Michael Green who is an author and evangelist did an interview two years ago about Christian leadership. He shares some of his story in this and encourages the next generation to be bold and take risks. Do take time to listen to the interview, it is rather inspiring.
We have much to learn from our older generation, they have much wisdom to teach us. And here are just a few things that Michael Green says about the marks of a Christian leader.
Firstly a leader is born, not made. It’s in their DNA! When looking for CU leaders we are looking for people who can lead, that can set an example and shine, that can gather people around them and set the vision. But leaders don’t have to be loud or in your face, instead there needs to be:
1. Servant Leadership: Not pushing people around but instead serve them. Being the first to serve, the first to put the towel around the waist and wash others feet. Often we see leadership as the one sthat makes all the decisions, the one with authority and in charge. But actually good leadership is the serving kind. The one that puts others before yourself, the one who loves first and forgives quickly.
I know people who get upset that they are not leaders, students that didn’t make committee or people who didn’t make elders. They think their ideas are better and they are better than those who are in leadership. But perhaps there is something to learn here, to humble yourself and to serve others without complaining will show greater marks of leadership than those who complain and speak louder than others.
2. Balance: Not pushing one theology or agenda over another. But keeping a balance. If you focus on one and go too far that way then it sets the agenda for everything you do which could distort your ministry and scripture. The point I think he is making is that there needs to be a balance, a balance of evangelism and feeding the poor, a balance of caring for widows and youth work. Not straying into one area and forgetting another. He says he prays for balance every day.
3. Risk: Be prepared to make mistakes. It’s ok to fail. It’s ok to be weak. Christians are weak and they fail often. A leader doesn’t hide away from opportunities because they are afraid to fail. A leader takes a opportunity, gives it a go and then if they fall over they will be picked up again and carry on. CU Leaders need to take risk and have space to fail – putting too much pressure on them to get it right first time seems very ungracious.
4.Shared: Your team has gifts and they need to share in your leadership. It’s very easy to think you can do it all and do it all by yourself. But a mark of a good leader is one that can share their leadership with others. They need to give opportunities to others to learn how to lead and to use their gifts.
Lastly nobody should minister without being ministered to. They need to be looked after. Get a mentor or get someone who will be honest with you. As a leader you need to be accountable to someone, you need honest conversations, you need to be cared for before you care for others so that you don’t burn out.
Obviously there are probably more areas, more areas of character for sure. But these are just a few that Michael Green spoke about which I found helpful.