Where are we leading people?

The following blog post was taken from the Malyon Leadership site, from way back in 2013! It’s a great reminder that leadership can go in many directions, but Christ-like leadership really has one end goal: to lead people towards the good news of Jesus Christ. I’m not just talking about within the walls of the church either: wherever God would have you lead, you can be a young Christian of influence, who points people towards the gospel of Jesus!

Foreword and editing by Jess Currie

There are many destinations one can head when going travelling. There are countless places to visit, and a vast quantity of locations to arrive at. Yet for Christian leadership, does it matter where we are going?

This is the question I’ve been thinking about recently: is there a primary destination that we are leading our people towards? Are we leading others towards a healthy, vibrant community, or perhaps deeper spiritual introspection, or even just towards an increase in our service numbers? Or for leadership outside of the church community, are we wanting to lead people towards increased business ethics, marketplace benevolence or justice fuelled community projects?

Whilst these destinations all hold esteem, they cannot, and should not, be the primary goal of Christian leadership.

Why is that you ask? Well, given that leadership (as Andy Stanley says) is about “Stewardship of Influence,” should not Christian leadership therefore have as it’s primary focus: “Stewardship of Gospel Influence”?

The above examples are great avenues to express this main goal, however they are not the destination themselves. What we find is that they may well be the variety of expression that stems from the same platform. For instance, a Christian business leader, who desires to create a benevolent arm of their company, does so with a deeper purpose of paving inroads to express the gospel through his business.

Likewise, the church leader wants their community to be influenced not by the preferences of culture, but rather by the purposes of the gospel. Their primary goal is gospel influence.

We see this expressed in scripture too. Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” He echoed this sentiment in Philippians 2:25, expressing that he’d continue leading “for [their] progress and joy in the faith’”.

What was his central goal? Gospel influence. This is what he implored to Titus telling him to, “declare all things pertaining to a gospel orientated life” (Titus 2:1-15). This is what John wrote to those presumably in Ephesus, to “know Christ and his joy” (1 John 1:4; 5:13). Peter, in exercising his leadership and influence, encouraged others to “steward the grace that God has given them’” (1 Peter 4:10-11). All these leaders were only following the example shown by Jesus himself. In Matthew 4:19 he called his disciples and said, ” “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

What was Jesus’ leadership goal? To make disciples, who make disciples.

The centrality of the gospel is overwhelmingly potent. The primary resolve was that people received the gospel and lived out it’s implications. The centrality was the same though the expression looked different, according to context.

So where are we leading people? Are we satisfied with increasing service numbers, or helping out various community projects? (Again, all good things, but not the final destination) Or, are we focussed on leading others towards a deeper exposure, understanding, and life changing experience of the gospel?

Author unknown
26 June 2013 – you can find the original post here