The Challenge of Leadership – 2

Good leadership is essential in all aspects of human endeavour. For the Christian, we commence with the society’s three most important institutions: the family, the Church and the state. These three are by no means exhaustive. Leadership in business, and other areas of society is important.

What are some essentials of good leadership?

1.The fear of the Lord:

The Bible frequently includes this as an essential mark of a godly leader (see Ex.18:21; Neh.5:9, 15; 7:2). It says that “he who rules over men righteously, who rules in the fear of God, is as the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds…” (II Sam.23:3-4).

Without the fear of God, the human heart quickly displays its original sin; it degenerates to folly and absurdity, and leaders turn to abuse and tyranny. But with the fear of God, “one keeps away from evil” (Prov.16:6).


It is the humble person who is aware of their weakness as a human being. He knows that because of sin, “we all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2), and that none can stand before God apart from His grace. God says “to this one I will look, to him that is humble…” (Isa.66:2). The humble person is most likely to receive God’s grace (James 4:6)

For the humble person, serving others rather than themselves come quite naturally, and is not a strain. He has no desire for the lime-light. In fact, it is the interests and well-being of others that are more important to him, and his greatest joy is to see others blessed.

This was Josiah’s attitude. He knew that his nation was ripe to be judged because of her many sins against God. But God spoke though a prophetess to him:

Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you, declares the Lord. Therefore, behold I will gather you to your fathers, and you will go to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil I will bring on this place (II Kings 22:19-20).

3.Accountability to God and man

The godly leader knows his days are numbered. He knows that like all other men, “each one of us will give account of himself to God” (Ro.14:13). Thus his time, and the proper use of his God-given talents and gifts is important to him.

Samuel was called and anointed of God as a prophet, but he did not consider that his calling from God precluded him from being accountable to men (I Sam.12:1-5). He was very particular about protecting the private property of others, and about fraud, bribes and oppression, so that he could confidently declare to Israel that “you have found nothing [of others] in my hand.”

Paul was the same. He wrote to the Corinthians, concerned about his presentation of a sizeable gift of money for the poor in Jerusalem. He was “taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in the administration of this generous gift; for we have regard for what is honourable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men” (II Cor.8:20-21).

Thus a calling from God to leadership is never a licence to act in a cavalier way with people, and what is theirs. Furthermore, we are obligated to never take people for granted, and thus we must avoid being unnecessarily offensive to people, their culture and traditions.


Leadership is a call to greater responsibility before God. It means not merely being responsible for yourself, but making wise decisions that will ultimately benefit others. Thus it is imperative that Christian leaders operate in the fear of the Lord, humility, and a sense of accountability to God and others.  This leads to blessing for them, and others.

“The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord, are riches, honour and life” (Prov.22:4).

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