The energy generated by people working together is always greater than that of
people working alone.
As you may recall from past studies, Jesus is said to have three offices. He is a prophet,
and priest, and a king. The prophet speaks the word of God into our lives. The priest reconciles
us with God. The king is the one who governs our lives. As Christians we all receive ministries
and responsibilities that fall under one or more of these categories. It stands to reason since we
are called the body of Christ. When it comes to the prophet we have preaching, teaching
ministries. Concerning the priest we have the need to receive the ministry of mercy and grace to
come into right relation to the truth we receive. However, when it comes to the kingly ministry
office of governments we often find many inadequacies.
The kingly ministry speaks to the issue of leadership. Without it the church will suffer as will
any group of people. Too often people groups have attempted to fulfill God’s will based upon
teaching and grace without leadership. When that happens the teaching itself is often called into
question. Or the lives of the people of the church are challenged. We somehow have the
unrealistic expectation that if people know Jesus well enough then the ministry of the
church will automatically go smooth, so, “let’s all get right with Jesus.” But God has not
intended that the church should function without the fulness of Jesus’ offices in operation. This
course is given to help establish what biblical leadership is all about and how it should function
Actually, the roles of the prophet, priest and king also define certain leadership styles that
are needed in a church in different situations. Can you identify when the different types of
emphasis are needed?
A pastor can not do all three, but he can delegate them. But he can not guarantee
that they are all carried out.
A while back you were given some teaching on the church and church government. That
in itself is a part of what leadership is about. This set of lessons is more about what leadership
itself is, how it functions effectively, and what the different leadership styles are.
We begin with some definitions of leadership. How would you define it?
Some people think that leadership is merely something or someone we follow. “We must
follow because of the title of ‘leader’ that they have. But that is not the real world. Someone
said that leadership is the ability to bring people toward a specific goal, and when they get
there they think that they did it themselves. It is the increase/decrease principle. It says that
leaders do not exist for themselves but for others. People do not exist to support the leader, but
the leader exists to support the people.
Leadership involves two basic things - relationships and tasks. Because this is so a
little bit of thought will reveal that since there are varying abilities in groups to complete a task
and to get along with each other that different styles or methods of leadership are necessary in
different situations. Some groups may have a great bond of friendship among them but have
little ability to accomplish anything. Others may be the other way around - great ability but also
great dissension. Then there are groups that have both abilities and other groups that have
neither the ability to get along or the ability to do a job.
Just as leadership involves both relationships and tasks, so are there qualities that must be
considered in the leader. There are the personal characteristics of personality types, moral
uprightness, relationship skills and task oriented abilities. Insecure leaders and those with
questionable moral qualities are going to have difficulty leading for the sake of others instead of
for themselves. Leaders whose personality tends towards motivational gifts like mercy,
giving and serving may be strong in relationships and weak in tasks. Those with high task
oriented skills may be weak in relationships.
The last two paragraphs reveal that there are many ways that the wrong leadership may
keep a group from accomplishing its goals. Without the ability to understand the dynamics
involved a lot of people can needlessly get hurt. There must be a way to measure and correct the
link between leaders and the groups they lead. If there is not then great harm can come to the
cause of the group, in this case the Church.
Because I am going from memory in writing this course the names of the different
leadership styles may not match what you have learned or will learn. But the names are not
really important. The principles are important. The different types of leaders come from a
mixture of the four different types of groups and from the personal characteristics of leadership.
Task Oriented leader - This leader is one who knows how to accomplish the goals of
the group, and he will be involved in doing most or all of the activities. This type of leadership is
needed when a group is new and mostly untrained in how to do something. Most of this leaders
involvement will be in establishing the ability to complete a task.
Person Oriented leader - This leader is one who concentrates on keeping the
relationships of a group intact. This group is more able than willing to work.
Total Involvement Leader - This leader is one who focuses fully on both tasks and
Passive Involvement Leader - This leader is one who focuses little on either task or
Martyr Leader - This is a leader who attempts to lead by making everyone else feel
sorry for them. He uses guilt to motivate people regardless of what the group’s need is.
Performance Oriented Leader - This leader does all of the work and is basically unable
to relate to the job of leadership.
Everyone will tend to be like one of the leadership styles. Leaders tend to be either more
relationship oriented, task oriented or live in one of the extremes of leadership that are never
appropriate. The best leader is the one who knows how to evaluate the group he is leading and
switches styles as is necessary for the group.
Not changing leadership styles to fit the growth of the group can have negative
effects on the group. In the beginning the task oriented leader may be just what a group needs.
However, after the group grows in ability they need different leadership. If the leader treats them
like they still know nothing then the group will back off, quit, get mad or worse. A good leader
will be involved enough to know where the group is at and when to help and when not to.
Therefore it is important for the leader not only to know what style the group needs but to be
involved enough to know what they need.
For example, a passively involved task/relation leader is one who has said, “You know
your jobs, but if you have trouble I will be here to assist you.” He keeps a close eye on things,
and is ready to assist also in relationships if he sees problems on the horizon.
Each group is different in what type of leadership is needed and how that leadership must
adapt. The goal if for the group to be able to handle both the task and the relationships with only
limited guidance from the leadership. A mature group will not ask the leader what it should
be doing so that they can do it. They have learned their roles and how to be sensitive to
Some people mistake leadership for management. Leadership is responsible to see
that any given task is accomplished and that all of the resources are there. Management is
not responsible for this. Management administrates the goals of leadership. It has delegated
responsibilities and limited authority. It’s authority is only to the degree of its delegated
responsibility. Leadership gives the oversight necessary while it allows each gifted element to
A good word for what we are doing is stewardship - the management of one’s time,
talents, and abilities and resources as someone who is accountable to his master.
Having looked at a basic overview of what leadership is called to do, what are some
qualities that you see as essential in leadership?
Leadership can seldom run things by the book. Difficulties and conflicts continually
occur that challenge everything we have learned and all that we stand for. Because of this there
are some basic skills needed and some basic character traits. Can you think of some in each
Group evaluation. Does the group know what the task is? Do they know how to
accomplish it? Do they know what the leader expects? Do they get along well? How do they
handle challenges? Do they know what the procedure is for difficulties?
We must understand the tensions and the gifts between the prophet, priest, and
The prophet & priest create readiness, and the king facilitates ability.
Jesus exhibited different leadership styles in different situations. Ie - when the Pharisees
brought an adulterous woman to Him, when He was alone with the woman, when He fed the
5,000, & when He cleansed the temple.
A leader must have 2 things:
*The ability to function in various leadership styles.
*The ability to know which leadership styles is needed.
Any groups ability and willingness to carry out a goal or vision are:
*The Christlike character and maturity of the group
*Their developed gifting - the ability and commitment to carry out these skills
A groups maturity determines its leadership needs.
Maturity includes the ability to set high but attainable goals,
willingness and ability to take responsibility,
training and experience of those involved.