By Lesley Cheesman
So many teach that leadership is about serving, therefore “it’s not about me”. Of course that is true . . . or is it?
Christian leadership is about following Christ’s example. In chapter 28 of Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life, Jesus explains that he did not come to be served but to serve. He did this with humility and obedience, not considering his own needs or rightful position but giving up everything (Paul refers to this very thing in his letter to the Philippian church). Christian leaders should be like Jesus, not just in his example of serving but also in his character. In this way, it is about us. You see, so many leaders are rendered ineffective or even dangerous because they are unaware that they fail their MOT test.
A few years ago I bought a rather cute Triumph Dolomite. I was delighted when it passed its MOT test. However, as I later found out, this was a huge mistake! I was blissfully unaware of the rusting chassis for 12 months until the next MOT which revealed the real state of my car: unfit to be on the road.
My car had still been getting me from A to B, but, unknown to me, every time I took it out on the road it was putting me, my young family and any other road user in danger.
All looked great on the outside (in my opinion). It was only when you looked underneath that you saw the true state of the car.
MOT is an abbreviation for ‘Ministry of Transport’. This is what we are about, not in the vehicular sense but in the movement sense. Christian leadership is about helping transport people from where they are now to where God is calling them to be.
If as leaders we had an MOT test, how would we fare under close inspection? What is really going on underneath? What is the real state of our hearts?
So many neglect the maintenance of their relationship with Jesus and their dependence on the Holy Spirit. They focus instead on the outward appearance and rely on their own skills and abilities.
So, what does the MOT tester look for in the character of a leader? Here are some pointers:
Does the outside match what is going on inside? Does my life have “authentic” stamped on it? Do I allow people close enough to know my struggles? Can I admit when I do or get something wrong?
Bible verses to look at: 1 Samuel 16:7b; 1 John 1:8-10
Do I think more highly of others than I do of myself? Did pride sneak in when I wasn’t paying attention? Am I actively seeking to push others forward and help them succeed? Who gets the glory?
Bible verses to look at: Philippians 2:3; I Timothy 1:12-17
Is my life marked by love? Am I living a godly life being continually filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit? Am I conforming to the world or being transformed into Christ-likeness?
Bible verses to look at: Ephesians 5:1-5, 5:18; Romans 12:2