Art from “The Itinerants” is continuing the discussion about leaders among the church in his post “Leadership by Position or Loving Servants?” Art discusses the difference between leading from a position (or because someone holds a particular position) and leading from service in order to serve as an example.
He begins with the common phrase “respect the office, even if you don’t respect the person.” (Can any believer lead if they are not respected as a person?)
Art writes (among many other things):
Leadership being service to others and not decision making for others is really a profound distinction. It highlights the qualitative difference between leadership within the church and leadership in the world.
Fundamentally, among the saints there is no authoritarian power over others based on position. There is only a resultant, voluntary influence based on a historical relationship through service and sacrificial example through maturity. No one can â€œcommandâ€ respect and obedience because they ARE an elder (etc.). Instead, they may appeal to their acts of past and ongoing love and sacrifice for youâ€“which we see Paul doing on occasion.
Like Art says, the difference between leading from position and leading from service is a huge distinction and a very important one. If we are not leading “based on a historical relationship through service and sacrificial example through maturity” then I would say that we are not leading the way that Scripture describes.
How are you leading? What about the ones you follow?