The Qualifying Marks of Good Leadership

The Qualifying Marks of Good Leadership

He (David) cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands. Psalm 78:72

Do you think you are a leader? Do you confuse your need to be in charge with thinking that is leadership? Do you suppose the church should be a place where everybody is a leader and no one follows? Do you know a good leader when you see one?

Leadership is a rare quality that is needed today. What marks a good leader? Godly leadership traits exemplify virtues such as honesty, honor, and humility.

I was privileged as a young man to be in the company of a few quality leaders, due to my father’s wealth of relationships. Some of them were well known. Others led in obscure places. A couple of them were giants in their field. Over the years I have observed the good, bad, and indifferent in ministry leadership. Here’s what I have seen:

First, a good leader is the epitome of integrity. If others are petty, they are big, always magnanimous at heart. They are generous in self giving and in sharing credit. They are thankful. They make others feel important. Their strength derives from their noble character, not from a loud mouthed, bossy demeanor. They are in command. They do not need to remind their followers “I’m in charge here!” They are followed simply because their examples have so much to teach us.

Then there are awful leaders. These people are usually control freaks who want everyone to know who’s in charge: “all decisions” must funnel through them. They habitually make others feel unimportant. They allow no one to speak into their lives, but they are quick to speak to others. They demand their way: “My way or the highway.” Their pattern does more harm than good.

The church platform is no place to learn leadership. You learn that in the school of servanthood. You learn to be a spokesman by closing your mouth and opening your ears. You can only learn to lead by being a true follower.

No wonder real leadership is a rare gift.


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