When people in evangelical circles today think of biblical leadership many qualities, roles, issues, and activities come to their minds such as charismatic personality, compassionate, pastor, elder, deacon, small group leader, egalitarian, complimentarian, missional, ministry, spiritual gifts, ordination, and servant leadership. Is there a place for all of these things in defining a biblical and practical philosophy of leadership? Are some of them based on preferences, power, and performance?
In order to define and distinguish biblical leadership I will list and discuss five essential components and concepts that I have found to be effective in my own life and ministry.
These components include:
2. Shepherd leadership
3. Servant leadership
4. Shared leadership
5. Living a lifestyle of shalom.
Today I will discuss submission.
First, in order to engage in biblical leadership there must be submission to God, the Bible, and a biblical leadership structure. Submission comes from knowing the wisdom that comes from heaven that is peace-loving, considerate, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (Ja. 3:17). The way this wisdom is shown is through showing your “good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (Ja. 3:13). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). In short, submission comes from a personal relationship with God and a lifestyle of constant surrender to him. One way we come to know God is by the special revelation of his inspired, infallible word, the Bible. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). In other words, this means that the Bible is our measuring stick of how God wants us to live our lives in relationship and obedience when we follow him. I believe the best example we must look to is Jesus and how he submitted himself to the Father’s will even though it cost him his life (Mk. 14:36; Heb. 12:3). In addition to submission to God and his word, I will take into consideration the leader’s submission to a biblical leadership structure. All believers, and especially leaders, are to be in submission to these people in authority. You may ask, what do you mean by a biblical leadership structure? A biblical leadership structure, in relation to a local church, is the governing body of the church. What determines if the governing body is following a biblical pattern for leadership differs between pastors, churches, and denominations’ interpretations of how churches should be run. Some advocate for a biblically qualified, pastoral, all-male eldership, while others such as Presbyterians operate out of sessions, presbyteries, synods, and a general assembly and Anglicans use an Episcopal model which includes bishops, clergy, and a diocese.