Leadership is too often seen as wielding power over another for the benefit of the leader. This could not be more wrong. Biblical leadership carries a responsibility to benefit those to whom God has placed in one’s life. This is true in Church, in the public square, in the market place and in creation. We read in Genesis v. 26-27 "Then God said Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and the livestock and all the earth and all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in His own image. In the image of God He created them male and female." One of the keys from this verse is when God commands us to “rule over the fish of the sea…. etc. This means we have a unique role in creation to provide leadership. This is a stewardship role as well. Our leadership is to be used to benefit those we lead. When it comes to creation, as faithful stewards we are to protect and care for it. Any other kind of leadership would be self-serving and not biblical.
How is this expressed elsewhere? As I have mentioned many times, leadership is simply influence. When one exerts influence on another, then leadership takes place. But if we are to be faithful to God’s model, then that leadership will never be self-serving but always serving others. Jesus model this in so many ways. “I have not come to be served but to serve,” he told his followers. He also showed them how this looked when he washed their feet on that night of his arrest. Of course, the ultimate example of this is in the cross where he laid down his life for the salvation of the world. This ultimate act of self-sacrificing love is leadership at its finest.
God has called us all into relationship with others where we have the opportunity to exert influence. That is a noble and divine calling. Let our response to this calling be humble and loving always considering others over ourselves.