The previous two posts have
highlighted some of Ajith Fernando’s leadership principles. Here are the remaining principles of
biblical leadership that he outlines so well in his book, Jesus Driven Ministry:
and Launching Young Leaders. The leader has a responsibility to grow young disciples by
intentionally teaching them. The
leader should set aside times to directly speak truth at length with young
disciples and not only limit teaching truth to mutual conversations. Nevertheless, part of his
responsibility is to reveal God by his life as he trains young leaders-to-be. This is exemplified in the teaching
ministry of Jesus. Jesus taught in
formal situations, yet many of his formative teaching times were in
conversation and in common situations.
Because the Bible warns us not to be hasty in appointing leaders, we
ought to have a care and concern for young Christians who are eager to jump
into leadership, especially if they are new converts. When it comes to status and honor, Christian leaders are
servants. When it comes to
function and responsibility, leaders are fathers. Leadership does not have to do with status; it has to do
with responsibility. There is a
long-suffering that leaders must endure during the slow growth of their
followers, much like a parent who endures the gradual development of a
child. As a disciple grows, so
does his level of freedom to explore his ministry passions and gifting. A young disciple who is well-led will
step out and take risks not merely because of confidence in acquired skills but
because of confidence in the culture of love, nurture, and trust demonstrated
by his leader. Christian
organizational culture is relational and not project-driven. Loving each other by dying for each
other is basic to Christian organizational life.
to the Sick. Part of
Christian leadership requires compassion and mercy ministry. Jesus spoke metaphorically when He said
He came to minister to the sick and not the healthy, though much of His
ministry involved healing and caring for the poor and needy. True Christian leadership requires
courage to visit the downtrodden and bear with them in their suffering. It also requires courage to not only
visit and care for the sick, but to pray for the healing of the sick. Jesus’ ministry was marked by two main
activities—teaching and healing.
Though not all leaders have the gift of healing or a healing
track-record, ministry must not only be marked by teaching; it must be also
marked by mercy, compassion, and seeking the holistic healing of the
downtrodden who most people conveniently overlook.
Praying. Much could be said about the role of
prayer in the life of the leader.
Suffice it to say, Jesus’ disciples only asked Him to teach them how to
do one thing—pray. They had
observed the essential role secret prayer played in the life of their Master,
and they were drawn to imitate Him.
If the Son of God prayed, how much more ought His followers pray? In imitation of Christ, those whom we
lead ought to notice the great role of prayer in our personal and public lives
that they ask us to teach them how to pray. Prayer is not only meant to be for the leader’s ministry; prayer
is what keeps the leader connected to the heart of the Father, which is
essential for his freshness, fulfillment, and faith.