Men are very different from women. In many ways it is not hard to be a man but being a godly man and leader is not easy. A man’s spiritual leadership is very important to his family, his church, and to the world. God works through men (not to the exclusion of women) and desires every man to grow in his leadership. Leadership, in its simplest definition, is influence and every man is an influence on those around him for either good or evil. Jesus was the greatest leader ever to lead. He called himself the Good Shepherd and, like a good shepherd with his sheep, good leaders lead, feed, correct, and protect the people in their care.
Here are four statements against which you can measure your leadership, whether it is good or bad:
You are not leading if you pretend to be infallible. None of us is perfect. In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus used hyperbole to teach us to work on our own faults before we try to correct the faults of others. We all have faults and people want to follow a leader who recognizes his faults, and is humble enough to admit failure and say “I’m sorry” when he is wrong. Only one person is faultless and it is not you!
You are not leading if you avoid confrontation. In Matthew 18:15, Jesus instructs believers to go to one another if sin has caused a rift in their relationship. Loving confrontation is vital to good and godly leadership. Face problems head on with a humble spirit. If you talk about people instead of to people you are not being a good leader. If you ignore deficiencies in people instead of addressing them, you are shirking your responsibility as a leader and the people you are trying to lead will not grow!
You are not leading if you are paralyzed by mistakes. Failures and criticism can make you afraid to take a risk but failure is often a catalyst for learning and growth. Behind every great statesman (Lincoln, Churchill), inventor (Edison, Ford), or entrepreneur (Steve Jobs with Apple, Jeff Bezos with Amazon) there was a string of failures. The same is true of spiritual leaders—just think of Abraham, Jacob, David, and the Apostles! When a good leader makes a mistake, he doesn’t cease to lead but admits his failure, learns from it, and grows in his leadership.
You are not leading if you minimize repentance. Admitting that you make mistakes is one thing but it is even more important to confess when you sin and repent. God uses conviction on purpose to bring healing and growth to our spiritual lives. A growing Christian and a godly leader is marked by specific confession of sin and does this regularly because it glorifies God. If you don’t admit your sin and ask for forgiveness you don’t have a correct understanding of God’s holiness and your sinfulness.
Measure your leadership against these four statements and ask God to help you grow as a man in your leadership.