I recently attended a conference for women in leadership. I had expected to hear a speaker share principles of servant leadership, along with tips for developing my skills. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by an inductive Bible study format, as we gleaned leadership insights from the Word of God individually and in small and whole group settings. We were inspired, encouraged, and challenged to be better leaders by the Holy Spirit as we searched the Scriptures.
As leaders, our top priority is to be committed followers of Jesus. While we work with our team and tend to the tasks at hand, it is important to keep our hearts open to the Lord. His Word is powerful and will direct our steps.
The Word of God is the best standard for life and leadership. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT). I personally examine my behavior, attitudes, and motives with God’s Word. For example, Philippians 4:8 lists the types of thoughts on which I should dwell. How well am I fixing my thoughts on those things? 2 Peter 1:5-7 instructs me on how to grow in faith. I want to be productive and useful in my knowledge of Jesus Christ. Which qualities do I need to add? Galatians 5:19-23 describes the deeds of the sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit. Which fruit do I demonstrate most in my life? Which ones need to mature? And let’s not forget 1 Corinthians 13, the “love” chapter. I want my life to measure up to this beautiful depiction of Christ’s love.
Jesus Christ is the best example of leadership. There are many great men and women we can look to as effective leaders, but only Jesus is perfect. His teaching and example dispelled the leadership model of the day and established God’s way of leading. “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:22-25). Jesus turned the definition of leadership upside down. The greatest leaders are, in effect, the greatest servants. Like Jesus, they are patient and grace-filled toward their followers. They find teachable moments to correct them in private. They are kind and have others’ best interests in mind.
Spend time with God and His Word. The Bible is the best leadership book ever. It will equip you to thrive in the job to which God has called you.
Lord, teach me Your ways through Your Word that I may walk in Your truth. Help me grow as a leader who loves and serves others, faithfully pointing the way to You in all that I say and do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.