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Christian Leadership in the Workplace

If you are in a leadership position in your career, you may struggle with how to be an effective leader while at the same time holding true to Christian values and tenets. Regardless if you supervise a few or hundreds in your company, it is possible to be an effective leader and perform your job in a way that would make Christ proud, without being overly critical, condescending, or authoritarian. Christian leadership qualities can be exhibited at work, at home, at church, at play, and in your community.

By following Christ's teachings in the workplace, you will accomplish the responsibilities and goals of your job while, at the same time, serving as a role model to other Christians who are subordinate to you. Direct quotes from the Bible can be interpreted and applied to how you conduct yourself as a leader in the workplace. Here are some biblical aspects of true leadership that can be transformed to apply to how you carry out your leadership position in your career. Below are several Bible passages with an explanation of how they can be lived in your day-to-day life as a workplace leader:

Romans 8:28 a Christian leader must have a true and faithful relationship with the Lord. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." By working and living through God, you are carrying out His purpose for you. By having a true and faithful relationship with your Lord, your colleagues will know your intentions are heartfelt and good.

John 10:11 Good leaders must never forget they are servants who understand Jesus gave his life for his flock. You, too, must serve at work, and never forget you are there to look out for your "flock" and serve others. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

Peter 5:1-3 Oversee your workers and be a role model to them, so they will behave and work as your example has shown. Do not lead for dishonest gain or to promote your status over your underlings. Serve others because you want to not because you have to and be an example to your staff. The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed. Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

Corinthians 11:1 "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." A good leader shows others the way and does not harshly criticize or insult when mistakes are made.

Ezekiel 34:16 "I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment." Lead with compassion, encouragement, and patience. If employees feel lost or have a crisis of faith in their work, lead them back to confidence and certainty.

Proverbs 3:12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects. When an employee makes a mistake, correct it with constructive criticism, not hurtful, belittling words that will only instill fear and anxiety in the employee. Some of the best work is performed after guidance has been provided. Positive reinforcement will yield much better results than negative feedback.

Thessalonians 5:14-15 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. An effective leader will give his workers the authority to set and accomplish their own goals. A sense of ownership of good work is crucial in providing an incentive to do further good work. Acknowledge and reward when goals are met--both large and small.
Matthew 15:14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch. Those who fail to lead will have nobody following them. You cannot lead if there is no one behind you. You cannot merely assume your underlings are following you. Turn back and make sure you are not in a "blind leading the blind" situation.

Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. A good leader will forgive and move on.

Hebrews 13: 5-6 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He, Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say, the LORD is my helper, I will not fear. What can man do to me?" A leader must have confidence in Christ.

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