4 Important Leadership Questions

February 16, 2013

I recently published a new book, Authority: The Leader’s Call to Serve,  and I wanted to share four of the important leadership questions addressed in the book.

The answers to these leadership questions include excerpts from the book.

1. How can leaders faithfully steward the authority they’ve been given?

We must be able to see ourselves as both servant and leader. Some days we’re taking out trash; other days we’re in charge of the most critical project of the year.

The struggle is that we want the glory, praise, and attention that come from being in charge. The human craving for recognition and power is deep and unquenchable, an idol of our hearts. However, there is hope that we can learn to lead and serve without being controlled by this longing. And this hope is rooted in Jesus and an understanding of the biblical foundations of authority.

Since we are made in the image and likeness of God, we should reflect God’s character through our leadership. Leaders should lead like the Trinity by mirroring God’s authority, humility, love, and generosity, for his glory and not their own.”

2. What does a leadership team look like that is modeled after the Trinity?

     1. The team acknowledges authority.

“A chain of command exists in the Godhead, and it should within an organization as well. Practically, this means that an organization is not a democracy. Within the leadership of an organization, authority and submission must be carefully taught and practiced.”

     2. It exists under authority.

“Because God himself models submission, all Christians are universally called to submit to authority. As a leader, the thought of submitting to others can be challenging, but a leader who submits to no one is dangerous.”

     3. The leadership team is humble.

“The members of the Trinity are continually serving in humility and seeking to share each other’s glory. When leaders pursue humility, they invite the grace and favor of God.”

     4. It is loving and generous.

“A theology and lifestyle of generosity is conspicuously absent in most organizations. A generous God should inspire generous leadership, which in turn inspires a generous organization.”

     5. It exists to glorify God.

“Giving the credit to the one who truly deserves it is a powerful statement. When our focus is on the glory of someone other than ourselves, a world full of people focused on themselves will begin to take notice.”

3. What types of authority are there and how do they interact?

In answer to this leadership question, here are twelve types I have seen over the years:

  1. Spiritual leadership authority
  2. Prophetic authority
  3. Founder authority
  4. Tenured authority
  5. Legal-governing authority
  6. Relational authority
  7. Organizational-position authority
  8. Voting authority
  9. Ownership authority
  10. Results authority
  11. Expert authority
  12. Academic authority

For more on how these types of authority interact, check out my blog post: The Twelve Types of Authority.

4. How are we to respond to those in authority over us?

            “I’ve talked with many employers, Christian and non-Christian alike, and sadly Christians are sometimes considered the worst employees. This shouldn’t be the case. It speaks to a failure to understand authority. Two common mistakes arise among Christians:

     1.     I work for a non-Christian; I can’t submit to what they say.

Christian or not, your boss is in authority over you, and God has appointed him or her as your boss. Submission is not an option; it is a command of God from Scripture.

     2.     I work for a Christian; they’ll give me grace.

As a Christian working for a Christian, we sometimes fall into the trap of expecting grace first and performance second. Receiving grace and abusing grace are two very different things. If anything, our shared faith calls for a higher level of commitment.

This third way of thinking is more reflective of a biblical view of authority:

     3.     I’ll dedicate myself to grace-filled, faithful hard work.

The Gospel calls us to work hard for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). This means relying on grace, which pushes and challenges us to a faithfulness and work ethic that can only come through grace.”

You can find more answers to critical leadership questions addressed in my book, Authority: The Leader’s Call to Serve – available for $2.99 on Amazon.


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