Leadership Matters – Guest Post by Simon Benham
Today is the first day of Kerith hosting the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. This is an annual leadership development gathering which takes place at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago every August, and then is taken via video to over 250,000 people around the world in 120 countries. If you’ve never been before then please plan to come next year, or to one of the events running around the country later in the year – you own’t regret it.
Leadership matters. Wherever in the world you find a successful church, football team, charity, company or nation then you will invariably find great leadership. Not great as the world might define it. Probably not chest thumping, gladiator style, hugely charismatic, alpha males who conquer all before them, but the sort of leaders Jim Collins describes in his book Good to Great. Leaders with a deep personal humility, but at the same time a steely resolve to do whatever it takes to make their venture succeed. Leaders not worried about who gets the credit as long as the work gets done, without a huge ego or chip on their shoulder but with a deep inner resolve that won’t allow them to be deflected from their call, whatever the opposition.
All of us who follow Jesus are called to be leaders, because we are called to follow the greatest leader who ever lived. One who was willing to give up all of heaven’s riches and pick up a serving towel to wash us clean, who died a criminal’s death in order that we might live the life of a prince, who started a movement with 12 of the most unlikely leaders on the planet which has turned the world upside down. We may not lead a church, a company or even a nation, but we are called to give a lead in our homes, our streets, our schools and our offices. To show people a different way – the Jesus way.
For years I disqualified myself as a leader. Not bold enough, not self confident enough, not charismatic enough, not popular enough. I’ve come to realise that none of those things are what defines a leader. Now I focus on finding my boldness in knowing who I am in Christ, my confidence in knowing that Jesus said He would build his church, my charisma from being full of the Holy Spirit and instead of seeking popularity seeking to live a life worth imitating. That seems to me like the Jesus way.
Simon is married to Catrina and has three children, Zach, Jacob and Alice. For the last 8 years he has lead Kerith Community Church in Berkshire, longing to build a community which will make God visible to the world we live in. He has two labradors and is a long suffering fan of Newcastle United.