As I finish up this series on God and government I would like to take a little time to talk about leadership and influence.
Leadership and Influence
The definition of leadership is : “the action of leading a group of people or an organization”. Therefore leadership is very important to everybody everywhere. Leadership is also all about influence so it is important to know what influence means, also. Influence is defined as: “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.” Leaders therefore have a great deal of influence. However, it is also important to know what God says about leadership and influence.
We all have an Influence on Others
God created all of us to have influence on someone. It may be someone that you work with, it may be someone that you go to school with, or it may (must) be your children. People who are in positions of authority are not the only ones who have the ability to influence others. You have the ability to influence others.
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.Matthew 5:13-16 CSB
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Lead by Example
This is the epitome of good leadership. Good leaders lead by example. Just as you have influence on others, whether you know it or not. Your actions do have a direct affect others, again whether you know it or believe it or not.
Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the worldPhilippians 2:14-15 CSB
Again your actions or inactions have a direct affect on those around you. The more you grumble and complain about things, the less people will see Jesus displayed through you. Jesus showed us how to lead by modeling servant leadership. Servant leaders don’t complain about tasks simply because they don’t like or want to do them. They do them without complaining and grumbling.
Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits.1 Peter 2:12 CSB
Your conduct as believers (especially leaders) needs to be such that those who try to accuse you of wrong doing will have no basis for their accusations. Why is all this important? Simply put all of us are leaders at something and we need to lead by example in everything that we do.
Character is the #1 Qualification for Leaders
You don’t have to be good looking, a great speaker or even the most popular person to be a leader. However, you have to have character. Good leaders display several important character traits. They don’t lie, cheat or steal. They do however, love peace.
An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not an excessive drinker, not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy. He must manage his own household competently and have his children under control with all dignity. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a new convert, or he might become conceited and incur the same condemnation as the devil.1 Timothy 3:2-6 CSB
The Ripple Effect
All leaders will have a ripple effect. They don’t just influence those who are in their immediate circle, but also those they may never meet. You may not believe this, but I promise you it is true. How many of you have actually met in a face to face setting Jesus, but for most of you he has had and will continue to have influence over your lives. This is why it so important that you lead by example, continue to have an influence on the people that you meet, and develop character. Remember God doesn’t care what you look like, sound like or popular you are. God looks at your heart and that is where true leadership and influence began.
and you yourselves became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with joy from the Holy Spirit. As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. For the word of the Lord rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith in God has gone out. Therefore, we don’t need to say anything, for they themselves report what kind of reception we had from you: how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead — Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.1 Thessalonians 1:6-10