The Bible is a book of love. The Apostle John summarized the story of the gospel in John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son.” The story of the gospel is the most incredible love story ever told. Because God loves us, we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). Loving God and others is a requirement upon all true believers, particularly Christian leaders, pastors and missionaries. Christian leaders are to lead in love.
When addressing leadership competencies, leaders do not typically focus on love. Many excellent materials have been written describing leadership qualities like courage, charisma, conviction, visionary thinking, self-discipline, decisiveness, and many others. Yet little literature is written about leading in love. The New Testament makes it clear that love is indispensable to the gift of leadership. The New Testament mandates that spiritual gifts are to be exercised in love. The Apostle Paul states that any attempt at leading apart from love is like “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). A church leader with excellent leadership skills and qualities but not love is bound to fail (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
When leaders are lovers of God and people, their followers will likely be lovers of God and people.
If leaders are self-centered, critical, proud, angry and impersonal, the people will adopt these ugly inclinations.
The Scripture insists that leaders be examples of love. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” Love is vital to the local church and essential to its evangelistic witness to the world and spiritual growth for the true believers in Christ. Ephesians 4:15-16 therefore, command us to “15…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
Leading with love pleases our Lord. Let us grow our love for the Lord and others as we lead in our circle of influence. Love is indispensable to you as a leader and to your ministry.