Today’s culture affects a corrupting influence on true leadership. Leadership implies authority, and along with authority we enjoy perks, public stature, and the submission of those we lead. Those latter qualities often seduce the leader into an exaggerated sense of personal value, arrogance, and entitlement. What can be missed are the profound responsibilities leaders have, the stewardship for the mission and for those under the leader’s charge.
In an essay titled Leadership Is Stewardship Bill Peel writes, “We are all stewards of the resources, abilities and opportunities that God has entrusted to our care, and one day each one of us will be called to give an account for how we have managed what the Master has given us.”
Jesus’ divine stewardship is clearly portrayed in His prayer to the Father as recorded in John 17. In verse 4 we see His goal, His stewardship. “I glorified you on earth having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”
In verses 6, 8, 9, 12, and 18 Jesus cites the methods and means, His leadership and service. “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me…,” “For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them…,” I am praying for them…,” “While I was with them, I kept them in your name…,” and “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”
The great privilege of leadership is that Christ made us partners in His work. He made us co-stewards of His gospel. Our stewardship is lived out as leaders in the community; among family members and other relationships; within biblical fellowship groups; and through military roles on the flight line, in the motor pool, aboard sea craft, and in combat. In our stewardship we build teams, develop other leaders, establish standards of excellence, train, encourage, administrate, and discipline to serve God’s purposes. Perks of leadership abound but they cannot supplant our calling to His mission.
Including stewardship in our leader lexicon may put our responsibility and authority in proper balance. The goal of a Christ-like leader will remain Christ’s goals; the methods, means, and accompanying perks will then better honor Christ in practice.
OCF’s Mission: OCF engages military leaders in fellowship and growth to equip them for Christ-like service at the intersection of faith, family, and profession.