadership I'm always drawn back to John 10.