Leading by the Book

There are different models and styles of leadership the world over. You have autocratic, democratic, control freak, motivational, strategic leaders and leaders who follow procedures. All these leadership genres are incomplete and limited in their own way.


Our God is the ultimate leader, there is leadership in heaven and God leads both heaven and earth from his throne. His leadership is perfect, God raises up leaders,  and as we reflect Gods glory we begin to lead. In fact all Christians should start to lead as they become more like Christ. They start by leading themselves, then leading people to Jesus , l
eading their families, leading in their work/school environment on issues of righteousness etc. There comes a time when they are delegated authority to lead in the church. Sadly many church leaders resort back to secular modes of leadership, which they have experienced on their journey, instead of turning to God and his WORD for their way to lead.

This potential leaders course uses the Bible as its platform and Jesus as the example of the ‘Ultimate leader’. In this lesson we will cover 5 aspects of Biblical leadership.


1.Delegated Authority:


God’s original intent was for mankind to lead. ‘Genesis 1v 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every …….’

to travel the planet

to extend territory

to encounter nature’s challenges

God delighted to give mankind the joy of leading creation.

God DELEGATED authority to him.


At the fall, man lost authority, he handed it over to his tempter. ‘Luke 4 v 5The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to’


The result for man was:

his work became uncooperative (Gen 3 v 17)

his model of leadership became tyrannical ( Gen 3 v 16)

those he led became manipulative (Gen 3 v 12, 16)

leadership became hard work (Gen 3 v 19)


From then till now leadership has been a struggle:

Domination , manipulation and every form of control

Leadership schools and Philosophers have grappled with ‘fallen leadership’ for centuries through gender and ethnic wars.

The feminism movement and its Christian ‘egalitarian’ counterpart emerged in protest against fallen leaders.

Discuss the hyper complimentarian  & the egalitarian views of leadership


The answer lies in Following Jesus :

Jesus gives us the example

Jesus gives us the means



Christ followers:

Jesus led as a servant, and he encouraged us to follow his example. He called his disciples to ‘follow’ him(Mat 4v 19) . He said ‘as the Father sent me I am sending you'(Jn 20v21) .When he spoke to husbands he said love (lead) your wives as I do the church(Eph 5 v 25)


You might say ‘ well his example is brilliant , but I can’t live like that’ .

Because of the work of the cross we now have access to the God head (Jn 14v 6). Our sinful tendencies may now be mastered, the sin that corrupts leadership can come under his control, ‘sin shall no longer be your master’ (Rom 6 v 14.) In addition the ‘indwelling Holy Spirit ‘ helps us in our weakness (Rom 8v 26).


Christian leaders are to look to Christ as their example , their means and their goal. That is, they are leading their followers to become like Jesus 2 Cor 3 v 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


Discuss what it means to point people to Jesus is : in life, in preaching, in home group , in decision making etc



Servant leaders:

A servant is not concerned with his own needs , but that of those he is serving

A servant posture is a humble one.


Jesus led as a servant (Acts 3 v 13) The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. He was not only a servant of Father God , but also of people (Rom 15v 8) For I tell you that Christ has become aservant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs


Jesus exposed the fallen view of leadership for what it was and said (Math 20 v26 ) Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be yourservant,


This is the way the early Apostles led. 2 Cor 4v5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.


This is how we are to lead ( John 12 v 26)Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

in effort

in posture

in encouragement

in releasing

in giving


Servant leadership is characterised by good ‘Fathering’ and ‘mothering’. The difference between an older brother/ teenager and a father is that the teenager typically sees the rest of the siblings as the responsibility of someone else, whereas dad takes responsibility . Discuss what Paul meant by fathering and mothering in 1 Thes 2 v 6-12



Team players

God lives in community (The trinity) . He is in a family , he lives in fellowship, not splendid isolation on a remote cloud somewhere. He created mankind in his imageGen 1 v 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. The godhead intended that we live in community as he is in community. Husband and wife is team, family is team, church is team, leadership is team. When men lead alone they achieve much less than they could in team (Deut 32 v 30). They get exhausted and carry a burden they were not intended to carry (Gal 6v 2). When the Apostles  set elders in office it was always ‘plural’ , ie elders. Jesus ascended leaving a leadership team, not just one super successor. (Acts 14v 23)


Discuss the concept of a group of people at a bus stop. Are they a team because:

they are at the same place together

they are communicating

they are cooperating

they know each others names

they are going in the same direction

The distinction between team and a collection of people is…………………………..











Gifts to the church:

Leaders are among God’s gifts to the church.

( Ephesians 4 v 8 )This is why it says:    “When he ascended on high,       he led captives in his train  and gave gifts to men.” 9(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,

–  leaders should themselves be giving gifts. A mark of a gift from God is that he too reflects the generosity of heaven.

– leaders are gifted in different ways.


We have found that it is useful to know how God has wired you. When you operate in the gift that God has given you, you become a more effective leader: Consider the following Grid : Jesus operated as a ‘priest – a prophet and a King’


The priest: – loves people, is relational, cares, counsels, is energized by hanging with people


The prophet :- loves to get revelation from heaven; people are not the focal point revelation from heaven is, they preach or write or talk or sing their latest glimpse of heaven to anyone who will listen.


The King: likes to organise, to lead people somewhere, to coordinate, he is on the move, putting plans together.


Depending on how you are wired will determine where/ how you should lead in the body of Christ.




– Regardless of the type of gift , they all work for Gods purpose , which is (Ephesians 4 v 12)to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.


Discuss this purpose .