Let us open withMatthew 18:4
4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
To be a leader you must be humble, and like a child, learn to obediently follow. In other words, you must learn to follow before you can lead. To a person still full of the world these traits sound ridiculous for one called to lead. However, the truth is, we may teach what we know, but we reproduce what we are. Do we want a group of people that cannot follow directions or be trained? Leaders must therefore be teachable people themselves. If you cannot be criticized or corrected for instance, you will reproduce people with natures just as lawless and unteachable. Being a hothead that slugs their way through life is a rebel not a leader.
LEADERS MUST EXPERIENCE ISAIAH 61:1-3
In other words, leadership must experience a good deliverance. Spirits of rejection, pride, bondage, arrogance, anger, jealousy, lawlessness etc. have no place in the person of a leader. These demons are very hard to personally subdue. They are, or have the support of, big principalities or strongmen, and if they have claimed our lives, most of the time we will need a minister with the anointing in this area to help us rid ourselves of these spirits. No-one can lead God's people successfully with the fruit of these spirits operating through them.
LEADERS ARE SERVANTS
27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave -
Leaders must be servants to all. Not servants to just the people we like, or choose, but all the flock. The world has it turned around 360 degrees. It is mostly run by people with all the above listed spirits and so they have probably pushed and shoved their way to the top. Those below, serve them. Not so in God, quite the opposite. Every rung on the ladder that God raises you to, you are the servant and caretaker of all those below you. If they rub you wrong, oh well. You don't like their personality, tough! You may not like them, but you must love and protect them. The higher you are taken the greater variety of people you are required by God to serve. In fact, you will be the most used, abused and tested by the new ones that think they know more than everyone else about ministry and people. They will tell a minister with 30 years experience how to lead the flock. By the way, they may be all of 20 years old! Have to love them. Their traits are worldly, their ideas intellectual, their actions are the result of worldly training, yet we must respond Godly. Not always easy.
WE MUST BE DEAD TO SELF
Leaders must die to their old nature that was controlled and shaped by their soul with its emotions, and to their flesh that leads with its feeling, to really be used by God in leadership positions. Situations that arise in the lives of God's people must not be addressed by human reasoning, but by scripture and direction from the Holy Spirit. How can the still soft voice of the Spirit be heard through the emotions of anger and frustration for instance, or how can He work through us if we are too busy and focused on our own lives to minister to others. There will be times you are almost out the door to do something you are really looking forward to, but guess what, when there is a need, leadership must forget about self and address that need.
WE MUST BE EXAMPLES
Leadership must make the walk for others to follow. If we appear to be good examples, but behind the scenes we do things that are not beneficial to the flock, God sees it, and one, there will be no anointing on us to lead, and two, He will label us as a part of the hypocritical church of Babylon. God will not allow us to continue even walking with His people if we do not get the victory over our compromise. He will actually put it on our hearts to leave, to join those of like kind, as we cannot help His people get the victory over something that still has a hold over us. If you smoke, drink, or overeat, how on earth could you possibly deliver a person from addiction, and if you are seen indulging in these things, you are saying it's alright to entertain your compromise.
Matthew 7:5warns severely:
5 Hypocrite! Firstremove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
God's people must conquer their weaknesses. Another example would be one that instantly gets angry when people confront them or are disobedient. Maybe anger has been a strongman in their lives, but they must discipline themselves to not give in to cussing, shouting, accusing someone without proof, etc. Be angry, but do not sin, the Word cautions. How much more does this pertain to God's examples, His leaders.
GOD USES NOBODIES
I Corinthians 1:26-27
26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not manywise according to the flesh, not manymighty, notmanynoble, are called.
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
If we have the need to be someone, if we must have everyone's approval, or if we like authority, man may hire us or put us in positions of leadership, but God will not. He cautions, lay hands on no man suddenly, or do not put one that is not humbly mature and obedient in their actions into their prophesied call too soon. The Lord chooses those that are nobodies, because they will allow the Holy Spirit to truly operate through them, give God the glory, and not have the need to draw attention to themselves. People that are somebody in their own eyes cannot stand rejection. They must be right in all situations and so deem it necessary to belittle others. Pride and rejection hold hands to make a person of this caliber miserable, so leadership harboring these spirits, will never admit to being wrong, will only see things from their viewpoint, and not be at all interested in hearing the other person's side of a disagreement. They are smarter than everyone else, just ask them. They can do it all and be it all. They will fight against, or make snide remarks about, anyone that they perceive as a threat to their personal position of authority. The nobody on the other hand, is not about self, and wants everyone to be all they can be for God. They know it's Christ in them the hope of glory and they humbly look to the Holy Spirit to correct, guide, train and counsel. Nobodies grasp the concept of the body of Christ coming together to accomplish Kingdom work, and do all they can to unite individual members in order for the full stature of Christ to be achieved. Nobodies allow God to be Somebody.
AVOID THE LURE OF EVIL
I Thessalonians 5:21-22
21 Testallthings;hold fast what is good.
22 Abstain from every form of evil.
In the world people have the mentality, "if I know what I'm doing is alright, I don't care what others think", but in the Word it says to not stumble your brother, be a light in the darkness for others to follow, set a good example, be shaped and molded into the image of Christ. If there is something you wish to do, but it would appear evil to someone else if seen, donotdoit. Leaders cannot preach against something as being evil and then walk there themselves. We, none of us, become mature enough to walk on the fringe with one foot in the Kingdom and one foot out anyway. In fact, to do so, proves our immaturity! So if something is not good for one brother or sister, it's not acceptable period!
This information is just the tip of the iceberg concerning leadership. There is so much more to be taught, but let me end by saying, leadership is a grave responsibility. Our walk must not take us anywhere that is questionable.
Apostle Paul warned inI Corinthians 5:11for instance:
11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner - not even to eat with such a person.
People that have had time to mature, that do these things and claim to be Christians, or members of God's family, will not be accepted into the Kingdom. If we associate with them, we won't either. We surely do not want to lead others down that path. Our talk must be always conversation God would approve. Cute little jokes, slightly off color, false accusations against others, little white lies etc. are not at all acceptable from those that lead God's people.
6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt(a preservative), that you may knowhow you ought to answer each one.
To the ladies that seek leadership, our dress code should be fitting in the throne room of God.
I Peter 3:3-4
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward-arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel -
4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
In short, leadership should be ambassadors for the Kingdom of God and in no way should they taint its message or its King.