Saturday, February 2, 2013

Maybe leadership is overrated

Leadership appears to have become a topic of huge interest in the Christian sub-culture and the wider culture lately. It seems there is always new leadership conferences, books, blogs, experts and techniques.Good leadership can be the difference between success and failure for an organisation so it isn’t an entirely unwarranted focus. Undoubtedly there are many people called to leadership of the formal or informal variety who are benefiting from this focus which obviously is a good thing.  

However, I have found myself wondering lately whether we are focusing on leadership excessively at the expense of other giftings.. Faithful service to the kingdom of God and helpful contribution to society can take so many shapes, some of which don’t look much at all like the leader mold. It is okay that not everyone has the skill on inclination to lead. It is okay that some people would rather follow the vision and direction of a trustworthy leader than being the one out front blazing the course. It is okay that some people people function better out of the spotlight. It is okay that some people are content to stay where they are on the hierarchy, doing a good job at whatever it is they currently do. Such people are as necessary as the leaders. If everyone is upfront trying to lead things, who will do all the supporting work to make things happen? Often such people have a myriad of less flashy but extremely valuable things to contribute that they may get less of a chance to if they are pushed towards acting as a leader. “How to quietly serve a few people really really well” doesn’t make for such an exciting conference theme as leadership but maybe it also deserves discussion and celebration.

What do you think? Do you think the focus on leadership is appropriately balanced? How can we support and affirm those whose gifts are in areas other than leadership?