Healthy Soul > “Good Leader” – Jeremy Austill
Healthy Soul > “Good Leader”

Can we talk candidly for a moment? I am taking a bit of a risk. I am hurling myself at a bit of a “sacred cow” in churchdom, especially among those called to places of influence and authority in the Body of Christ. So here it goes…

When did “you are a good leader” become the highest compliment you can pay to a person in a position of leadership?

Maybe I’m playing the role of Don Quixote…

It’s possible I am fashioning my own personal soapbox…

Potentially I am dying on a imaginary hill…

He or she is godly…pure…full of integrity…honest…humble…sincere…wise…

He or he is anointed…passionate…hungry for God…devoted…

He is a man of God. She is a woman of God.

He or she burns for Jesus!

Nope…the height of affirmation for those standing in pulpits has transitioned through the years to “he or she is an incredible leader”.

Not even…they can preach…they are such a rich student of God’s word…she operates in the gifts…he can pray…what a prophetic edge…what an apostolic gifting…

Nah…you are a great leader…which happens to mean, in essence, you made something grow larger than it was before. Nevermind that plenty of ungodly people have been great leaders who made stuff grow, or won a lot of games, or accumulated a lot of wealth.

I apologize if the sarcasm is as thick as my West Tennessee accent. I will admit to this being a bit of a sore spot. I cut my ministry teeth reading and listening to a who’s who list of leadership gurus. I’m talking listening to cassette tapes while feverishly typing notes on my gigantic desktop PC. I’ve read those who gravitate toward faith based leadership. I’ve read those who gravitate toward “secular / marketplace” leadership. All of that content has it’s place, and I would be in utter denial if I tried to act like none of it was helpful or beneficial. It was probably formative in ways I will never be able to fully identify.

However…

I have come to a rather simple conclusion…

If I am godly, pure, full of integrity, honest, humble, sincere, wise, anointed, passionate, hungry for God, and devoted…

If I burn for Jesus, become a rich student of God’s word, operate in the gifts of the Spirit, become a person of prayer, and live comfortably within the skin of my gifting…

On top of that, if my validation comes from the Father rather than the count…if I have immersed so deeply in the love of God that fear is drowned…if my insecurity is swallowed up by great confidence in Him…if stress is soothed by peace…if I take joy in trials and receive every challenge as a gift…

If my desire to be right with God far surpasses my desire to be celebrated by man…if pleasing my Father trumps pleasing anyone else…If I measure success vertically rather than horizontally…

If I am a man of God…

I will have a healthy soul, and the result will be that I am a good leader. The goal is not good leadership, but spiritual and soul health.

Why?

When my will (decision making) is being governed by the Father rather than self, I tend to do what is right and best rather than what saves my skin, manipulates, or is self-centered. I will operate in wisdom rather than impulse.

When my thought life is centered on Christ rather than my circumstances, attributes like fear, insecurity, or shame are replaced with peace, joy and hope.

When my emotions are submitted to Holy Spirit, they become useful for conveying God’s heart and sharing life with others, as opposed to being in control and dictatorial of my thinking and decision making.

You can spend your whole life trying to become a good (or better) leader, and always feel like you are falling short. We have all been in that season where we read the books, sat in the seminars, and attended the conferences, yet the needle didn’t move in the realm of results like we hoped. I have found the greatest hinderances to “good leadership” aren’t a lack of techniques or good ideas or inspiring vision…it’s a soul that needs to be increasingly submitted to Christ.

2 Comments

  • Terry Evans says:

    I have found this to be so very true in my life and the ministry God has called me to. I want to be a good leader but the only way to do that is to be a good follower of Jesus. I love in Acts how they described the early church leaders.
    “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
    Acts 4:13 ESV
    I would much rather be recognized as one who has been with Jesus than a good leader based on man’s measurements.

  • Paulette Stearns says:

    For it’s the will of the Father that is needed to be sought after; through Christ For He showed us obedience seeking the will of God the Father before doing.
    Father God I seek Your face and give You honor, glory and praise forever and ever.
    I worship You Elohim, Adonai.

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