By Helen Gaw
We remember and value leaders who have used their position to empower us and help us. But leaders can use their position to abuse us. It can be difficult to admit that this has happened because it is easy to assume that a leader is always right. So we need to consider what the qualities of a good leader are.
Good leaders do not promote themselves at the expense of others. Instead, they promote the interests of others. They consider this better than privilege or prestige. Jesus is the perfect example of a leader. He challenged the common view of a leader as someone who can expect to be treated like royalty. He said 'For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.' (Luke 22:27).
Leaders can be women or men, young or old, from any ethnic group or tribe. The character of a leader has a longer lasting impact than his or her qualifications. Current leaders have a responsibility to identify and train the next generation of leaders. This is the focus of our front page article.
A number of the other articles share advice about working with people, working in teams and building effective organisations. We cannot consider the questions 'What is a leader?' and 'What is good leadership?' in a practical way unless we also think about the people and the work the leader is leading.
Good relationships with others are so important. The Bible study on p15 is a reflection on relationships that helps us examine our hearts before doing anything else - whether we are leaders now or might be leaders in the future.
The next two issues will be on the subjects of trees and stigma.
Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 84 in html.
To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 84, please click here (549KB).