Christian Counseling: The Crisis of Christian Leadership

“Eighty-two percent of Christians believe the United States is facing a crisis of leadership because there aren’t enough leaders, so says the Barna Group in their research article, Christians on Leadership, Calling and Career (April, 2013).

It is interesting that the research also revealed 58% of respondents claimed to be leaders. Wouldn’t seem there is any shortage of leaders. Perhaps there are too many or perhaps they just aren’t leading. However, it gets more interesting. Christians (64 %) said that integrity was the most important quality of a leader, while the subset of evangelical Christians (83%) said passion (love) for God was most important. While both are important, the question pulls for feeling (passion) versus behavior (integrity). Who would you trust more and want as a leader, one who verbally expressed his or her emotional love for God or one whose behavior demonstrates his or her love for God in walking the walk? Following integrity or passion, authenticity and discipline are the two traits next in line in importance to Christians.

Christian leaders were asked what they would most like to improve about their leadership. Their answers were: courage (27%), discipline (17%), vision (15%) and passion for God (13%). Evangelical leaders answered: courage (27%), discipline (25%), passion for God (14%) and vision (9%).

Although I cannot claim to know the minds of the responders, I imagine they seek courage (willingness to take risks) to overcome fear in leading, such as becoming assertive to voice questions and beliefs, as well as assertive in managing others, especially those who are difficult and doing so without hurting their feelings. Since other research has pointed out the lack of theological understanding among younger Christians, they may struggle with being disciplined enough to put in the hours of study necessary to gain ownership of truth. Passion (love) for God and vision (know where one is going) may be tied to some lack in feelings of motivation. Wanting more passion might also be about feeling somewhat emotionally detached from God, while the desire to grow one’s vision might reflect a disturbance in confidence or lack of confirmation about what direction to take. Since these are just speculations, they can only serve as a place to start as leaders ask if these reasons apply to them. If not, what does?

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