A central idea in the Kingdom parable of the talents (Matthew 25:10-30) is the expectation that God given resources are to be used and multiplied. However, he was not at all pleased with the servant who had not grown what had been given in to his care. Whereas, he rewarded the servants who had multiplied what had been entrusted to them. We recognise this as good stewardship. Significantly, studies show that it is the quality of leadership in an organisation that directly drives the quality of its stewardship.
Does this seem like impractical theological theory? Or, perhaps, it seems that the work is just too important to waste resources on activities that divert attention from the main goal. Maybe it’s all secular business school hocus pocus for which there is no room in Kingdom service.
Jesus had much to say and teach about the practicalities of leadership In practical terms growing Christ-like, servant hearted leadership skills generates significant benefits which further the work of the Kingdom. So what are they?
In Christian organisations God calls us to be good stewards of all our resources, especially the people with whom we have been entrusted. Leadership is about enabling those people to achieve their full potential, not only to achieve but exceed their goals in God’s Kingdom service. This is good stewardship. Developing leadership excellence leads to the fulfilment of individual and organisational potential.
Growing Christ-centred leaders is an investment in great stewardship.
People who have expertise and skill in the technical and operational aspects of an organisation naturally rise to positions of leadership. But leadership is about much more, so it requires an additional, new and different skill set.
True leadership, modelled on Christ, is not about position, it is about role and it emerges from a Christ-like servant heart that understands how to enable others to be the best they can be in God’s service. This leadership skill set is the critical factor that allows leaders, the people they lead and their organisation to achieve great outcomes.
Growing Christ-centred leaders is an investment in achieving great outcomes.
Alas, it is sadly all too easy to come across Christian organisations with a reputation for not reflecting the character of Christ as they ought. The culture of any organisation is built on the character and style of its leaders. Leaders who are nurtured and grown to lead in a way modelled on Jesus, create a vital and vigorous organisation which enjoys a reputation for being Christ-like.
Good reputation is important, not only does it honour God but it correlates with effectiveness, high productivity, easy recruitment and low staff churn.
Growing Christ-centred leaders is an investment in the witness of a great, God honouring reputation.
6 More Reasons Why Growing Good Leadership is Growing Good Stewardship
A Christ-focussed organisation
The quality and character of its leaders defines the quality and character of an organisation. There are two possibilities as to the source of this character: the world or Christ.
Leadership styles based on secular models, which is the default unless specific steps are taken, will lead to an organisation with a worldly character. Leadership styles that emerge from obedience to Christ’s teaching, and which reflect his nature, will be distinctly Christ-like in character. As with every aspect of the Christian walk developing Christ-likeness takes prayerful effort. If becoming more Christ-like alone is not enough, such a character will significantly enhance an organisation’s reputation amongst its peers.
A highly committed and engaged staff
Study upon study shows that the best performing organisations enjoy the very highest levels of staff commitment, the lowest levels of toxic attitudes and very high levels of staff satisfaction. They show that this results only from the highest quality of leadership that is focused on enabling others to achieve their best. Leadership born from a character centred on Christ’s servant heart is a leadership style of the highest quality.
Creativity and vigour
Organisations which have the highest quality of leadership and a staff who delight in achieving their best, are vibrant and vigorous. They are creative and innovative as they find better and more effective ways of working and using their resources. They excel in resolving difficult issues and challenges which would otherwise limit achievement.
Growing high quality people
Christ-centred servant leaders are concerned to enable those whom they lead to achieve their full potential in Kingdom service. Consequently they invest in the quality of their people by growing their skills, experience, confidence and wisdom. Studies show that high quality people with high levels of staff satisfaction lead directly to the highest quality outcomes for the organisation.
Extending organisational capacity
The high levels of commitment, job satisfaction, vigour, creativity and quality, that emerge under exemplary leadership, enable organisations to work smarter and more efficiently, finding more effective ways of using often limited money and resources. As a result, they will increase their organisation’s capacity because they are able to find ways of achieving more with the limited resources available.
Highly effective performance
As a direct result of exemplary servant leadership, exhibiting a character centred on Christ’s servant heart, an organisation will not only reflect Christ’s character more brightly but it will be highly effective and able to achieve more. Studies show that similar organisations massively outperform their peers on key staff, operational and financial measures.
How can you rise to the challenge of great stewardship,
great outcomes and great reputation for your organisation?
Growing the Servant Heart
Growing the Servant Heart is a leadership development curriculum designed to help you do just that. Rooted in the Bible, and practical experience, it seeks to draw out and apply the leadership principles taught and modelled by
Growing the Servant Heart is available as an on-line programme which is accessible free of charge. This includes some 14 hours of video tutorial plus exercises to reinforce learning. It can also be delivered in classroom style modules tailored to your organisation’s needs and capacity.
If you want to develop your organisation’s leadership skills, you can learn more about Growing the Servant Heart at http://academy.christian-leadership.org/courses/growing-the-servant-heart-gtsh
You can enquire about Growing the Servant Heart by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us on +44 (0)1543 878656.
Image: np&djjewell Flickr.com Creative Commons Licence