For whatever reason I’m wired to enjoy reading books on leadership, vision casting, and marketing. I just like that stuff. Most of the books I read are also pointed towards church leadership. The problem is that when you compare John Maxwell’s 21 laws of leadership (good book I’m not putting down at all) to what scripture requires of it’s leaders, the two are quite different.
Consider Paul’s requirements for overseers.
- 1 Timothy 3
2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
When you look at the list, they’re almost all character qualities. Really, the only skill requirement is the ability to manage a family. That’s drastically different from the lists made in modern leadership books.
I wonder if that goes to show a different in values between us and God. We often value results, growth, and efficiency, but God values character. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with growing in “leadership skills,” but we need to be careful not to confuse biblical leadership and modern leadership skills.