An Introduction to Christian Leadership -- By: David Murray

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 03:2 (Jul 2011)
Article: An Introduction to Christian Leadership
Author: David Murray


An Introduction to
Christian Leadership

David Murray

In this article, I want to provide an introduction to the subject of Christian leadership by answering five questions: What is Christian leadership? Should I seek Christian leadership? What are sources for learning Christian leadership? What is the key to Christian leadership? And, is Christian leadership worth the hassle?

A Summary of Christian Leadership

Warren Benson and Burt Nannis discovered 850 definitions of leadership when researching The Leader’s Strategies for Taking Charge. Although we won’t find quite as many definitions of Christian leadership, they probably still run into the hundreds.

Here’s my own: “A Christian leader serves God and His people by exemplifying godly character and conduct; by communicating God’s Word to everyone with wisdom and love; by excelling in vocational responsibilities; by uniting, equipping, and inspiring God’s people for worship and works of service; and by preparing them for eternal life.” It’s a bit of a mouthful and probably still doesn’t cover all the bases. Let me expound it a little.

He serves God and His people

The Christian leader sees himself primarily as a servant, not a ruler. He is a servant of God first, then of His people.

He exemplifies godly character and conduct

The internal life comes first. Without a Christ-like core, everything else will eventually decay and rot. But character does issue in external conduct. Modeling holiness of life is perhaps the most powerful and yet most neglected element of spiritual leadership.

He communicates God’s Word

A Christian leader reads and studies God’s Word in order to communicate it wisely and lovingly to Christian and non-Christian alike, as opportunity arises. He is concerned to speak God’s Word more than his own and to make sure all his own are consistent with God’s.

He excels in vocational responsibilities

He does not over-spiritualize leadership by thinking that prayer and Bible study will cover a multitude of incompetencies and inefficiencies in everyday life. He recognizes his duty to be organized, to be efficient, to keep appointments, to prepare for meetings, to inspire trust and respect by wise financial stewardship, etc.

He unites, equips, and inspires God’s people for worship

He unites God’s people in thoughtful, orderly, reverent, and Word-centered worship. But he also leads and directs worship so that it reaches and inspires the heart and the emotions. Like the Father, he wants worship to be full of truth and spirit.

He e...
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