Leadership: Extended Influence or Faithfulness?
Another common measure of leadership is influence. Leaders lead by influencing others. Some leaders lead by default because their position dictates it, but real leadership is leading others when position does not dictate it. Others follow because they desire to go the direction the leader leads.
But there is a trap in this. Because sometimes we can confuse leadership for popularity or growth. The logic on the surface makes sense. If a leader leads and leads well, others will follow and growth will take place. But this can be misleading, because another element of leadership is leading with the right goals and values. Sometimes faithfulness in this area will get in the way of growth, particularly in contexts where people like short cuts rather than the real deal. One need only think of the example of the prophets or of Jesus to realize that leadership does not always translate into popularity or expanding influence.
So in the end leadership is about the right kind of influence, an influence that reflects faithfulness to God and his ways. That is what is central to biblically rooted leadership.