Leaders, who lead out of principle instead of presence, are building a kingdom without a king! The challenge for the Jesus follower, who is a leader, is to keep the order straight. We are a Jesus FOLLOWER before we are a Jesus leader. We only become a true leader when we are first following. We don’t lead for Jesus, we lead with Jesus. It’s a partnership.
The challenge in Christian leadership is between being performance-oriented, versus relationally-focused. The tug will always be toward performance, because it’s what our culture demands. But to stay in constant relationship with Jesus is the way of the kingdom. Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants…but friends.” (John 15:15, NKJV). Servants complete the to-do list, but friends know the heart of the Master and only do what He asks. Servants talk, friends listen.
Instead of being driven, I would rather be focused. We follow a person, not principles. We are friends with Jesus and so lead. Remember the story of Mary and Martha? Listen up! You don’t get points for making sandwiches Jesus never ordered. Mary got it right. She listened and she stayed in His presence. She was a lover. Lovers get more of the right work done because they’ve heard what the work is.
Learning to lead out of presence,
Steve Holt M.A., D.D.
My newest book, Worshipper Warrior, can be found at www.steveholtonline.org