The most important thing about any leader is what they believe about God.
A leader’s theology is the single greatest influence in how they lead. Every time. Unfortunately many find little connection between theology and leadership. Some are drawn to the abstract nature of doctrinal study. Others find theology too impractical to be helpful. Both views are unfortunate and unnecessary. Theology is intensely practical, shaping and informing everything we do.
John Frame’s definition of theology properly captures the practical nature of theology: “Theology is the application of Scripture, by persons, to every area of life.”
With this definition in mind, here are 3 ways our theology shapes our leadership.
- Sound theology helps us establish a biblical worldview for our leadership.
Understanding what the Bible is about (Biblical Theology) and what is in the Bible, (Systematic Theology) helps us establish the proper worldview needed to lead with Gospel-centered integrity, intentionality and productivity. The Bible, tells us who God is and how He created the world. We need this understanding in order to lead in such a way that properly reflects God’s leadership in the world that He designed.
Leadership demands theology because theology explains reality.
Since we live and lead in the real world that God created, we desperately need to understand how God created the world and why we exist in the world. Without sound theology we cannot understand these realities. (Ex: If we have an adequate doctrine of original sin then we will not be surprised or despair when a co-worker calls out on their shift.
2. Sound theology informs our daily actions as we lead.
Theology not only provides the worldview with which we view the world, it also informs what we do in the world. It is in the study of theology that we develop a biblical understanding of work.
Martin Luther possessed an impressive theology of vocation. He wrote: “Every occupation has its own honor before God. Ordinary work is a divine vocations or calling. In our daily work, no matter how important or mundane we serve God by serving the neighbor and we also participate in God’s ongoing providence for the human race”.
Read Colossians 3:23-24 and consider how the rich theology found in these two verses provides the theological framework that shapes how we view of workday.
3. Sound theology establishes the objective of our life and leadership.
Sound theology establishes the grand and glorious goal of our life and leadership: the glory of God.
1 Corin 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
This proper, biblical aim changes the way we view the temporal nature of our leadership. Ultimately, the highest aim of our leadership is to reflect the leadership of Christ and the pattern of servant leadership that He modeled for us. This brings glory to God. This points other’s to a time when Christ will lead all things and the final Enemy, and his destructive leadership, are put down, once and for all.