It is not possible to lead the way God wants unless we are loving the people we are leading. The leadership given by Paul and the rest of the Apostles was both personal and intimate. It was that of mothers and fathers. Their letters are not those of disinterested managers or bosses or lords who were interested in the health of their organization, but of fathers who were interested in the health of their family and all its members. Their leadership was primarily relational, not positional. Therefore, our leadership should not be based in having an office or title, but on having and building influence though loving relationships with people. God has designed leadership in the Church to be driven by the loving relationship the elders has with the people, and the loving relationship the people have for their elders.
In fact, many of the common problems and challenges in churches today stem from the fact that pastors, elders, and other people in leadership fail to see this as the kind of leadership that God designed to work in the church.
When we see someone who is a successful leader in their business there is a strong temptation to put him or her into positions of leadership in the church. But just because a person is successful in one does not mean that person will be successful in the other. Paul did not say, “if a person cannot manage their business how can he take care of God’s church?” He said, If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church? A person can be great at work and horrible at home. And it is leadership in the home as a husband and a father that Paul says is essential to healthy leadership in the church. That is what we need to look for.