The authority that comes with your leadership can be used either for building up or tearing down.
Paul was in major conflict with the church in Corinth, but he did not leave because of the conflict, rather he continually reminded the Corinthian church that his leadership among them was always about helping them.
The Corinthians challenged Paul’s authority, and he had the most amazing response for them. He pointed out that he used the authority given to him by the Lord to build them up not to tear them down. (2 Cor. 10:8)
I think this is still an important lesson and reminder for leaders today. As a leader you have two kinds of authority. The authority that comes with your call by God to lead His people and the authority that comes from those who have asked you to be their leader.
How you use the authority given you will decide the effectiveness of your leadership.
Too many leaders use their authority to abuse and tear down those they lead for their own selfish gains.
There are those leaders who would use the “God card” on their followers to get their way when they are unable to get them on board to do what they want. They will say something like, “this is from the Lord and we are going to do it.”
This is how Peter Chao describes a leader who uses authority for selfish gains in an article at Leadership.com. “For some, prestige and power are more desirable than money. Satan thought it better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven! The desire to be master and commander turns an insecure person into a tyrant and despot. Such a leader’s agenda is paramount and no consideration is given to others’ needs and welfare. He exploits people and manipulates situations to fulfill his purposes. He can even provide spiritual justification for his self-aggrandizement. He directs people to do what he himself is unable or unwilling to do.”
There are times when God gives clear direction to the leader but that leader will not try to force it upon those they lead. They have confidence in God that in time the people will follow.
How do you use your authority? Do you build up rather than tear them down?
Lead from in front, do not ask your people to do what you are not willing to do yourself. If you are asking them to sacrifice their time or resources you better be willing to make the same also.
Model to your people what is to be humble, a good listener, always choosing to be gracious rather than judgmental. Always give people the benefit of the doubt until you can establish the facts. Nothing tears people down like passing judgment without getting the fact.
Leaders who use their authority to build-up lead from the premise that they are accountable first to God who gave them the authority in the first place and them to the people they serve.
If your leadership was challenged, could you respond like Paul and say, I used my authority to build you up and I am not ashamed of it?
Remember who gave you your authority to lead and use it to bring honor and glory to Him.
If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.