So You Want to be a Leader?

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So You Want to be a Leader?


“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Luke 12:48

It seems like everyone wants to be the boss these days.  Whether you are running for President of the United States, want your boss’s job, want to start your own company, or want to lead a church, leadership comes with a price. Many people often do not count the cost of leadership and what being the boss really means. They simply see leadership as an opportunity to “call the shots” and tell other people what to do. But nothing could be further from the truth!

I once worked in a company and felt that I could do my boss’s job better than he could. Then one day he gave me the opportunity to act in his place for a week while he was on vacation. I relished the opportunity to make my own decisions for a change.  But when I sat in his office and saw the responsibilities that he had and the tough decisions he had to make, I suddenly realized I was in over my head! I had only seen the virtual “tip of the iceberg” of his job and I was unprepared to make all of the decisions that he made every day.  It also taught me a valuable lesson about leadership. Leadership is not about being boss.  Leadership is about taking responsibility for the welfare and actions of others.


Jesus told his disciples via a parable that “to whom much is given, much will be demanded.” (Luke 12:48) Jesus had poured his life and wisdom into them and was expecting them to do as He had done. Jesus further says in this passage that “much more will be asked” of them as well.  In other words, those who desire to be leaders will be expected and asked to give even more than others.  Additionally, leaders will also be held accountable for their actions, including those on behalf of others (Matthew 12:36Romans 14:12 & Hebrews 4:13). Jesus also issues a warning to all of us, but especially to leaders, that “things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:1-2) So leaders must accept the responsibility of caring for their followers and be careful not to lead them astray or abandon them.  Leaders must therefore take their responsibility very seriously.  Failure to do so has grave consequences.

Leaders must also understand that becoming a leader also makes them a target.  Every leader will face challenges, including rejection, criticism, and betrayal. Jesus did and leaders will as well. Christian leaders will also face attacks from satan, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8), because satan knows that if he can bring the leader down, he can bring his followers down with him.

So you want to be a leader? Unless you are willing to take responsibility for others and accept the reality of greater expectations and challenges, I suggest you reconsider wanting to be the boss.

However, when you are ready for leadership and willing to accept the responsibility that comes with it, know that God will guide you and support you with His Holy Spirit! (“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13.)

Shared with kind permission from Barry Voss of FaithLife Ministries.   

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