Those entrusted to lead should always be ready to assess their own leadership style and to continue to develop their ability to lead. In line with Christian understanding, they respect the religious views of all persons. They do not deprecate other cultures, customs, and practices. Rather in their encounters with others they show due respect. They do not demand more from ministers and Brothers and Sisters than they are prepared to do themselves.
The credibility of those entrusted to lead requires that they keep their commitments, that their actions are plausible, and that their decisions are well-founded. Here a passage from James (1:22) provides a valuable orientation:
“But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only; deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)
To fulfil the functions of those entrusted to lead spiritual qualities like:
- Profound faith
- Fear of God
- Love of one’s fellow man are necessary,
as well as qualities of leadership like
- Ability to communicate and take criticism
- Enthusiasm and self-sacrifice
Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. The Chief Apostle is the head of all Apostles; he leads the Church, together with the Apostles. Jesus Christ said:
“Verily, verily, i say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” (John 13:16)
We must distinguish between inner and outer authority. Outer authority is the exercise of power due to the individual’s position. Inner authority, on the other hand, is primarily characterized by:
- Personally embracing and practising our teachings and instructions
- The ability to convince through a credible manner and through imparting teachings and instructions in a well-founded way
- Spiritual, humane, and professional competence
- Personal integrity and reliability
In the absence of inner authority, the result is loss of confidence, resignation, or even rejection.
To lead means to have a goal and to show someone the path by treading it with him. The person entrusted to lead must be aware in every situation that his own actions will be an example for the ministers and Brothers and Sisters entrusted to his care.
The interest of the entire Church is paramount here. A ministry or function may not be abused for personal interests. Those entrusted to lead must be free of ambitiousness in their dealings. Here the words of God’s son are binding:
“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)
Decisions in the service of the Church and the faithful can only be taken by those entrusted to lead when they have attained unbiased clarity as to the matter at issue. Those entrusted to lead are also aware that ministers and Brothers and Sisters serve voluntarily. For this reason alone, those entrusted to lead will avoid, when giving instructions for action, anything which could lead to an unbearable burden.
Among leadership duties are the following:
- Fervent prayer and careful attention to divine indications prior to selecting suitable ministers and persons to be entrusted with a commission
- Sharing responsibility
- Spiritual and professional support of ministers and commissioned Brothers and Sisters
- Promoting constructive thought and action
- Setting, justifying, and explaining tasks; delegating them plausibly, and ensuring that they are carried out
- Creating leeway when a task so requires
One’s mutual dealings should be conducted in a spirit of esteem and love of one’s fellow man, even when mistakes have been made and admitted to. When called for, praise and blame should be given their due – both should be expressed while the matter is still topical. Discussions of this type also serve to create conviction for the tasks at hand and foster trusting cooperation.
Those entrusted to lead should be open to suggestions; nevertheless, the final decision rests with them.
Those entrusted to lead are obliged to explain the Church’s needs, even when this may at times force the leader to renounce as untenable personal goals he may have that cannot be realized within the Church.
The harmonious combination of these modes of conduct promotes trust and esteem, and engenders a sense of togetherness by which each individual feels bound up in fellowship.
(Source: Guideline Serving and Leading – http://www.nak.org/en/about-the-nac/guideline-serving-and-leading/)