What does it mean to be a Gospel Centered Leader?
Greg Breazeale has written a wonderful article about the effects of the gospel on a leader’s heart. The gospel should have a profound effect on leaders and the way they understand who they are in Christ, as well as what they have been called to in Christ. As each of us grow in our faith and spiritual disciplines, these are some wonderful marks that should characterize our lives.
Here are the final three characteristics:
They Have No “Game Face”
The Gospel doesn’t give us a game face to lead. The Gospel gives us a new heart filled with love and affection. It is not one more weapon in our leadership utility belt. The Gospel enables us to weep when it is time to weep and rejoice when it is time to rejoice. GCL’s don’t have to worry if they are performing correctly in a particular situation since their heart is buried in the Gospel. They are free to take the blame in situations and give praise in others. Their ultimate worth and value does not hinge on results or failure because, to be honest, they are not that concerned with themselves. They are free to be honest about a particular decision or result, admit failures and mistakes, and boldly trust in the God who took on flesh and died for them to carry them forward. GCL’s can afford to look bad in front of the team. They don’t have to take themselves too seriously. They can take a risk as quickly as they can admit a mistake.
Wisest Fool In The Room
The Gospel reveals to us that we are not wise. We must become fools in order to embrace wisdom. We become fools by embracing the foolishness of the Gospel. When leaders realize that it took Christ dying and rising again to save them, they never walk into a meeting with a swagger. They walk in confidently to be sure, but their only confidence is in the Gospel. They know that walking in their own wisdom only leads to pain and frustration. Proverbs is clear that being wise in one’s own sight is worse than a fool. Therefore a GCL is always learning and growing both in the Gospel and in leadership.
Takes Blame and Gives Credit
The Gospel is about an exchange, Christ takes our sin and we get His righteousness. He gets the blame for what we’ve done and we get the credit for what He has accomplished. Leaders are at their best when they are taking the blame and giving the credit to others. When things go wrong they are the first to take responsibility. When things go well they are the first to give the credit to those who work, prayed, planned, and performed.
And a final comment from the author.
Becoming A More Gospel-Centered Leader
How does one become a more Gospel-centered leader? Many ideas come to mind, but let me leave you with one: Exult in the Gospel. Only the Gospel can make you more Gospel-centered. Books on the Gospel, songs about the Gospel, and the culture built around Gospel-centeredness are gifts from God. But they are only echoes and scents (to borrow from CS Lewis) of the Gospel, not the Gospel itself. It is possible to love the idea of Gospel-centered leadership but not love the Gospel. So dwell in the Gospel. Exult in it. Learn about it. Meditate over it. Be open to radical changes God wants to make in you. Let it shape how you serve and lead those entrusted to you.