Let me start with a simple question. How would you define “leader“?
One of the Webster’s dictionary definitions is saying that the leader is: “a person who has commanding authority or influence” in free Farlex dictionary we can find a slightly different definition that is saying:” One who is in charge or in command of others.” Or “a person who rules, guides, or inspires others; head”. However this is only a general definition of the word “leader” today. There are surely many other definitions that are dependent on a department that we are dealing with (e.g. Business, Economics, Sports, Transport, Art, Government, Law…).
Now let’s focus on a definition of a leader in Christian environment. When we talk about a Christian leadership it is important to start with talking about Jesus and His command to us as a Christians. Several times He is saying follow me! (Matt 8:22; Matt 9:9; Luke 18:22) or maybe even more clearly we read in 1 Pet 2:21: ”To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.” This passage of scriptures was originally written for servants and slaves.
It is essential to look up to Jesus, to take him as an example, to follow his lead. In connection with Christian leaders it is important twice as much. So we see that one of the important things is to be a servant. This shows a little difference comparing to commercial world. It is not common for your boss, in your job to serve you that much even though he might help you sometimes but it is not that kind of servant hood that we are talking about. Christian leader must be able to be submissive and devoted they must be able to bring sacrifices. Jesus did that when he was washing feet of his disciples (John 13:4-5). Are any of us more then him not to do so?
On one side leader should be able to bring peace and serenity into the congregation, group or individuals, but on the other hand he must be also a corrector of mistakes and things that are not good or working well. Speaking of a leader that cares about his wards and wants to give and show them the best things for them it is necessary for him to come into a conflict once in a while. To confront people is one of the important duties of a leader. He should do it in a loving way in a way that you can feel he cares not just pointing out wrong things (Proverbs 3:12). That he wants to carry your burden.
Correction is also a prevention of falling for other false teachings but the next important thing is to deal with questions and doubts that are falling on us from each side. A good leader must be aware of issues and problems of the congregation. If there are things that were said not quite well or completely false it is his responsibility to set it right.
And at last but not least, leader should feed his people. (Deuteronomy 8:3) With food that is appropriate for his people. For example, if a pastor of a new church knows that most of his sheep are new believers he will not go into deep theological diggings. He will provide a food that is measured for them. So he will start with milk, with something simple and general and then slowly move on to more complex things. So they can gradually grow to strong and steadfast Christians.