By Dr Graham Pratt - Thornleigh Community Baptist Church
Leadership is both hard and lonely. The conflicting demands of multiple stakeholders must be at least partially reconciled and satisfied and leadership approaches adapted to changing situations. It is also stressful, with leaders having to make decisions using other people’s resources when the outcomes are frequently unknowable in advance.
God calls some, not all, Christians to exercise the challenging role of leader in both church and secular employment contexts. Development as a leader takes a lifetime of personal growth, with God gifting and continuing to shape those obedient to His call.
Some suggestions for enhancing leadership ministry effectiveness for Christians employed in secular organisations are:
- Test and confirm the Lord’s calling to your current leadership role.
- Identify, write down and test against Scripture your core values. These should reflect who you really are and the reasons for your actions in the work place.
- Strengthen and reinforce your Christian values and beliefs Monday to Friday by seeking out, supporting and, if necessary, forming easily accessed Christian business and professional groups.
- Work conscientiously to convince your board or senior management of your competence and faithfulness as steward, servant and shepherd of your staff, building a reputation for trustworthiness and integrity. You may need this foundation when your integrity demands that you voice your objections to an unethical policy or practice.
- Prefer to demonstrate rather than simply talk about your core values.
- Develop secular arguments to support your stances on important issues. Biblical arguments hold little weight in many secular workplaces.
- Recognise that you are a child of God – a whole person. Therefore it is important that you achieve an appropriate balance between your leader role at work with your other roles as parent, son or daughter, and in church ministry, community organisations etc.
- Encourage support, recognition and prayer in your local church for fellow Christians who are in secular employment exercising vital ministries as leaders, teaches, nurses, administrators and so on.
- As a last resort, where the culture of your employment situation is quite antithetical to Christianity and you are unable to sense God’s call to your current role, you may need to pray that you will be led to another position. Sometimes the Lord’s guidance is clearest in the “wilderness” period between jobs.
 George, B (2003), Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value. San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, p12
 J Robert Clinton (1988), The Making of a Leader. Colorado Springs, CO: NAVPRESS