There are times when so many leaders, who have the gift-of-the-gab and are charismatic, fall into disgrace and sabotage their ministry. Having observed this several times, the question goes begging: “What is the hallmark of a good leader in whom we can trust? “
Retrospect is a wonderful thing… and so as I look at Paul in the Bible, who has the track record that is unblemished in this regard, his own words give away the hallmarks we should look for in a good leader:
I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing… Acts 20:19
I highlighted the 4 key phrases to focus on.
“served the Lord” – this is a good indicator. Does the leader serve themselves, their own agenda, or are always self seeking? Interestingly, a leader can seem to be ‘serving the Lord’ from an outward appearance. Usually only those real close to the leader (e.g spouse, children, family, real close friends) may see the flaws. So what can we look for? The next 3 phrases, we explore below, are the qualifiers.
“great humility” – Humble in the dictionary is defined as: Near the ground; not high or lofty; not pretentious or magnificent; unpretending; unassuming; Thinking lowly of one’s self; claiming little for one’s self; not proud, arrogant, or assuming; thinking one’s self ill-deserving or unworthy, when judged by the demands of God; lowly; modest.
“tears” – Paul conducted his ministry with emotional fervency and with a sense of urgency.
“in the midst of severe testing” – even when he was falsely accused, thrown in Jail, beaten, he still was a man of Grace and conviction.
Now having said all that, do we still totally believe in our leaders? If leaders, even the best, do not guard their ways carefully, they can still fall into temptation and sin. So in reality we can listen to what our leaders say, but we must always carefully weigh their words beside the one true absolute – the Word of God.
Only through weighing their words can we settle the issue of whether what they say is worthwhile. So that even if they were to fall at a later time (Heaven forbid), we don’t have to necessarily throw out all that they have said previously. As an aside, the problem today is that we only weigh their words in light of them falling! We should therefore always weigh their words whenever they speak, teach or preach.
Again, it is a good time to ask, “What do I believe in?” or more specifically, “In whom do I believe in?”
Prayer: Lord, help me to respect those leaders around me, but to keep my focus on You. It is You in whom I put my trust. In Jesus Name I proclaim it. Amen.