We spend our whole lives learning to lead with love. By that I mean learning to love and learning to believe that we are loved, because it is the latter that makes the former possible. We love because God first loves us—when we really believe that God first loves us.
Each of us in our callings will likely grow in expertise, and we know—or will soon know—the legitimate authority of an office or calling. This is all part of the normal order of growing in authority. But it is not in the normal order of things, and is in fact a divine gift, to recognize the futility of the love of authority and the blessedness of the authority of love.
Mark Galli is senior managing editor of Christianity Today and author of Chaos and Grace: Discovering the Liberating Power of the Holy Spirit (Baker). This essay was adapted from a recent commencement speech given at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.