Why isn’t the word “leadership” in the Bible?
There is so much Christian teaching about “leadership.” However, I can’t even find the terms “leadership” or “leader” in the New Testament.
–Instead of “leadership,” there are 4 references to being “led by the Spirit” — 2 refer to Jesus and 2 to refer those of us who are Christ-followers.
So what’s that mean? Perhaps we should be leders (people whose focus is on allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit) rather than leaders (people whose focus is on getting others to follow them). As true leders follow and obey the living, resurrected Jesus Christ, others see Christ living in and through them and become inspired to follow the risen Christ for themselves.
When we try to influence people to follow us, it is so easy to move into subtle manipulation and control (and we often don’t even know we are doing it). Many times I’ve had people tell me (sometimes in tears) how much they have been hurt by church leaders.
However, when we simply follow the risen Jesus, He, Himself will attract others as they see His light shining in our thoughts, attitudes, words, and deeds. Perhaps it it time to shift from leadership teaching in the body of Christ, into ledership teaching — training people to hear Jesus on their own and then follow and obey Him. The New Testament calls that role an “overseer.”
For a book on ledership check out Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia.