The Why of Leadership

I’ve read a lot about how to lead… how to lead teams…how to lead through change…how to lead courageously…how to lead spiritually…even how to lead like Jesus. Some authors make a very good living on writing this stuff and we’ve benefitted from their wisdom. Great guys like: Patrick Lencioni, John Maxwell, Bill Hybels and Andy Stanley have given us great tools for how to best lead our organizations or churches in any climate.

But why do we lead?  What’s the goal of our leadership?

Ever since I was a kid, leading is just something that came naturally to me. Whether it was in playing games at recess or taking the initiative on a class project, leading was just something I did. I can’t say my motives were always good or that I knew how to get the most out of people, but I never questioned why I should lead.

The answer has to be more than just to get something accomplished. There’s more purpose to leading than getting people to complete a task.

Recently, a statement the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy caught my attention like never before.  He urges Timothy to stay in Ephesus and instruct men there not to teach strange doctrine or pay attention to myths and endless genealogies (1 Timothy 1:3-4).

Then, in verse 5, he says the “goal” of this leading, the purpose, the WHY is:

1. Love from a pure heart

God wants His people to grow in love for Him and for each other.  As leaders we need to inspire and influence the people we shepherd to have a genuine love for each other as well as the God we serve.  We should be modeling for our people what pure motives and selfless love looks like.

2. A good conscience

People need to know the Truth.  And they need to know how to live according to that Truth.  More than ever, in a culture of moral relativism, the people we lead need guidance on how to live a godly life.  This takes courage and boldness on our part.  It may require a difficult conversation.  It may require sacrificing competency for character.

3. Sincere faith

Faith wavers.  We should be an anchor when the storms of doubt come.  As leaders we need to remind ourselves, and the people we lead, of God’s unfailing faithfulness.

I believe that this ought to always be our goal for the people we lead.  No matter what the mission statement, vision, core ideology, process, purpose, etc – we lead to influence people in the direction of these three things. No matter what vision God has given us to inspire our people, we should also be inspiring them to grow in love, to keep a good conscience and trust in God at all times.



This is a guest post by Matt Thompson who serves as the Worship Pastor on the Sun Valley Community Church, Gilbert Campus. To keep up with Matt you can connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

Posted in Leadership

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