A Second Look At Biblical Leadership

I’ve got to confess something this morning.

No, it’s not that.  Lord knows, there’s enough folks already caught up in that these days.

No my confession is this: when people talk about leadership and bible and church in the same sentence, I usually respond with an eye roll.  Or a sigh.

That’s in part because so much of the leadership literature in churchlandia gives heavy doses of Jack Welch and Jim Collins and light doses of Jesus.

And it’s also because it seems many of the pastors who speak most forcefully about leading also speak so rarely about, well, pastoring.

So all in all, I’ve got a major ambivalence towards biblical leadership.  And yet what am I?  A leader in church.  A leader who teaches the bible.  So what am I to do with this conundrum, wrapped in an enigma, shrouded in mystery?

Well, something happened during prayer time at this week’s staff gathering.  We were celebrating some of God’s “show off” moments in our community over the Easter weekend, and I happened to pray that God would give all of us on staff the stamina to RE-present him to people even more in the coming weeks.

That’s what ministry does.  It RE-presents Jesus.  Most people have had Jesus presented to them — at least once — and pastoral ministry is at the heart the ministry of RE-presenting.  So when a pastor walks into a hospital room, a nursing home, or a funeral parlor, he or she simply virtue of vocation and ordination re-presents the One who sends.

Well, after that prayer time was over, one of my Good Shepherd colleagues came up to me with astonishment on his face.  “I have known that I represent Jesus,” he said, “but that whole idea of RE-presenting him changes it for me.  I can’t wait to share that with my circle.”

So if leadership involves praying something spontaneously and then having another teammate pick up on its significance in order to share it with others, sign me up.

And if leadership is at the core RE-presenting the Savior to saved and seeking alike, I suppose I can stop the eye rolling and cease the sighing.