Leaders go first

Possibly when you think of leadership you think exercise of power. Possibly you think authority, telling others what to do, command and control. Other words that come to mind—Privilege? Elite?

Leadership in Christ has a different flavor. Leadership within the church of God should not be about power and commanding the obedience of others. Leadership is about persuasion, inspiration, teaching, tone, empowerment, modeling, and service. Christian leaders don’t tell others what to do; they don’t sit on their thrones and expect the little people to do the work and make the contributions.

Look at the example of the capital campaign for the construction of the Jerusalem temple. Leaders go first. “Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 29:6-8).

Sacrificial leaders are fun to follow. They release energy in people. They inspire trust. They don’t tell the way to; they show it. They don’t ask people to do anything they wouldn’t also do.


Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.


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