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Is your leadership simply a veneer of faith on top of traditional management techniques?

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture you fit into it without even thinking.

Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. (Rom 12:1,2 The Message)

Being a Christian should make your leadership unique.

In my experience in ministry and business, however, I have seen devout Christians try to honor God with their leadership yet only succeed in putting a Christian face on a worldly system.

Unfortunately, most discussions of Christian leadership simply tinker around the edges of today’s predominantly un-Christian leadership approaches. Christian leaders need to radically rethink what it means to be led in a way that expresses God’s design and purposes for our relationships.

When Christians talk about how God desires us to lead, we often discuss qualities that may be present in any leader.

The Christian leader should seek to serve, as Jesus did. The Christian leader should work with integrity and honesty. The Christian leader will treat people well and with respect. Of course, in my years of for-profit leadership, I’ve seen non-Christians demonstrate all these values.

Other behaviors of Christian leadership—prayer, mentoring, evangelism—should be true of any Christian. All these things are good. They are definitely aspects of Christian leadership.

But they are merely a veneer of Christianity overlaid a system that is based on assumptions that are opposed to God’s word. Standard leadership advice leaves unchallenged management beliefs that have a theology of their own—entirely at odds with Christian truths.

What do I mean by this? A couple examples:

We are created to experience joy of work.

Ecclesiastes 3:22 says: “So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is why we are here!” (NLT)

Whether your work is to make cabinets, clean a conference room or design a corporate brochure, the thrill of doing good work is common to all of us. It’s human nature to be driven by the desire to experience his joy of executing a project with quality.

Chris Glynn Chris Glynn is senior vice president for Transformational Engagement at World Vision.

More from Chris Glynn or visit Chris at http://www.worldvision.org

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  • Matthew Gooch

    Great Post, Chris. You’re exactly right: Christian Leadership is fundamentally different from it’s popular culture counterpart. We can point to a variety of reasons, but at the core is the fact that our leadership comes through Jesus, whose Kingdom and ways are fundamentally different from popular culture. It is leadership that most of the world would not recognize: service, meekness, and others rather than self.