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Authentic Leadership Part 2

Submitted by James Higginbotham on April 13, 2010 – 4:55 amNo Comment

Last week, I wrote about Authentic Leadership and how I thought some church leaders are failing to be authentic with their volunteer teams. Tim asked me to expand on the idea, but after reflection on the comment I posted I felt that it was left incomplete. With this post, I want to drill down into the thought a little further and explain my original thoughts.

What does it mean to be an authentic leader?

Authentic leaders use their God-given skills and their own personality to lead. They don’t attempt to emulate another leader in their church or from another church. There is too much “closed loop” thinking with sayings, quotable quotes, and best practices being posted on Twitter and Facebook. While these things are great and can be inspiring, inauthentic leaders think they can lead using these things alone. As leaders, we must seek and allow God to integrate these things into us, but we must remain true to how God designed us.

How can I be an authentic leader?

The first thing is to stop trying to be something you are not. God put together their local church body for a specific reason, but they often fail to see it because it might look different than other churches around them. We need to stop trying to be like the church leaders that get all of the press and start being the leaders we were designed by God to become. Allow other leaders to challenge you, but never give up your uniqueness to conform to their image.

The second thing is to give yourself over to God through daily submission to His will. We often think that as leaders we must invent, say, and generally do everything ourselves. Instead, we need to get on our knees and seek God’s direction in the big stuff and the small stuff.

How can I promote authentic leadership?

This answer is easy to say but hard to put into action. We must ensure every leader is a disciple of Jesus first, making disciples second, and being a leader third. They need to demonstrate first hand the need to be on our knees and seeking God’s calling as individuals and as a church. It is through His disciples that Jesus will call out leaders, not programs and “base paths”. We often get it backwards because we focus too much on church operations than on spiritual growth. It is time to change this way of thinking by encouraging and demonstrating how to be a true disciple of Christ, not just a leader in a church. It requires being Spirit led.

Thanks Tim for getting me to think about this further!

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