A Quick Character Test for Christian Leaders

Christian leader, I invite you to take this test as you begin this week. Consider these characteristics of Christian leadership, and then answer the accompanying question for yourself.

  1. Christian leaders are sinners before we’re leaders. We’re all fallen men and women destined for hell apart from the grace of God. That means that we Christian leaders have no grounds for ego.
  • Do I think of myself as a leader before I seriously think about my sinfulness? 
  1. Christian leaders are not in charge. That sounds contradictory, but that’s one reason Christian leadership is unique. We serve alongside others and are accountable to them, but the churches we lead are not ours. God is in charge. Period.
  • Do I so see myself in charge that I consider too little the truth that the church belongs to Christ? 
  1. Christian leaders are leading toward a throne that is not ours. The world’s leaders strive for their own kingdom; Christian leaders seek a kingdom we do not build. We lead so the name of another—Jesus—is magnified, and our name is forgotten.  
  • Am I living for my recognition or Jesus’ recognition?
  1. Christian leaders lead first from our homes. The Bible does not allow us to claim to be leaders in any place if we aren’t first leading well in our homes.
  • Would my family say I’m leading first in my home?
  1. Christian leaders do not dichotomize character and competency. A Christlike character is non-negotiable for leaders who call themselves “Christian,” and competency matters because we must do all for the glory of God.
  • How Christlike is my character, and do I glorify God by my competency?
  1. Christian leaders lead from our knees. Prayer is a cry for relationship with God and an expression of dependence on Him. Prayer says, “I seriously can’t lead without Your help.”
  • Based on my prayer life, do I lead from my dependence or my independence?
  1. Christian leaders lead so others can do greater things than we do. Our calling is to serve God and others so that others can spread the gospel and extend God’s kingdom beyond what we’ve done. His glory is the goal—not ours.
  • Am I okay with others doing greater things that I’ve done? 
  1. Christian leaders lead out of weakness, not out of strength. God reduces our strength when we’d claim the glory (Judg. 7) and gives us thorns to keep us humble (2 Cor. 12). In our profound weakness, God is our strength.
  • Do I lead out of my strength or my weakness?
  1. Christian leaders are willing to die for the cause. That’s because the cause is not about us; it’s about giving ourselves up for the sake of Christ. 
  • Am I willing to die if that’s the cost I must pay as a Christian leader? 
  1. Christian leaders work for reward beyond this world. The world’s leaders may work for dollars and stuff, but we work for rewards received in eternity. In fact, we work for rewards we’ll give back to the Redeemer who saved us. 
  • Am I seeking rewards and recognition in this world or the next? 

Readers, please pray that I will be a Christ-honoring leader. Let us know how we might pray for you, too.


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