Christian Leadership is: Identity in Christ

July 17, 2012

Today’s post is the second part of a six-part series exploring the question: What makes Christian leadership distinctly “Christian” and what makes Christian leadership distinctly “leadership?”. This week we will study this question and I hope to receive feedback from you in the comments section.

What makes Christian leadership 'Christian' and what makes christian leadership 'leadership'


The first distinction of Christian leadership starts with Jesus Christ.

In the world, men often get their self identity from their work while women often base it on their relationships.[1] However, with Christians “our identity in Christ is that we were created in the image of Christ.”[2] The idea that Christian leaders’ identity is based on Christ is a challenge to “come to the point where we recognize that our value is not dependent on our performance, position, titles, achievements, or the power we wield.”[3]

Christian leaders must remember “that our greatest source of worth as leaders should come from the knowledge that we are known by God and declared righteous in Christ.”[4] When a leader’s view of himself is based on the position he holds or the job he has, this places him at risk for tremendous downfalls in ministry and leadership. What happens when the leader loses his job, is fired, or is demoted to a lower position with less power and prestige? Christian leaders are so much more than what they do. In fact, because of the great gift that God has given to his people by sacrificing himself for their sins, it is an insult to God for a Christian leader to think of himself as someone who is defined by what he does.

For a Christian leader to have an identity in Christ also means distinguishing himself from the role he has at work. No job here on earth is big enough or important enough to completely consume a person. A Christian leader’s identity should be fully and solely founded on Christ.

Question: What does it mean for you to have an identity in Christ as a Christian leader?

                [1] Quentin P. Kinnison, Ph.D., “What is the secret of Christian leadership? How can we survive? What does Jesus teach us?” (lecture, Fresno Pacific University North Center, Fresno, CA, June 7, 2012).

                [2] Quentin P. Kinnison, Ph.D., “How can God transform our weaknesses?” (lecture, Fresno Pacific University North Center, Fresno, CA, May 17, 2012).

                [3] Gary L. McIntosh and Samuel D. Rima, Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2007), 213.

                [4] Ibid., 214.

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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