Choosing Low Leaders


Yesterday I had the honor of giving an address to about 200 Pastors and leaders here in Tanzania in the moments leading up their selection of 5 new top leaders. I was asked to challenge the leaders to make decisions led of Spirit, and not other motivations. As I prepared, I felt strongly to focus on some of the radical ideas I saw in Jesus instead of the famous 1 Tim and Titus lists of what you ought to be to lead. I think it would be brilliant if more focus was given to the radically different ideas about leadership that Jesus modeled. It is so obvious to me that culture and “world” have won the day on defining leadership. Makes me sad. What a missed opportunity for the church to show the way.


Here is how I encouraged them to select new leaders. Maybe you will also appreciate the thoughts.


Choose JESUS type leaders who…


  1. Know they are NOT in charge (or the head) and knows that JESUS IS! Jesus is the Author, perfecter and cornerstone! Seems Jesus modeled this well in looking always to Father.
  2. Are weak and broken, not strong. Paul got it! Jesus clearly got it! Pick leaders that are honest about their brokenness, not hiders. (There are 2 types of people on earth. Broken and showing it OR Broken and hiding it).
  3. Include, not exclude. As soon as it is about who is IN and who is OUT, we miss the point of the gospel. Not to mention, the unqualified people Jesus chose as his core. None were ordained, or even “saved” for that matter.
  4. Has a sending, not a following. A giver of people, not a collector. Who cares how many people are looking UP TO or AT the leader, I care about who is sent OUT from the leader to transform earth.
  5. Exercises power UNDER, not power OVER. Power over leads people 5 feet down to the floor. Power under can send them to space for the Kingdom!
  6. Are known as slaves of others, not leaders of others. We have over-emphasized leadership without a Biblical leg to stand on. We already have a King!