A great article by Greg Breazeale
The Gospel gives us a new heart filled with love and affection. It is not one more weapon in our leadership utility belt. The phrase Gospel centred gets much use these days. Books, blogs, and articles on what it means to be Gospel centred seem to pop up every day. My aim here is to wrestle a bit with what Gospel – centre leadership looks like when it comes to leading an organization such as a church, a bank, a school, etc.
What does the Gospel – centred leader (GCL) look like? How do they function day to day? How does the Gospel bear weight on how leaders make decisions, hire and fire, and cast vision? Here are a few qualities of a Gospel – centred leader.
They Love the Gospel.
GCL’s love the Gospel. They love to talk about it, sing about it, and tell it to others. The death and resurrection of Jesus, and their union with Him moves their heart like nothing else. They never tire of hearing the Gospel or preaching it to themselves. The Word of Christ (Colossians 3:16) dwells deeply and richly in them. They define themselves as people loved by God in and through the Person and Work of their Lord Jesus Christ. Their identity, value, worth, and significance their life is found in Him. Everything must begin here. If you miss this, you will end up using the Gospel to make a name for yourself rather than using the Gospel to spread the fame of Jesus.
They Invite Critique
GCL’s know that it took God in the flesh dying and rising again to save them. Therefore, they know they are not beyond critique and error. They find ways to receive feedback and critique from their friends, spouse, staff, or co-workers. If their identity rests only Christ and if they are convinced that God is for them, as the Gospel clearly reminds them (Romans 8:32), then no amount of negative or positive feedback can shake their foundation. GCL’s work into their life and schedule other eyes and ears to help them lead as effectively as possible.
They Are Bold and Humble.
The Gospel has shattered the pride of GCL’s, and yet empowered them to boldly trust in the grace and goodness of God when it comes to how they lead. They can make hard decisions without fearing the opinions of others but also admit their mistakes and seek restitution. They don’t slump their shoulders or puff out their chests. They are humble and strong, bold and gentle, confident and self – deprecating. Only by trusting the Gospel can one become this kind of leader.
They Bear More Affliction than They Give Out.
The great mystery of the Gospel is that the one who owed us nothing gave us everything. The one who knew no sin was made to be sin to make us righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). The one who was rich became poor to make us rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). The blessed one became the Curse to lift the Curse from us (Galatians 3:18). Therefore, the GCL will look and listen for ways to absorb affliction when he has every right to dish it out.
Every leader has to bring affliction. They have to discipline, fire, lay-off, cutback, reprimand, etc. But the Gospel shines brightly when leaders winsomely bear the bulk of the pain and blame, especially when they don’t have to. I am not suggesting that performance standards in the workplace or the church be lowered because of the Gospel. I am suggesting however that the Gospel calls us to, at times, shower undeserved grace (and all grace is undeserved) on those we lead.