Who are the best leaders you have ever been around? What made them great?
When I think about these questions, my mind floats to several people who I have the privilege of working with now. I really mean that. Wildwood is blessed with a truly remarkable set of leaders at the staff, elder, and lay leadership levels. What makes these leaders great? Many things:
- They certainly are talented at some core skill (teaching, administration, ability to deliver wise counsel, cast vision, etc), but skill alone does not a leader make. After all, there are plenty of “all star talents” that no one else wants to play alongside.
- They also have a very high level of personal integrity (their public and private lives match up), but integrity alone does not make one a leader. Without integrity, lasting leadership is impossible, but personal integrity alone does not mobilize the masses.
- They also all have a high emotional IQ (an ability to read a room and grasp what others may be going through), but a high EQ does not make one a leader either. High emotional intelligence can just as easily lead to manipulation as it does true leadership.
So what really makes a leader someone we want to follow?
I think (in part) great leadership flows from how the leader thinks about leadership. A leader who thinks that their position exists to give themselves more stuff or status, is not worth following. That kind of leader will utilize all their talent and relational skill to advance their own selfish interests. Great leaders, however, see their leadership as a vehicle to bless others by serving and sacrificing for their good.
This idea of leadership is not unique to Wildwood. It is actually found many places, including many churches . . . which makes sense . . . because the ultimate model for GREAT LEADERSHIP comes from the One who made every place and is the Head of the Church: Jesus Christ.
As Charles Spurgeon says of Jesus, “His was a life of giving, and the giving of a life.” In Jesus’ own words, He came “not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
This Sunday at Wildwood we will conclude our “Relating to _____” series by seeing Jesus’ instruction to His followers about how they should relate to being a leader. The message will be anchored in Matthew 20:20-28. We hope you will make plans to join us this Sunday as we see the model for leadership in God’s economy (Jesus), what He has done for us, and what He is calling leaders in His church to do for others. Hope to see you Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 9:45 or 11:00 services.