Dr. Jack L. Arnold








I.                              Definitions of Leadership

A.         “Leadership is influence, the ability of one person to influence others.”  (J. Oswald Sanders).

B.         “Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.”  (Bernard Montgomery)

C.         “A leader is a man who knows the road, who can keep ahead, and who pulls others after him.”  (John Mott).

D.         “A leader is one who knows where he is going and can take others with him.”  (Howard Hendricks).

E.          “A leader is one who guides activities of others and who himself acts and performs to bring these activities about.”  (Ted Engstrom).

F.          “A leader is a person who influences people to accomplish a purpose.”  (Unknown)

G.         “A leader is one who knows how to move a group of people from point A to point B with the least amount of friction and the most amount of joy.”  (Jack Arnold).


II.                           Leaders Are Born, Gifted and Made

A.         Some men and women are born with the natural talent to lead.  This ability is given to both saved and unsaved in common grace.  This explains how some men and women have been great leaders even though they weren’t Christians.  Unsaved leaders operate on a different world and life view than does the Christian, a view which is generally self-centered and self-glorifying.  If one does not have the natural talent to be a leader he/she will not be effective in leadership.

B.         Some Christian men and women are given a special gift of leadership from God (Rom. 12:6-8).  This gift was given at the moment of salvation and must be developed as must all gifts.  One may not have natural ability but may be given supernatural ability to lead.  Those who are given natural talents and a supernatural gift to lead make very good leaders in the visible church.

C.         Those who have natural talent and a supernatural gift to lead must develop those gifts, so it is right to say that leaders are made as well as born and gifted that way (1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6).  Leadership skills can be developed.  The gift of leadership may be used in the flesh (human effort) or brought under the control of the Spirit so as to be God-directed (Eph. 5:18).  True leaders rise to the top but without leadership skills and Holy Spirit control, gifts are miss-used and abused.

D.         Not everyone is a leader.  In fact, most people are followers who are looking for leaders to follow.  If everyone was a leader, there would be no need for followers.

E.          There are obviously degrees of leadership.  Some are more gifted by God than others are (God-given).  Others have taken their average gifts and developed them to the maximum through faithfulness, discipline and perseverance (man-driven).


III.                       Leaders and Managers

A.         Leaders have vision and managers carry out a vision.

B.         Managers are people who do things right.  Leaders are people who do the right things.

C.         Leaders are goal and people-oriented and managers are organizational and result-oriented.

D.         A leader provides vision.  A manager acts to accomplish the vision.

E.          A leader deals with intangibles (ideas).  A manager deals with tangibles (facts).

F.          A leader provides directions.  A manager is concerned about control.

G.         A leader thrives on finding opportunities (looks forward).  A manager succeeds on accomplishments (looks at the job at hand).

H.         NOTE:  A good leader must be a good manager, but a good manager may not be a good leader.


IV.                       The Need for Leadership (Prov. 29:18)

A.         People need a vision (revelation).  They need to know where they are going because they don’t know.

B.         People “cast off restraint” (are unrestrained).  Literally this means, “made naked, stripped of their honor and defenses, without purpose, no hope, confused, destroyed.”

C.         People need leaders, want leaders, and expect leadership whether they realize it or not.


V.                           God Wants Leaders in His Church

A.         God is looking for men after His own heart (1 Sam. 13:14).

B.         God is always looking for strong leaders (Ezk. 22:30).

C.         God is still looking for people of honesty and truth (Jer. 5:1).

D.         God is looking for people who desire to lead (1 Tim. 3:1).

E.          God still works through leaders today.  God used Moses, Joshua, Jeremiah, Paul, Peter, John, Isaiah, etc. in the Old and New Testaments.  In church history, He used Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Carey, Livingston, Billy Graham, etc.  God used them because of their faith, obedience, discipline and a desire to do things for God’s glory.


VI.                       Foundations for Leadership

A.         God.  We must know God exists (Heb. 11:6) and serve Him by faith/obedience (Prov. 9:10).

B.         Theology.  We must understand who God is and who man is before we can understand the intricacies of leadership.  God is all-powerful and merciful.  Man is created in God’s image but falters due to sin, so even unsaved people are valuable and saved people fail to meet our expectations.

C.         Worldview.  We must grasp that all of life is related to God.  We cannot compartmentalize our lives.  Christ is either Lord of all or not Lord at all.

D.         Values and Ethics.  Based on your view of God, theology and worldview, you live out your Christian life a certain way.  Doctrine precedes ethics.  We live on what we believe.

E.          Leadership.  Based on your ethics, you then motivate and move people as a leader.


GOD (He exists)




WORLDVIEW (What one believes about all of life)


ETHICS (How one lives life)


LEADERSHIP (How one motivates and moves other people)


VII.                    Success and Leadership

A.         Means As Well As Ends.  The Bible teaches the formula of “by grace through faith” for salvation (Eph. 2:8-9) and Christian living (Col. 2:6).  The cause is always God, but the means is man’s faith.  By faith Christians can make things happen, but ultimately it is God’s plan.  There are primary causes (God) and secondary causes (man) and both are taught in Scripture.  There is a mystery (antinomy).  Christians must “let things happen” over which they have no control such as crisis or suffering (relax in God’s sovereign purposes).  But by faith/obedience they can also “make things happen.”  They can change things.  Through godly leadership, Christians can make things happen—it is their human responsibility.  Leaders can change things!  Leaders can be successful!

B.         Success Is For God’s Glory.  Success must be viewed differently by the Christian than the world views it.  Success comes as the Christian does leadership for God and not to please men.  Success is always to further Christ’s Kingdom and to bring honor and glory to the living God.  Sometimes success for Christ looks like failure in the eyes of the world—being mocked for standing on biblical truth, martyrdom, turning the other cheek, etc.  Real success happens when things are done according to the Bible, not according to worldly standards.

C.         Judgment for Christians.  Christians will face the Judgment Seat of Christ after this life.  They will give an account of the good and bad things done in this body while on earth (2 Cor. 5:10).  Christians will be evaluated on the basis of works done for Christ (what) and for motives in doing good works (why) (1 Cor. 4:5).  If this is true of all Christians, how much more will it be true of leaders.


“At the end of life, the question will not be, ‘How much have you got?’ but ‘How much have you given?’  Not ‘How much have you won?’ but ‘How much have you done?’  Not ‘How much have you saved?’ but ‘How much have you sacrificed?’  It will be ‘How much have you loved and served?’”


VIII.                Power and Leadership

A.         Leadership involves power (authority).  Power is not wrong in itself.  A Christian leader must decide whether he will use this power to bring glory to God as he leads others according to biblical commands and principles or whether he will abuse that power and operate according to the flesh, using human standards.  Power not placed in the hands of God can be a dangerous thing.  “Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

B.         Types of Power

1.           Positional Power.  Comes with a position or office with authority and responsibility.

2.           Charismatic Power.  Comes through a personal ability to influence through persuasion and logic.

3.           Information Power.  Comes because those who need information are dependent on those who have expert knowledge.

4.           Relationship Power.  Comes through knowing the right people giving access to places, positions and resources that would not be available otherwise.


IX.                        Contrasting Leaders and Followers

A.         One cannot be a good leader until he/she has learned to be a follower, learning how to submit to authority with all the negative and positive attitudes that come with submission.

B.         The Marks of a Leader

1.           Good leaders have a realistic understanding of their skills, abilities and weaknesses and are not defensive.

2.           Good leaders live out the values they require of others.

3.           Good leaders were first good followers who work under accountability to others so they use power correctly.

4.           Good leaders take power and use it wisely with courage and humility.

5.           Good leaders never deny they have power, for if they do, they become dangerous to themselves, others and organizations.

6.           Good leaders are always concerned about people in their organization who do not have power and try to find ways for them to gain power.

7.           Good leaders build an organization on trust and openness, not by manipulation secrecy and political maneuvering.

8.           Good leaders insist that whenever possible people in the organization participate in the decision-making process when they are affected.

9.           Good leaders view power as a function and a tool to accomplish goals, realizing that power does not make a person better, more important or more deserving than other people.

C.          The Marks of a Follower

1.           Good followers create a climate of win/win situations with the leader so that there is little feeling of competition.

2.           Good followers have enough self-confidence to challenge the leader and be a loyal “devil’s advocate.”

3.           Good followers obey the leader’s orders but do not become slaves.

4.           Good followers happily fit their own particular skills and experience into the team without competing for the roles of other team members.

5.           Good followers are kind to the leader and to the goals of the team, while retaining the ability to be reflective and constructively critical.

6.           Good followers leave when it becomes apparent that they no longer can support the values and goals of the organization or the leader.

7.           Good followers understand that for them to be good leaders they must first be good followers.

8.           Good followers are people who respond creatively to leadership and who are productive, creative members of a team.


X.                           The Challenge of Leadership

A.         Understanding the Risk of Leadership


“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who in actuality in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcomings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who at worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who know neither victory or defeat.”  Teddy Roosevelt


B.         Understanding the Frustrations of a Follower


“Isn’t it funny.  When the other fellow takes a long time to do something, he’s slow.  But when I take a long time to do something, I’m thorough.  When the other fellow doesn’t do it, he’s too lazy.  But when I don’t do it, I’m too busy.

When the other fellow goes ahead and does something without being told, he is overstepping his bounds.  But when I go ahead and do something without being told, that’s initiative!  When the other fellow states his side of a question strongly, he’s bullheaded.  But when I state a side of a question strongly, I’m being firm.  When the other fellow overlooks a few of the rules of etiquette, he’s rude.  But when I skip a few of the rules, I’m original.  When the other fellow does something that pleases the boss, he’s polishing the brass.  But when I do something that pleases the boss, that’s cooperation.  When the other fellow gets ahead, he sure had a lucky break.  But when I manage to get ahead, Man!  Hard work did that!  Funny isn’t it—or is it?”


XI.                        The Crisis Leadership Faces in the Third Millennium

A.         In the World

1.           Economic.  Jobs, how to distribute wealth, education.

2.           Social.  Racism, wars (religious and political), urbanization, population growth.

3.           Politics.  Corruption, egoism, indecision, war.

4.           Technology.  Growth causes fear and instability.

5.           Medical.  Diseases (AIDS, malaria, STD), malnutrition, life-span.


B.         In the Family

1.           Urbanization.  Dehumanizing effect.

2.           Tribal pressures.  Choice between Bible and culture.

3.           Social and economic pressures.  Jobs, education, housing, poverty, marriage (polygamy, divorce), child abuse, wife abuse, infant mortality, abortion.


C.         In the Church in Africa

1.           Rapid growth.

2.           Denominationalism

3.           Theology.  Liberalism, syncretism, cults

4.           Lack of leadership.  Need of godly, trained, committed leaders.


D.         In the Individual

1.           Drugs/Alcohol

2.           Materialism

3.           Suicide

4.           No absolute standards (relativism)


E.         The Cause and Solution

1.           The cause is the fall of man in the Garden of Eden—man’s rebellion against God not poor leadership per se.  Although poor leadership is also the result of sin.  Without a belief in the basic sinfulness of man, there will never be a solution to the crises of the world.

2.           The solution is Jesus Christ in people (individuals).  A changed life changes the culture.  We must be committed to the power of the gospel to change lives (Rom. 1:16) before we set up social programs to meet needs.