Monday, March 19, 2007

Redemptive Leadership

I've recently had the opportunity to write a couple of short articles for The High Calling. The first of these is entitled Redemptive Leadership and it went live on their website yesterday. Here's a brief intro into the article and you can click through to the High Calling site to read the rest.

Do you ever wonder what the perfect picture of leadership would look like? The Bible makes it clear from the beginning—leadership is really God’s idea. He ordains leaders to accomplish his will in this world. In Genesis 2, God places Adam in the Garden of Eden, giving him the responsibility to care for it.

Adam was the leader of the Garden, exercising the creativity, care, and authority of God in that realm. It's a picture of God's call for every person. We lead wherever God places us, and we reflect the character of God in the process. Simply put, we're called by God to influence our world in such a manner that those around us can come to know who he is.

Click here to read the rest of the article.


L.L. Barkat said...

To lead so others can come to know who God is... that's some challenge. What aspects of "who God is" do you believe leadership can most clearly reveal? (I haven't read the full article yet on HighC, so forgive me if you answer this there!)

L.L. Barkat said...

Okay, so I see it has something to do with humility and service... anything else?

andre said...


Your question is more than the brief article addressed but it's a good one.

I think in one sense, all positive qualities of true leadership reveal aspects of God. A couple of examples come to mind - authenticity and initiative.

Authenticity - really who is more authentic than God himself? He also enables us to be lead with authenticity by accepting us in Christ. When we lead with authenticity, we reflect this aspect of God and reveal this to those around us.

Initiative - leadership is all about initiative. Yet, it is God who shows us what real initiative is by sending his Son to die for those who were estranged from him. As Christians, when we display initiative, it is a reflection of our Father in heaven who demonstrated his initiative to save us.

What have you learned about God from the Christian leadership examples you've experienced?

L.L. Barkat said...

Initiative... that's one I wouldn't have considered! I like that.

Me? I've experience all kinds of leadership, but becoming a leader myself has provided the most reflection. I think I've been drawn to consider the quality of "honesty." Leading puts me in the spotlight, and I've discovered I don't always like what the light has revealed. So, I'm struggling to be a person of truth, more and more.

andre said...


I like what you've pointed out - honesty. It's the currency of leadership. If people can't trust the leader, it really doesn't matter how charismatic or gifted he/she is.

Who is more honest than God...he is not only always truthful...he is the truth.

L.L. Barkat said...

So there's a way to think about our leadership... not that we are Jesus... but to ask ourselves, "how can I be the way, the truth, and the life" for others?

(I like focusing questions. They help me.)

Ted Gossard said...

Good post and conversation here.

I see it as so important to learn to be a good follower before one can become a good leader. As Paul writes, we're to follow his example as he follows the example of Christ. And we're to mark those who walk in the way of our Lord.

The best shepherds are those who know best the care of the good Shepherd in their lives.

I guess I think alot along those lines when I think of leadership.

Thanks for the good thoughts, Andre (and L.L.).

andre said...


That's an interesting question. I guess I tend not to think like that. I'm not sure that the primary starting point of our leadership is to ask "how can I be the way, the truth, the light" but rather how can I lead in a way that will illuminate Christ as "the way, the truth, the light" It will involve me acting in truth and walking in the light but always to draw attention to the one who is the truth and the light.

Does that make sense or am I splitting hairs?

andre said...


It's a good point you're making about being a good follower. Ultimately, we are effective in leadership only if we are committed to following Christ. Since you think in those terms, I suspect that you're influencing more people than you know.

andre said...


I'm following up after thinking some more about your question. I think there is also an aspect of how you phrased your point "how can I be the way, the truth..." that is very applicable.

I think in the idea of incarnating the gospel to our neighbor - speaking the truth in love to them, giving life by serve them in their time of need, ...ultimately, so that they will receive grace and come to know Christ.