Children rarely hear about leadership in their Bible classes. Teens may hear the words occasionally in youth group, but usually it’s more about getting the other teens to behave than anything else. Even adults rarely get teaching on leadership. The church is suffering because we aren’t preparing people to be godly leaders. (I’m sure all of us have horror stories about a Church leader or two with the leadership skills of a not so benevolent dictator.)
For some reason, we must assume leadership is a gift given perfectly developed at baptism or even birth. Now I do believe Christians get some extra leadership help from the Holy Spirit, but the reality is like any other gift God gives us to use to serve Him, we need to take the time and energy to develop it.
Your kids need leadership training in your home. They are probably not going to get it at church and if they do get it in school, there is no guarantee the principles they are being taught are anywhere close to godly. If your children were gifted by God to be Christian leaders in their communities and around the world, they need help now developing godly leadership skills.
Now I know some of you are probably thinking your kid couldn’t lead someone to your kitchen, much less lead people for God. Actually though, every Christian is a leader. Hopefully, we are all leading people to God, becoming a Christian and living a godly life, serving others and sharing their faith. All of those are tough “sells’ in society today and your kids will have to be wonderful leaders to convince people to follow them to God.
That’s the added twist to Christian leadership which many have not grasped or put into practice. Christian leadership really isn’t about the person who is leading at all. Our leaders are actually servants of the true leader – God. Not only that, but Jesus showed us we are to consider ourselves servants of those we lead – not their bosses. Those concepts are so different from those most leaders in the world use. Servant leadership is tough to learn and sometimes even tougher to teach.
I recently was offered the chance to review a great book on leadership you can read and share with your kids. The Heart-Led Leader: How Living and Leading from the Heart Will Change Your Organization and Your Life by Tommy Spaulding is a great tutorial on leading from the heart. Although this is technically a secular book, the author appears very familiar with the biblical concept of servant leadership.
The book is an easy and interesting read with lots of practical tips. I love that he broke the book into three major sections. It’s easy for this type of book to become circular and redundant. Spaulding avoids this by using one section to sell the idea of heart led leadership. The second section uses eighteen short chapters to discuss the eighteen main qualities and habits he feels a heart led leader needs to develop. Each chapter has lots of interesting stories about how various leaders put the ideas into practice and plenty of tips.
Spaulding ends each chapter with a thought question that’s basically rhetorical or just a final thought on the topic. I wish he had used that space to ask one or two questions that forced the reader to think about how to put those skills into practice in their own lives and organizations. While the final box is fine, I think it gives the reader an out to avoid thinking about how to actually apply what was just read – an easy pitfall for all who read self-help books.
The final section of the book is probably the most personal one. The author takes time to tell a few longer stories illustrating how using heart led leadership principles can change people, organizations and more. This would be a great section to discuss with your kids and use it as a springboard to help them begin thinking about godly dreams for impacting the lives of others.
Although this book is not a Bible study (nor does it claim to be), I believe the principles in it are godly. It would be an easy add-on to think or ask your kids to think of people in the Bible who demonstrated the qualities or verses that seem to command some of these characteristics. It’s a great book for mature upper elementary and middle school kids and I think a must read for high school teens.
Whether or not it seems like it right now, you kids will be leaders in this world. They may lead one person or one million people, but they will have a chance to lead others towards God (or away from Him). Help them now to be the effective leaders God wants them to be. Share this book or other godly leadership books with them. Discuss how your kids can put these principles into practice now. Teach your kids how to lead the way God would want them to lead. A lot of people in the future may be very glad you did!
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An Affiliate link is included for your convenience.