This talk on Biblical Leadership consists of five lessons that tackle the subject in three ways:
- Each lesson looks at the five attributes of leadership that are based on thousands of interviews conducted by leadership gurus James Kouzes and Barry Posner
- Each lesson explores Biblical examples, from both the Old and New Testaments, of those five attributes
- Each lesson includes small-group discussions on how we can prepare for our own leadership roles
Lesson One: Challenge the Process
This lesson addresses the first core competency of a leader: willingness to challenge the process—that is, to take risks, to experiment, to be a pioneer. We cover several definitions and styles of leadership, notably those found throughout the Bible—though the word “leader” is not used often in the Scriptures. In its place are words that signify the “offices” held by the leaders of Israel (e.g., king, priest, prophet, etc.). You’ll learn in this lesson about “The Leadership Challenge,” the seminal work of two men, James Kouzes and Barry Posner. Now in its sixth printing, this book has clearly stood the test of time. One prime example of a Biblical leader who, we could say, took “the leadership challenge”—who challenged the process—was Joshua, who, after supporting Moses for 40 years in the wilderness, dared lead the Israelites into the land of Canaan.
Lesson Two: Inspire a Shared Vision
This lesson addresses the second core competency of a leader: inspiring a shared vision. A vision is future-focused. In what direction should a team—or an entire organization—be heading? How does that direction get communicated to all stakeholders? Here, we talk about how the Bible’s wise King Solomon demonstrated his vision for the future when he built the first great temple to God in Jerusalem. We also look at Moses and observe that the same competency—in this case, inspiring a shared vision—can be implemented completely differently from one Bible leader to another, based on the individual style of each.
Lesson Three: Enabling Others to Act
This lesson addresses the third core competency of a leader: enabling others to act. Here, the competency shifts from individuals to teams. It employs ways to get people to work together to accomplish a goal. We look at examples in the Gospels of how Christ Jesus worked closely with his disciples and with his larger community of followers. How ably he illustrated this vital leadership practice! The example we cite from the Hebrew Scriptures might surprise you: It involves a female who isn’t even named in the text.
Lesson Four: Model the Way
This lesson addresses the fourth core competency of a leader: modeling the way. Here, we talk about why trust causes people to follow a leader and how nothing builds trust more than leaders who walk their talk and lead by example. Some of Israel’s greatest patriarchs illustrated this competency with courage and consistency. We look not only at these Old Testament giants but also at the great apostle Paul, whose life and letters did so much to shape Christianity’s spread in the first century AD.
Lesson Five: Encourage the Heart
This lesson addresses the fifth core competency of a leader: encouraging the heart. How telling it is that co-authors Kouzes and Posner declared this fifth and final core competency to be the one that leaders have the hardest time implementing. It’s the competency that followers—team members—are starving for their managers to embrace and practice. In this final lesson, we point out how both Jesus Christ and Paul were creative in the ways they continually modeled this oh-so-important competency.
Runtime: The total of all five lessons is 2 hours, 53 minutes
Session 1 — 35 minutes
Session 2 — 21 minutes
Session 3 — 39 minutes
Session 4 — 39 minutes
Session 5 — 39 minutes
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