Relational LeadershipLESSON 1 - RELATIONAL LEADERSHIP
There are two common beliefs about what it means to be a leader.
- POSITIONAL LEADERSHIP – This is the belief that whoever chairs the meeting is the leader. The position is seen as a place of power.
- RELATIONAL LEADERSHIP – This is the belief that leadership is influence. The relationships which bring influence on other people’s behavior is seen as leadership.
Christian leadership is a loving relationship between a leader and a follower.
LEADERSHIP IS INFLUENCE
Relational leaders enter into a relationship with another person to influence their behavior, values or attitudes. Leadership is about relationships that make a difference.
RELATIONAL LEADERS ARE SERVANTS
“Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and a brother of James.” Jude v 1
How would you introduce yourself if your brother was pastor of the Jerusalem church and your half-brother was the Savior of the world. Jude simply says that he is a “slave of Jesus Christ.” He says nothing about his legitimate status as a “brother of the LORD.” Instead he calls himself a servant and brother of James.
RELATIONAL LEADERS FOCUS ON THEIR FOLLOWERS
“To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.” Jude v 2 Jude immediately stops talking about himself and moves his attention to his followers. Leadership is about serving others.
RELATIONAL LEADERS help their FOLLOWERS ANSWER THREE BIG QUESTIONS
Who am I? This question deals with the issue of IDENITY.
Why am I here? This question deals with the issue of MEANING.
Will I be here tomorrow? This deals with the issue of SURVIVAL.
The three temptations of leadership that seek to draw us away from God are Relevance, Popularity, and Power. Only a strong relationship with Jesus Christ will give us victory over these temptations. The first thing a potter does when he places clay on his wheel is to center it. If the clay is not properly centered on the wheel then the vessel will be marred. As Christian leaders, if our lives are not centered on Jesus Christ the future of our leadership will be destroyed.
THE ISSUE OF IDENTITY
“To those who are called.” God calls us because He loves us. Our value is determined by the fact that God loves us. Who am I? I am the person who is loved and called by God. Our identity is not found in our position. It is found in our relationship with God.
THE ISSUE OF MEANING
“Sanctified by God the Father.” We have been chosen and set apart by God to be His servants. Why am I here? We are here because God has called us and set us apart to be servants. Spiritual leadership is about God, not about us.
THE ISSUE OF SURVIVAL
“Preserved in Jesus Christ.” In Jesus Christ we have eternal life. The spiritual leader thinks in terms of eternity. Tomorrow pales in significance with eternity. Will I be here tomorrow? It is not important whether we will be here tomorrow because we are kept by God.
RELATIONAL LEADERSHIP IS FRUITFUL
Leadership is not about getting people to obey us. Leadership is about empowering others to fulfill their gifts and ministry. “Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” Jude v 2 Since leadership is influence; the potential for leadership is what others see in you. Knowledge is power, personal integrity is power, and confident vision is power. Relational leaders choose to use their power to empower others.
MERCY – We have compassion and show mercy. In a world of harshness we care about others.
PEACE – We are peacemakers and bring healing. In a world of conflict we bring peace.
LOVE – We are unselfish because we love people. In a world of selfishness we consider others before ourselves. Our choice to empower others gives us godly influence in the lives of other people.
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About the Author: Dr. Dale Yerton
Dr. Yerton serves as an overseer of a network of churches across the world. What began as a network of six church groups representing 500 churches in Mexico has grown into an international ministry.
He and Evelyn, his wife over fifty years, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They have two daughters: Lora–married to the Rev. Vince Farrell, pastors of Journey Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky–and Kari—also of Hopkinsville–and are the proud grandparents of Emma and Bennett Farrell.