Torch, Spring 2000

T 4 Torch by Dr. Sharon G. Johnson There may never have been a time when the need for leadership was greater. With increasing speed the mantle of leadership is passing to a new generation. Many wonder whether the new generation of leaders has the character and vision to carry the burdens that will be demanded in a socially diverse, technologically sophisticated world. Complex questions demand thoughtful answers. Difficult pressures and problems test depth of character. Great promise brings great peril. Matthew 5:3-7 speaks with distinctive force to those Christians who are called to be leaders. In these verses, we discover four leadership principles unique to those who seek to lead from a Christian perspective. Matt. 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Leaders who have an impact for Christ are humbly dependent on God’s power. To be “poor in spirit” is to acknowledge our own inability to have significant spiritual impact apart from God’s provision. A poor person knows he or she cannot afford anything and must depend on someone else’s generosity. One of the dangerous allures of leadership is being surrounded by worldly position, power, and possessions. People look to leaders for decisions and permission. They expect leaders to have the answers and the authority to fix their problems. Consequently, those in leadership positions may begin to rely on their own competence, becoming self-absorbed, self-dependent, and self- centered.