The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.  -John Stott

For many years, the phrase “knowledge is power” has been a mainstay in leadership circles as it promises leaders that they will have great authority over others if they acquire valuable information and control it for personal gain. This concept of “kingdom building” typically has a short life span as it diminishes trust with those needed the most to succeed in any given endeavor. Instead, Christian leaders should embrace knowledge only as it is linked with other Biblical traits such as wisdom, instruction, and insight (Prov 1) as these inform the leader on how best to wield knowledge and power. As these are all byproducts of the “fear of the Lord” (Prov 1:7), they reveal that anything acquired by them is to reflect God’s glory.

Consequently, as Christian leaders, it is critical to gain knowledge for use in persuading others. For this reason, Christian are commanded to study the Sacred Text (2 Tim 2:15). However, the goal in knowledge acquisition must always be Christocentric and never used as a source of dominating, belittling, or controlling others. Any power held by Christian leaders is provided by God and must be handled with extreme care lest it leads to arrogance, coercion, or self-aggrandizement. Power, in the hands of a humble Christian servant, can yield great fruit and reflect God’s goodness. Christian leaders, may we seek knowledge, instruction, insight, and wisdom for use in reflecting the image of God by serving others.

-Soli Deo Gloria

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