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EXCLUSIVE: Attributes Of A Godly Leader (Part 1 of 3)

When a “Fortune 500” company is inviting applications for the recruitment of a Chief Finance Officer, the job description centres on one’s ...

When a “Fortune 500” company is inviting applications for the recruitment of a Chief Finance Officer, the job description centres on one’s ability to add value to the company. Screening of the candidates focuses much on academic qualifications, working experience, achievements from previous roles and professional behaviour. The interview panellists will rarely ask you questions, if ever they do, about your household management skills, moods, self-control and humility to mention but a few. What matters to them is one’s ability to drive their corporate performance and image, not their personal lifestyles. 
EXCLUSIVE: Attributes Of A Godly Leader (Part 1 of 3)
However, the leadership qualities and attributes differ significantly when we come to the Kingdom of God. The church places much more emphasis on morality and spirituality as opposed to academic prowess and professional behaviour. Yes these are also very important to the Kingdom of God, but they do not form the primary basis of Godly leadership. In essence, church leadership is by no means an easy task. It demands more than just the precise exercise of one’s calling or gift. Over the years the world has witnessed news headlines such as: “Bishop Impregnates Girlfriend, Dumps Her”; “Prophet At The Centre Of Couple’s Divorce”; “Pastor Convinces Congregants to Eat Grass”; “Apostle Supports Homosexuality”; “Prophet Sexually Abuses Maid”; “Pastor Embezzles Church Funds”; “Prophet Marries 10 Wives”. With such chaotic headlines that send shivers down the spines of congregants, we have to go back again to the Bible to extract some of the key attributes that are expected of Godly leaders. 

1 Timothy 3:1-7 “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work; A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behaviour, hospitable, able to teach; Not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence; (For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); Not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil; Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil”

Titus 1:5-9 “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you; If a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination; For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money; But hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled; Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict”

1. Above Reproach:
The word “reproach” literary means shame or disgrace. By being above reproach, a Godly leader is expected to be “above shameful or disgraceful accusations”. For instance, a Godly leader cannot be found being central to the accusations of snatching someone’s wife, going out with his cousin sister, stealing church money, leading a drug mafia, possessing pornographic materials in his phone or laptop and other disgraceful vices of this world. It is imperative that a church leader exhibits high levels of moral and spiritual uprightness. 

2. Able to Teach:
The five-fold ministry as exhibited in Ephesians 4:11 has got teachers as one of the office bearers. The church grows strong and deep through teachings. It is imperative for every church leader to be able to teach sound doctrine, especially basic Christian topics like salvation, baptism, tithing, faith, evangelism and prayer supported by scriptures. With the obsession that most church leaders have with deep theology, these basic topics are slowly being neglected at the detriment of the Christian faith. Consequently, it is not surprising to meet a deacon or elder who struggles to teach on these basic Christian topics. 

Teaching is considered to be a very high responsibility in church, such that it attracts stricter judgement before God. James 3:1 “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment”. Nevertheless, a Godly leader must be able to teach sound doctrine for the benefit of the church. 

EXCLUSIVE: Attributes Of A Godly Leader (Part 1 of 3)

3. Excises Self-Control:
It is human nature to go for “an eye for an eye” when someone wrongs you. Vengeance is well-documented in all historical books generation after generation, supported by pictures of mutilated human bodies and mass graves. Even nowadays, human beings have developed serious appetite for vengeance such that they now possess chemical weapons of mass destruction, capable of destroying the entire world in minutes. Billions of dollars are being poured year in year out in the name of military defence as world superpowers prepare to “throw a stone of vengeance” on their enemies. This is the world we are living in today. 

However, Galatians 5:22 lists 'self-control' as a key component of the fruit of the spirit. A Godly leader, nomatter how he is tried and tested, must be able to exercise restraint. It is not an easy task to exercise restraint, especially if the perpetrators of the vices continue to tease you, but you have to 'self-control'. 

Check out for Part 2 and 3 by Tapiwa Zuze

EXCLUSIVE: Attributes Of A Godly Leader (Part 1 of 3)