Leadership Lessons from St. Paul


In his letter to the church at Ephesus, St. Paul lays out the various leadership roles in the Church.  He says that “some will prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.”  He goes on to say that these positions exists for the purpose of “equipping the saints” that is, the people of God.  This passage, from the 4th chapter, lay out the leadership roles in the church the he calls gifts, they are gifts given by the Holy Spirit to those whom God has called to leadership.

I have said this in the past, the Orthodox Church is not simply another denomination or a religion it is, and it has to be, a lifestyle and the beliefs of the faith have to permeate ones entire life and this especially true for leaders.  If someone is not living the faith they will not be an effective leader for followers model the leaders.  You want to change your followers that change begins with yourself.

So these are the leaders but what values should these leaders have?

  1. Courage

The Church requires leaders, at all levels, to have courage.  This is the courage to stand for what is right and not for what is popular.  The Church, thorough her leaders, needs to influence society not the other way around.  We have far too many leaders who are all about being popular but popularity is not what it is all about.  Jesus did not come to win a popularity contest He came to transform the world and He did this with the courage of His convictions and everything He did and everything He taught came from that.

  1. High Standards

This flow comes from the previous value and it means that leaders hold to the standard and are not willing to easily compromise.  Sometimes compromise will be necessary but this change should not come easy and it should only come after long study and prayer.  We do not change with the direction of the wind.  Consistency in leadership and belief is what people need.  Your followers want to know what you stand for not only when things are going well but in times that are difficult.  Just like with the previous value, we have far too many leaders who are willing to compromise to make life easy on them, it is not about the easy road it is about the narrow, less taken road.

  1. Compassion

Leaders, especially those called to leadership in the Church, need to be servant leaders.  Church leadership should not put themselves above those they lead.  Church leaders exists to serve those they lead not the other way around and Jesus is the prime example of this because He came to “serve and not to be served.”  Leaders should not seek the prime seat or to get something out of being the leader, but the leader needs to set the example by showing compassion for those around them that they seek to serve.

  1. Commitment

There is no better example of this then “let your yes be yes and your no be no.”  Leaders have to not only be committed to those they serve but to the organization they serve.  The leader has to set the example of what it means to be a church member and will be held to a much higher standard than those who follow.  If you wish to be a leader then you have to be willing to give 110% of yourself to the Church.  The Book of Revelation tells us that the lukewarm will be “spewed forth from the mouth of God.”  We have far too many lukewarm leaders in the Church what we need are dedicated men and women who are willing to give their lives for the Church and for those they follow, this is the essence of commitment and is what is necessary now more than ever.

True leadership is all about transforming the lives of people and investing in them and their lives.  The Church needs leaders, both clergy and lay, whose only motivation is for that, transformation of people’s lives.

error: Content is protected !!