An evangelical leader who read my doctoral proposal and encouraged me in my research was Dr. John Stott. 27th July, 2011 will remain a heavy and red-letter day in my life. Uncle John went to be with His Lord! I heard the news Wednesday noon; I was sharing his work with a colleague, preparing to teach tonight’s Bible Study from his last book Radical Disciple and finishing 2Peter for SABCommentary related to his Langham trust!
When I returned to my teaching and ministry in India, he prayed with me and exhorted me to “stick to the Scriptures and be loyal and faithful to the Spirit of Christ”. Many of us involved in missions in the ‘developing world’ know leadership is better caught than taught. John Stott modeled leadership.
There is no shortage of material and views on effective leadership – its role and vision, the need and criteria for it, the demands on it, etc… The truism “everything rises or falls on leadership” is always pertinent and crucial for managerial success, irrespective of the field or activity involved, be it international wars, national trade or the well-being of the family.
Being an effective “biblical” leader has to do with one’s willingness and ability to be led by the Word and the Spirit maintaining confidence in God. He or she will also demonstrate pastoral integrity in leading God’s people. For this, three ingredients seem indispensable (1) Vulnerability: being true to God although liable to assaults, (2) Trust: bold reliance on the capabilities of others and (3) Example: after seeing the vision and stating the mission clearly, Christlike leaders must set the tone. Without a servant’s heart, leaders can be more of a hindrance than a help in mentoring others and building God’s kingdom.