5 Christian Leadership Types

Last week I summarised chapter 2 of Knowing God by Jim Packer. In that chapter he gave 4 marks of Christian living which result from a deep knowledge of God:

  1. Great energy For God
  2. Great thoughts of God
  3. Great boldness for God
  4. Great contentment in God

Packer suggests reflecting on where we are weak so that, having made an assessment, we might ask God to strengthen us in those areas.  This venn diagram is designed to help us reflect on these four inter-related areas of Christian leadership.

packer on 4 great attitudes to God

A – the clamorous crusader
Energetic, bold, with a big picture of God but lacking peace and contentment.

This leader exudes everything except the peace of God through faith in Christ (Romans 5:1-8). This lack of peace leads to frenetic leadership which often lacks humility.  As C.J. Mahaney writes, anyone in this situation needs to spend a season soaked in the doctrine of adoption. I’d add the discipline of  meditation on what it means to be united to Christ and to own his imputed righteousness.

B – the timid teacher
Energetic, with big thoughts of God, content but timid.

This leader does all things well at church. He’s a great teacher, who runs programmes with enthusiasm and does it all with a sense of shalom. What’s missing is boldness in mission, evangelism and a lack of directness in challenging individuals and the congregation to live for God.  This leader is not quite sure of God and His word.

This person needs to spend a season memorising the great promises of God in scripture. “Fear not, for I am with you” Isa 43:5, “be strong and courageous for I the Lord your God am with you” Josh 1:8 and so on. These verses need to be planted deep in the heart so that when faced with tough choices, he’ll do or say the bold thing.

C – the blinkered builder
Energetic, bold and content but with a small view of God.

This person comes across as totally sold out for God but the God which he follows is unattractive because He is small.

Ways to expand our view of God include the disciplines of systematics and biblical theology. There are no short cuts to getting a big view of God. John Frame’s The Doctrine of God and Goldworthy’s According to Plan are good places to start, then we must keep reading to expand our knowledge of God.

D – the lethargic leader
Bold, content, big thinking but demotivated or just plain tired.

This is perhaps the default position for present day church leaders; burnt out by being busy. It is easy to get tired and when tiredness creeps in, lethargy follows, contentment wanes and boldness evaporates. Time for God and with God is used up by work and so God becomes small in our view once again. I’ve written on avoiding ministry burnout which gives symptoms and strategies to avoid this slippery slope.

But tiredness and burnout is different from lethargy. Life can be fairly quiet and still the Christian does little work. And so, the antidote to lethargy is also found in knowing God. It is the cross which makes all the difference to the lethargic. If a Christian is demotivated, he has probably lost sight of the cross, and the pain Christ was willing to suffer to make peace between God and sinners.

God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labour, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. Colossians 1:27-29

E – the complete Christian leader
Energetic, bold, content and with a big view of God

Lord, give me the wisdom to order my days here on earth that I might be all things through the knowledge of Christ my Saviour and Lord. Amen

Also see similar posts on this subject:
8 biblical personality types
13 Christian personality types

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
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7 Responses to 5 Christian Leadership Types

  1. Really helpful post. To be honest I feel I’m fairly balanced but far from excelling in any of the areas so a bit of attention to some of your practical suggestions wouldn’t go amiss.

    Any unbalanced leader is likely to have become unbalanced because he/she invested in the areas that were attractive to them. Therefore, it takes a really willful effort to reverse the trend.

  2. neilrobbie says:

    Hi Nathan

    That’s a really helpful insight. We are so often led by what takes our fancy. I’ve added links to two other posts which help us to assess where we are weak as Christians:

    8 biblical personality types
    13 Christian personality types

    Go well

  3. Adam says:

    As the clamorous crusader. I’ve never had a father. And I think yes Christian ideals can adopt me, but I think there will always be a void as long as the hope exists, the hope that there is a role model out there. If there isn’t, well, then I want to become one for others, but there will always be hurt, and that hurt is like the hurt expressed by Mel Gibson in front of his troops in the movie Braveheart, so I don’t really see it as a bad thing. Feel free to let me know what you think. Good site and I’ll be studying it. I rss feeded you. 😉

  4. neilrobbie says:

    Hi Adam, welcome to TG and thanks for commenting. I hope a season meditating on benefits of faith in Christ, as I suggested, will bring you contentment.

    In Christ


  5. Adam says:

    Ok I’m trusting you. I’ll let you know how it works. Have you had positive experiences with clamorous crusaders (:D) in the past? I assume so and I will give it a try. Talk to you in a season.

  6. Pingback: Personality, Spiritual Gifts, and Faith | Nostalgic Embrace… and Fluid Light

  7. Pingback: At the Intersection of Personality and Faith | Kura Kimanna

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