I’ve had jobs in many fields, been a part of volunteer groups and teams, been in churches big and small, and in all this time and with all these people I’ve been led and had the opportunity to lead. I can recall the best and worst leaders I’ve had in my life so far and what made the difference. Love.

It can be strange to think of your corporate head or your night manager as a loving leader. But, love is important at every level of leadership. While we often put a lot of effort in leading outside the home, it’s within our family that leadership is most important. Unfortunately it’s often the most difficult place to lead.

From the living room to the boardroom, what makes a good leader is one thing–love.

Love According to Paul

Paul was a leader. He was one of the foremost leaders in the church that formed after Jesus’ death. We can read all about Paul’s ministry in the thirteen epistles that are attributed to him in the New Testament.

I’m sure many scholars would call Paul a good leader. According to Acts 20, he was humble, with a servant-heart, integrity, vision, commitment, and compassion. Paul was unprejudiced, spirit-led, fearless, faithful, giving, prayerful, and responsible. He was also a realist. Even with all the great qualities that Paul had, it isn’t Paul who set the bar so high. It was God.

God is Love and Love is from God (1 John 4:7).

If you’re interested in leading like Paul–like God led Paul to lead–you can look in the scriptures.

No matter where you are in the business world or what type of family dynamic you have, you can lead successfully if you lead with love. But how?

All leaders should frequently evaluate their success as a leader. Scrutinizing your own qualities and characteristics on a regular basis is best for any person–leader or no.

When it comes to leading, you can weigh your success or failure by looking to God and looking to scripture.

God is Love

Are you leading with love in all aspects of your life? You can find out by looking at
1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It says “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (ESV).

  1. Are you patient and kind?
  2. Do you envy others and boast?
  3. Are you rude and lead with arrogance?
  4. Do you insist on your own way with no other input?
  5. Are you irritable or resentful?
  6. Do you rejoice in wrongdoing or in truth?
  7. Do you carry the burden of your work on your shoulders?
  8. Do you believe in your purpose, the purpose of your business/family, and in others?
  9. Do you have and share hope?
  10. Are you enduring?

You can come back to this checklist anytime because it’s right in the Bible, the best guide for being a great person and a great leader.

The bar is set and it’s set high.

Lead with love in your home, your church, your job, your school–wherever you may be, and you’ll lead like Jesus.

On the day you may struggle, say a prayer:

Father in heaven,
I praise You, Lord, and thank You for wisdom You have given the leaders in my life.
I pray they might always look to You for the love required to lead.
I pray that I might lead in the same way that You led Paul, Lord–
in the same way You led Noah to stand against his peers and build an ark,
in the same way You led Moses out of His life of comfort to the desert with Your people,
in the same way You led David into battle and Solomon to the temple.
I pray that I might lead in my life with the same Love that comes from heaven,
the Love that brought Jesus to the cross.
I want to lead my family each day in patience and kindness.
I want to be flexible and gracious in my chosen field and in my calling.
I want to be honest and purposeful in my church.
Father, God, these things are in me, because You are in me.
Please, God, forgive me for shortcomings.
Forgive me for saving my Love for the church for Sabbaths only,
for squandering my Love for my family for special occasions,
and for using only the tools in the workplace that gain me favor.
I want to gain Your favor. I want to be like You. I want others to see You in me as I lead.
Lord, God, I pray today and everyday that I am worthy of the gift You’ve given and continue to give.
In Jesus’ Name I pray and ask these things. Amen.