Monday, June 23, 2008

Leadership 101 - The Qualification List

Finally, after two chapters, Paul gets down to what qualifies a leader. Why so late in coming. Another leadership principle is that leaders train leaders. Leaders need to reproduce. A good leader gains many followers. A better leader produces more leaders to handle the many followers.

Though this is a leadership principle, and a very important one, I really want to focus on the qualifications of a leader. The lists found in 1 Timothy and Titus concerning elders and deacons can be summed up into five simple qualifications.

1. A leader must have the desire to lead. (1 Timothy 3:1)

Everyone influences someone. The sad truth is, not everyone realizes this and some of those who do still refuse to step up to the plate. Any successful organization has leaders who want to lead.

2. A leader must be above reproach. (1 Timothy 3:2)

A leader must try to live their lives in such a way that people cannot point their finger at them for doing something wrong. Notice that I said "try." The only perfect man I know of is Jesus. Leaders will make mistakes and as we saw in the leadership lesson titled "Christian Leader, Product of Grace" it is important that a leader acknowledges wrong quickly and takes the necessary steps to correct his wrong. We leaders are going to mess up, but we should try our hardest to live good lives. The motivation? Love for God and love for others.

3. A leader must make sure that the important things come first. (1 Timothy 3:4)

A leader knows what is important. Paul says that an elder and deacon should have their households under control. For any family man his family is a priority that demands a lot of attention. His job also demands a lot of attention. A leader puts the important things first, gets them done and then focuses on the smaller things. For those who are teens family still comes first, then school and on down. A teen who is a leader should have a good relationship with his parents and his grades should reflect a disciplined life.

4. A leader must be humble. (1 Timothy 3:6)

A leader who is not humble is a leader who leads for his benefit. We are servants of God. We serve a being that is far greater then we are. We need to remember that the reason why we lead is to help others become more like Jesus.

5. A leader must have a good reputation amongst outsiders. (1 Timothy 3:7)

It is easy to lead those who are like minded, but it is harder to influence those who are not. A true leader is respected in and outside the church. A good leader influences those who are not Christians to behave ways contrary to the world. If a leader cannot lead outside the church then they will not be successful leading inside the church.

A leader who does not have these qualifications will not succeed. They will do more damage then good. It is important for all of us (whether you are a Christian leader or not) to live by these qualifications. Everyone influences some one. It's the truth.

No comments: