Leadership is first and foremost a spiritual endeavor. Though the field of study of leadership is only a century old, the concept of leadership is rooted in the personhood of Yahweh and effectively practiced by Jesus two thousand years ago. Jesus’ final words to his followers were to go and make more followers. (Mt. 28:19) In other words, go and influence other people in the ways that Jesus had taught them. As Jesus has been the ideal example of leadership to follow, and his final mandate to exercise leadership, it is vital for his followers, the church, to exercise effective leadership to navigate the issues the church faces.
Unfortunately, the individuals who make up the church are people with the same fallen humanity issues as those outside of the church. This means that such things as personal agendas and politics play into decisions being made and relationships forged. The key is for the church to remember there is shared objective and goal given by Jesus, and that is to go and make new followers. As Larson (1989) points out, teams that fail allow something to replace the main goal, such as personal agendas and power issues. Scripture points out that without vision, calamity can happen, (Pr. 29:18) and churches without solid leadership are falling into disarray and ineffectiveness at an alarming rate, particularly in the United States where the influence of the church is diminishing. The missing element of ineffective churches is solid and ineffective leadership. Data has shown over and over again that effective leaders are needed to keep a church focused on the main goal of making followers (Larson, 2001) As churches focus on this goal, then other trivial issues remain trivial, which is where they should be.
Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: study Bible: English standard version (ESV text ed.). Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles.
Larson, C., & LaFasto, F. M. J. (1989). Teamwork: What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong (1 edition.). Newbury Park, Calif: SAGE Publications, Inc.