Dallas Willard once wrote, “The triune God is a personal being who exists as a joyous community of humility, servanthood, and mutual submission.”
I wonder…should we not model our leadership on this reality?
G.K. Chesterton once said, “Joy, which is the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian.”
A leader should be a model of joy.
In both the Old Testament and New Testament joy is the mark of individual belivers and corporately of the church. Joy is a quality that is beyond simple emotion, but grounded in God and work of Christ.
Importantly, joy is a mark of the fruit of the Spirit. So a spiritual leader is one who posses and models joy to their followers.
A joyful leader is a leader other want to be around and follow. A leader should model joy: Joy cannot be commanded, purchased, or arranged…a leader must live out joy.
Community engages not only the head, but the heart. As leaders we should strive to build community within our followers because among other things, community is a conduit for life change. Further, as the trinity itself shows us, you cannot have community without unity. Unity of purpose and direction is something that every leader knows is essential in those they lead.
Community is much more than simply belonging to something. It’s about doing something in unity that makes the belonging and connection to community matter. Leaders should encourage this.
Johnathan Edwards once said, “Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil’s reach as humility.”
Whenever we see the quality of humility in the Bible..it is praised, especially as manifested in Jesus. Henry Blackaby said, “Few things are as powerful as leaders who view themselves with an accurate and humble perspective.”
Kevin Vanhoozer said, “Pride does not listen. It knows.” But a humble leader is willing to listen, to take counsel from their followers out the realization that there is much they don’t know and much they can learn.
Leaders need power and influence to be effective as leaders, but they should only desire it if it arises from their humilty and is given to them from their followers because of their humility.
Humility is also essential to cultivating a sense of community.
We must daily remind ourselves as leaders to “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” —Philippians 2:4
“More than any other single way, the grace of humility is worked in our lives through the discipline of serving.” Richard Foster
Poor leaders want everyone to know they are the “genius.” A servant leader makes everyone around them become a “genius” (smarter and capable). Further, servant leaders can get more than a 100% from those they lead and serve because they are constantly helping them learn, grow, stretch to new levels. Every leader should desire to see their followers grow in capacity and ability.
A servant leader can always say, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” John 13:15
A leader can say “Go.” A servant leader can say “Go, and do likewise.”
This what we should model for those we lead. Christ came to serve and so should we.
A poor leader demands to be treated like a king. A servant leader joyfully treats others as if they are a king. The most powerful man to ever walk the Earth was a servant..a humble servant learder.
Dr. John Perkins once said that, “Servant leaders are identified by the joyful submission of their followers.” Followers by definition are submitting to the leader, but the leader should submit in a joyful position of humility and service to those they lead.
Submission is not a dreary drudgery, but rather an affectionate acceptance between leader and follower. Submission is how authority and power is governed and managed in the leader follower relationship.
Leaders still need leading, teachers still need teaching, equippers still need equipping, pastors still need shepherding. Even the leader needs to submit themselves to others.
In the end, as Paul reminds us in Ephesians, we should submit to each other out of reverence for Christ.
That is the call of a leader.