Need for leadership has brought into the limelight varieties of leadership styles and patterns practiced all over the world. From the authoritative to the dictatorial, tyranny to democracy, Nazism and a lot more all bringing into our focus the failing and abusive forms of leadership. Leadership styles filled with selfish demands and domineering heads who have little or no interest in the followers.
Leadership patterns are fashioned by greed and dishonesty where the led bear the consequences of self-centered leaders rubbing off on the economy and practically every sector in our societies. Leaders engulfed by greed ready to acquire wealth at the expense of the masses leading to crisis rising from protest and revolting. Similar to a recurring nightmare, bad leadership never seems to end. Shockingly, government of sovereign states would not take the blame alone. Is the Church exempt from this? Is her leadership somewhat better? Does the church produce leaders who are different from those the world produces? This tells us that the need for leaders who are people with reverence for God and His pattern of life is crucial. If worldly leaders failed the masses, will Christian leaders not stand out? Will they not publicly show that there is a better system and pattern of leadership in the Christian faith? I believe it’s an opportunity to show to the world that there are leaders who wouldn’t conform to the leadership systems of wicked leaders in the world today.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
No doubt what the verse is talking about. It gives admonitions for one to stay away from conforming to the patterns, standards and systems of this world including a leadership pattern.
Conformity is an ideology of adhering to one standard or social uniformity. It involves compliance with a set of rules, norms or standards. Conformity to the right norms and standards doesn’t pose a threat to society as conformity to negative patterns and systems.
Kenneth Tynan asked, “How far should one accept the rules of the society in which one lives? To put it another way: at what point does conformity become corruption?” And concluded that, “only by answering such questions does the conscience truly define itself.”
When it comes to leadership styles, the world has its standards and patterns.
Leadership entails being a guide to the conduct of people either by accompanying them, going before them, showing them the way, influencing, directing with authority, etc. to have precedence or preeminence.
The Unconforming leader should not be swayed or rather cajoled into compromising his standards and beliefs. While other leaders are driven by selfishness, the Unconforming leader should stick to selfless service that places the led before him, following the Leadership model of Jesus. The leader who dares to stand out shouldn’t be caught in the webs of compromise, entrapped into doing what is obtainable by others.
In His days on earth, while other leaders were authoritative, dictatorial, and selfish, Jesus placed the interest of the people over His own. As a leader, he gave his life for the led; Hardly will a leader do such. What is obtainable in our world today is the reverse. Where leaders risk the lives of their subject in order to save theirs. While the leaders of this world want to serve by their subject, Jesus showed that leadership is more of the leader serving the needs of the led. Before His death, He taught the disciples what it means to be a leader by washing and cleaning their feet.
While other leaders use their subjects as slaves, the Unconforming Leader would do no such thing. Like Christ, he leads with examples, doing what he expects of his subjects. The leaders of the world would expect the followers to do as commanded while they do as they wish. Do as I say and not as I do has become their slogans.
A leader who wouldn’t conform to the patterns and models of leadership styles in the world must have other standards to conform to. This is where the leadership style of Christ remains the model for Christian leadership. Jesus wouldn’t conform to the laws of the pharisees and scribes. He had a culture of seeking the face of the Father in prayer before making decisions. Heaven was His standard and so the aim of His leadership was building men who would be Unconforming to worldly patterns while conforming to the heavenly, and yet influencing the world with the life of Christ.
Paul, in his epistle, never ceases to emphasize the need to follow him even as he follows Christ. So, the standard any leader is expected to confirm to is that of Christ.
The book of Hebrews quotes, “looking into Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” If a leader must live above the standard of the world he must have been transformed by the daily renewing of the mind into the will of God. The Unconforming Leader knows that this is God’s will and that makes it perfect and good so he must conform to it and not the patterns of the world.
He doesn’t do what every other leader does for he knows clearly that the position he possesses was an ordination from God who has the ability to control the heart of every leader.
The Unconforming Leader lays aside the urge to oppress the followers. Walking in knowledge that his love and kindness is directing them will earn him respect and love. The leadership styles of the world breed leaders who command fear, pride, and hatred in place of love and devotion in the hearts of the people.
Moses, as a leader, was led by God, and he led the Israelites to God even under a new leader, Joshua, until they were in the promised land. As an Unconforming leader, he never confirmed their fears. When they were afraid, he was entreating from God what was to be done.
It’s so unfortunate how lawless leaders keep making laws they do not keep, unlike Christ Jesus! He always found His way back to God the Father thus getting wisdom and direction from Him.
Leaders in scripture who trusted and leaned on God’s wisdom were exceptional until they started to listen to advice from men with perverse minds. Take Rehoboam for instance. The day he decided to borrow from the wisdom of men was the moment he began to lose his ground with God and the followers.
Rehoboam’s fall as a leader in 1 Kings 12 is a proof that conformity to the world’s pattern of leadership is outright disaster. A leader who oppresses the led will keep building a nation vulnerable to a revolution from them, such is the case of many nations.
Every societal bad leader began with a wrong home up-bringing. Let’s go back home and learn the ways of Christ. The Unconforming leader is blessed by the Lord just as Christ Jesus was exalted above all other names.
Keep to the truth!
Keep to honesty!
Keep to righteousness!