Webster’s definition of leadership is: the office or position of a leader, having the capacity to lead.
The definition of lead is: to guide on a way especially by going in advance. To direct on a course or in a direction.
I once convinced a group of seventh graders in science class that the best way to lower the egg 10 feet down over the bleachers and keep it in one piece, was to tie the not-so-long piece of string around the egg along with some tissue, and the tissue would cushion the fall. Someone else in the group suggested another alternative using the few resources we had for the assignment. Even though that kid ended up being right, apparently I was more convincing. And even though I was wrong (the egg definitely broke) that day sticks out in my mind for another reason entirely.
At the tender age of 12 I was a natural born leader.
I spoke and people listened. Even if I had no clue about what the heck I was talking about (as was the case with the egg and tissue). I was confident and that was pretty much enough for others to follow my lead. So now I find myself some 18 years later, having held various leadership roles, whether academic, managerial or social, realizing that this natural capacity to lead could very well be a hindrance.
“To what?”, you ask…well, to my relationship with Christ. You see, Christ is the ultimate leader and I’m just now understanding that I am called to submit to His leadership (I never really used that verbiage before now). He wants leadership in every area of my life. If you’re anything like me, some of those areas are submitted, while others…not so much. In my opinion a few typical qualities of a good leader are the following:
1. Be informed about the task(s) at hand.
2. Has the best interest of the subordinates/followers/team in mind (selfless).
3. Not willing to ask others to do what they are not willing to do themselves (lead by example).
4. Desires to educate, mature and mentor subordinates/followers/team (help them be the best they can be).
5. Get the job done (completes projects efficiently).
So let’s apply these qualities to Christ.
Is He well informed about our lives? I would sure say so, I mean, He wrote it all out from beginning to end even before we were born!
Does He have our best interests at heart? I think so since He saved us from eternal damnation!
Is He willing to do what He asks us to do? Definitely. He was born of a virgin and went through the whole life experience Himself. He faced tests, trials and temptations just as we do.
Does He desire to educate and mature us? Another yes. He in fact, sent us His Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. He is Rabbi, the great teacher.
Does He get the job done? He has promised to complete the work He started in us. Even on the cross He stated “it is finished”. Christ was intent on finishing His work on the earth. He is no half stepper!
So then, why do I struggle with submission? He is the perfect leader to submit to! Christ is truly able to guide us as He has already walked out our individual paths in advance Himself. Selah. Let’s just take a moment to consciously surrender our hearts to His. Often as leaders we can feel in control. We can get so used to delegating, ruling and taking charge that we forget we don’t have to with Him. With Christ we are in the passenger seat and He is the driver. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And really only He knows the way to get to our destination.