Follow the Leader

“He who knows not and knows not that he knows not,

he is a fool, shun him;

He who knows and knows not that he knows,

he is asleep, wake him up;

He who knows not and knows that he knows not,

he is humble, teach him;

He who knows and knows that he knows,

he is wise, follow him.”

               An Arabian proverb

I am currently reading Entrepreneurial Leadership, subtitled, Finding Your Calling, Making a Difference, written by Richard J. Goosen and R. Paul Stevens.  The second chapter was about the essence of entrepreneurial leadership which included a topic, primer on biblical leadership.  The authors argued that there were many books on leadership but most of them do not contain a theology of leadership. They explained that a theology of leadership does not deal with how-to but how-come questions.  The how-come questions are:

  1. Where does leadership come from, and does God give leadership to enterprises as a special gift or through creational investment in persons?
  2. Does Scripture provide perspective on how leaders are to function within the purposes of God?
  3. What is servant leadership, understood biblically?
  4. Are there special challenges in leadership faced by Christians?

I will not discuss here the answers provided by the authors on all of the questions above but will highlight their insights on what leaders do and how the bible gave us many examples of leaders.  Some good and some bad examples.  Saul and Solomon are mentioned as bad examples of leaders.  Among the good examples are Nehemiah, David, Paul and of course the model leader, Jesus.  How did Jesus model his leadership?

  1. Life to life – in the context of eating, sleeping, walking, working and engaging in controversies
  2. Situationally – through doing different things in different situations
  3. Through empowerment – giving away everything he had to his followers and commissioning them to continue his work
  4. Through concentration – by focusing on Twelve so the crowd could ultimately be helped
  5. By attending to his own needs – through sometimes dismissing the crowd and even his disciples to spend time with his Father

I like how one author described the coaching and mentoring style of Jesus simply as:

  1. I will work, you watch
  2. I will work, you help
  3. You work, I will help
  4. You work, I will watch

In his book, After You Believe, subtitled, Why Christian Character Matters, N.T. Wright argued that the answer to the what and the how of character transformation is in Jesus’ command “Follow me”.

Do you follow?  Who do you follow?