A few years ago, I began to notice major differences in the ways gifted leaders led their teams. They all had the spiritual gift of leadership referred to in Romans 12:8, but they approached the challenges of leadership differently.
About the time I was making this observation, the management team at Willow Creek gave me a leadership book for my birthday. (The year before, they had hired an Elvis impersonator, who burst into my office during a meeting to serenade me. Elvis discovered my leadership style in a hurry. He barely made it out of my office with his blue suede shoes.)
This year they gave me a more appropriate gift—Certain Trumpets, by Garry Wills. Wills describes the enormous impact of great leaders whose particular leadership style meshed perfectly with a certain need in society.
For example, when people are being oppressed and want to break free from that yoke, the situation calls for a radical, transforming leader.
In a complex, pluralistic democracy, with thousands of constituencies that must be drawn together to form a government, a political or electoral leader is necessary.
In war time, a military style of leadership works best.
During an ideologically intense social struggle, an intellectual leader might fit the bill.
Wills effectively argues that there are many different styles of leadership, and certain styles fit certain leadership needs better than others.
Over the last few years, I've identified at least ten manifestations of the leadership gift as it plays out in the church. It's been helpful to our staff to identify our leadership styles and build leadership teams accordingly.
1. Visionary leader These leaders have a crystal-clear picture in their minds of what they want to happen. They cast ...