Following the Blind

It’s one thing when the blind lead the blind, but another entirely when those with sight willingly follow them.

I recently read a Christian article about Christian leadership in Christian churches. The author offered five keys to leadership but did not mention the Bible, Jesus, faith, or divine calling to leadership.

Restating standard advice from corporate America, the article omitted any mention of spiritual qualifications or Christian maturity. Neither 1 Timothy 3 nor Titus 1—nor a trace of their wisdom—appeared in the article.

From corporate America, I expect this. The world’s model reflects the world’s ideal: decisiveness, vision, self-sufficiency, and a firm handshake—mixed with equal parts confidence and grit—make for a surefire winner.

But Christian leadership does not fit the world’s model. Humble, self-sacrificing, other-oriented, and gentle, Christian leadership doesn’t look much like leadership in the eyes of the world. None of God’s leaders assert themselves. Instead, God calls. God equips. Usually He does so by driving the prospective leader through deserts and wilderness and drought and hunger and hardship and want, burning away the dross and producing the likeness of Christ. It is a spiritual process that defies the world’s expectations. It rarely follows neat steps, and the leader is not in control. God is.

Christ calls and prepares His leaders, and tells His Church in the Scripture how to identify them. A Christian leader experiences forgiveness and extends grace. A Christian leader believes the Gospel. A Christian leader, above all, follows Christ in humility and repentance, and displays—however imperfectly—something of His character and heart.

If you’re a leader in your church and you follow the leadership advice the world gives, you might become a competent CEO but you’ll be terrible elder.

And that makes sense because you’ll be following the blind.

Corporate America only cultivates blind men, and blind men have no business leading Jesus’ Church.

And the Church has no business following them.

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