Someone once asked me what the elements of Christian leadership were.
I don’t know what all the elements of Christian leadership are. I may know the first one though. It is not service, or wisdom, knowledge or understanding. I don’t even think that it is love although all of these things are important.
I think the first step to being a Christian leader is fear.
Not fear in general, but a specific fear. A fear that casts out other fears: The Fear of the Lord. Fear is the beginning of wisdom. Think of it as the top button on a shirt, if you get this button wrong all the other buttons will also be out of alignment.
How can you be a just Christian leader if you do not tremble before a just and holy God? You must know, as the Centurian knew, that you are under authority. That you have to give an account of how you use your power.
Having power means that your actions not only harm you but potentially many others. Power amplifies the wickedness in our hearts.
Next time you read Proverbs, read Ecclesiastes as well. In Proverbs 1 you learn that Fearing God is the first step on the path to wisdom. In the last verses of Ecclesiastes we see where the wisdom path leads: “Fear the Lord and obey His commandments.”
When you finish the wisdom journey you find you are back in The Shire. You may know more but the key at the beginning is still the same. If you do not fear God you are a fool. Wisdom without the fear of the Lord is grasping at the wind.
The Fear of the Lord is both the beginning of wisdom and the culmination of wisdom.
How can you serve well if you do not love well? I find that our motivations have a significant effect on our actions.
The test to see if you love others is if you serve them. If you see your followers as tools to accomplish your ends you do not love them. A true Chess Master fights for and values every pawn. A servant heart is a reflection of true love.