Are you a Boss or a Leader?

Dr. Phil: A couple months ago I came across a blog by Karl Vaters (to read the whole article for to : that encapsulated much of what we teach regarding leadership (and which I wrote about in our book, Mentoring Intelligence  – It would seem to me that if we had a generation of these kind of leaders, the long term impact of the church would be quite remarkable.

As we all know, the carnage of people used and abused by “Christian” leaders is unfortunately all too common place. Sadly, this is not only the case in your country, but in every country that we have every worked in over the last three decades. All of us are fallen souls in need of grace, and leaders are no different. Unless leaders allow God’s transformative power to change their values and perspective they will continue with the world’s pattern of leadership, which looks more like a boss and less like Jesus.

To illustrate this let me list the 12 points that Vaters offers in his blog of the difference between the world’s model and Jesus model:

  1. Leaders are servants. Bosses have servants
  2. Leaders share information. Bosses hoard it.
  3. Bosses emphasize tasks and profits. Leaders emphasize people and character.
  4. Bosses look out for themselves. Leaders look out for others.
  5. People want their boss’s position. They want their leader’s character.
  6. People want a leader in their lives. They want the boss off their backs.
  7. Bosses motivate from the outside. Leaders do it from the inside.
  8. People want a boss who’s easy on them. They want a leader who challenges them.
  9. Bosses hire and fire. Leaders train.
  10. Leaders are under authority. Bosses are in charge.
  11. People tolerate a boss. They love and respect a leader.
  12. Bosses demand respect. Leaders earn it.

 Sounds pretty good doesn’t it. . . and often very different than our own experience in the church. This is why we are committed to encouraging leaders who are committed to this values and want to grow in living them out in their lives and ministries. Many in positions of leadership have a “boss” mentality shaped by the culture and society in which they have lived their whole life. Spiritual transformation is necessary if they are be the kind of leader Jesus modelled. Only then will they be able and willing to mentor the next generation and be the kind of team leader that empowers others.

However, this transformation process with existing leaders takes time and the sad reality is that not all are willing to pay the price to give up the perks of a boss to become a servant. Our Ministry Coaching Network is a cohort of international leaders who are personally committed to these principles, are mentoring leaders with this same heart, and are then coaching other leaders to do the same.

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