Archives For gracious leadership

I’ve done a lot of reflecting recently on my past years in leadership when I worked with a multi-cultural international team overseeing a missions campus.

I am still haunted by several poor decisions we made.

These are clearly seen in hindsight, but in the midst of busy schedules and deadlines, often go unnoticed until it is too late.

When you are on the outside, it is much easier to work at identifying ungracious culture. We excel at pointing the finger or identifying dysfunction.

But when you are engaged in an organization in the day to day, I’ve found it hard to spot or react to in the moment until you are carried downstream by it, only becoming enlightened in retrospect.

This type of a culture manifests itself in multiple ways:

  • Working around leaders rather than confronting or dealing with issues head on.

On Leadership and Mark Driscoll

September 24, 2014

This is not a Mark Driscoll bashing post.

I applaud Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill for what they have done in a location the church has not had a lot of success, Seattle. I do not agree with everything he has taught, especially his view on women and marriage, but love that he and his team are gospel preachers. I honor this work. His work has been especially powerful to a previously unreached demographic, young men; or “boys who shave” as Driscoll calls them. Seattle has seen tremendous growth in the gospel and many churches are thriving. I attribute a lot of this to Driscoll and Mars Hill.

With leadership, we always must be on the lookout for things we can learn from the successes and failures of our own teams, as well as others.

In the age of celebrity pastors such as Driscoll, sometimes their mistakes are highly publicized.

A Legacy Mindset

August 25, 2014

“Humility has to be a value to learn and increase your influence.”

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Summit. Bill Hybels gave the opening talk. This was my first time hearing Bill and he had a lot of great information for gracious leaders.

Bill pointed out that humility enables us to learn from each other.

He went on to speak about great leadership being by definition relentlessly developmental. This would be both personally, but especially developing the next generation.

Hybels then turned to a look at John 10, comparing short-term (hireling leaders) versus long-term (owners).

John 10:11-13
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and qI lay down my life for the sheep.”

The Bible is full of leadership traits and characteristics. Many of these are not applied.

We all know of countless examples where leaders had a love of money, did not walk in sexual fidelity, or raise those dreaded “PK’s” (pastor’s kids, indicating they have issues in their family).

None of us apply all the leadership principles all the time. We are not perfect people.

But, are their some traits which we flat overlook?

I’d like to propose the two of the most overlooked leadership traits are found in a list of characteristics of overseers and deacons in 1 Timothy 3.

1. Gentleness (1 Tim. 3:3)
You will not find this in most leadership books on the market. Many consider gentleness to be weak while leaders are meant strong. If you think this is the perspective in modern times, it was much, much more in the male-dominated culture of the first century.

Delegation With Trust

June 28, 2014

We’ve all experienced the dreaded dirty delegation.

We are given a task, but then the supervisor micro-manages our every move, never really releasing us to do the job. We end up watching them do it and walk away feeling unsatisfied.

Why didn’t they just do it themselves?

We feel a lack of trust.

No one wants to be on the receiving end of delegation with strings attached. Unfortunately, we may have been on the giving end of it as well.

Gracious, trusting leadership is not the corporate norm. Even in churches or the non-profit world, it is common for the charismatic leader to have everything flow through them.

Turnover can be high because people feel like minions doing the king’s bidding rather than a trusted, integral part of the team.


By Chris Sardegna