When I used to think about leaders, I imagined men who were responsible for large military units, branches of government, or corporations. A leader fit a stereotype in my mind wearing his power suit with a power tie, and he had glasses. As I have grown older, and hopefully a little wiser, I have had to reconsider what a leader is. A leader is not defined by gender, clothing, or followers. A leader is defined by the vision that the leader has for the future, how that vision is shared with others, and how consensus is built around the vision.
Moms can be leaders of their household, creating a vision of a peaceful home and sharing that expectation with the family. Rulers of countries can fail to lead by their inability to cast or share a vision. The struggle of the Libyan people comes to mind. The governmental leaders have oppressed the people for so long that there is no consensus for whatever vision the government may have had. Instead of building consensus, the government is trying to use force and oppression. That is not leadership.
Leadership is not a character trait, but it is something born out of a person’s character. A person must have a strong character to point the way to a new reality, a better reality. A person must be willing to risk personal comfort, privilege, and sometimes even safety to lead effectively. We as Christians, no matter if we are rulers of government, industry, or just our corner of the world, are called to lead others. We are called to share our vision of God’s kingdom and how we are working for that kingdom. We lead by our example, by our sharing of ourselves, and by our willingness to serve God’s kingdom above all other things.
Be the leader God has created you to be.