If you were to come up with a list of the three most important characteristics a leader should possess, what would those three be? A degree? Business experience? Excellent managerial skills?
When looking back at the lives and legacies of the apostles, the fifth-century archbishop of Constantinople, John Chrysostom (who was nicknamed "The Golden Tongue" for his excellent speaking abilities), stated:
"What need could they have of my tongue? Their own struggles surpass our moral nature. The prizes they won go beyond our powers and understanding. They laughed at life lived on earth; they trampled underfoot the punishment of the rack; they scorned death and took wing to heaven; they escaped with them no gold or silver or expensive garments; they carried along no treasure which could be plundered, but the riches of patience, courage, and love."
Did you catch that? The three fundamental leadership attributes that Chrysostom saw when looking back at the apostles were patience, courage and love. These were the three characteristics that the apostles possessed that helped launch a worldwide movement. This isn't to deny or downplay the role of the Holy Spirit. However, it would seem that the years that Jesus spent mentoring his disciples were spent teaching them these three things.
So over the next few blog posts I want to spend some time unpacking each attribute and seeing how we can grow in these three essential skills. I am utterly convinced that if a leader possesses these traits, they will be well on their way to being truly great leaders.
By the way, you should check out Brian Shelton's great book on the apostles Quest for the Historical Apostles: Tracing Their Lives and Legacy. His book is what got me thinking about the leadership qualities of the apostles. We have a podcast coming out in a few weeks that will further unpack these ideas.
How about you? What leadership traits do you have in your top 3? Comment below!
Daniel Pandolph is co-founder of Ministry Assistant Services and founder of Theologian of the Boss. He holds a BA in Christian Studies from North Greenville University and an MA in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.