The Definition of A Leader


Today, welcomes guest writer, Jeremy Gackle. Jeremy is a Resident Minister in the Cross Church School of Ministry serving in the Student Ministry, Springdale Campus. He is from Flower Mound, Texas and graduated from the University of Arkansas.

Leadership is a word that people have constantly been trying to define and it is also a word that almost nobody knows how they would truly define it. Some say it is how extroverted you are, some say it is your ability to command respect. Others say it is the loudest person in the room and some even say it’s something that you’re born with and can’t grow into. I believe, however, that leadership is a word that can simply be defined as somebody’s influence. Leadership is one of those things that a lot of people can’t put their finger on but they simply know it when they see it. We are able to see leadership skills in people from an incredibly early age. If you walk into a first grade classroom and just observe for two hours of free time, I firmly believe you will be able to see which kids in that room were born with a natural ability to lead. No matter how young or how old leaders are always viewed in the scope of their influence. Whether that is a senior pastor over a church of 10,000 or an eight-year-old kid trying to help kids decide what to do at recess, their leadership ability is tested, bred, and shown in their ability to make people listen to them and in turn follow them. Leaders inspire people to fulfill their purpose no matter how big or small it may be. Leadership may be a concept that many people have a thought on, but no one can deny the fact that a leader can’t be a leader without influence.

Another big thought I have about leadership is the idea that it is all simply about being yourself. Authenticity is something that many people attempt to show, but many people also miss the mark on. Any group of people that is perceptive at all can easily discern when someone is being genuine. It’s easy to believe the lies of society that tell each and every one of us that what they think of us is the only thing that matters. This trap is not only demoralizing, it is also crippling. When you finally find hope, security, and rest in the fact that our perfect creator created you perfectly how he wanted you, then you are able to lead at a level that is undoable by man alone. God intended introverted people to be introverted. He also intended extroverted people to be extroverted. This isn’t an excuse to stay complacent and never try to push out of your comfort zone, but it is a heart check on whether you are comfortable and confident in the gifts God has given you.

God has clothed each and every one of his sons and daughters in his glory and that is something that us humans so often forget.

Let’s think about it like this for a second:

When a kid is in elementary school their parents usually still pick their clothes for them each and every morning. The kid then puts those clothes on and goes to school. At school he gets a ton of compliments from his teacher and his friends about how awesome his clothes are. This kid would be crazy to take credit for his cool clothes or awesome fashion ideas but that something that we so often do with our God. God has hand-picked our strengths and weaknesses and put them on us in a way that we can use them to reach others, yet when we do reach others we often times point back at ourselves instead of pointing solely at God. We need to remember that these things we have been clothed in can’t be pointed to anything other than the glory of God. In that same breath, we need to learn and grow in our strengths to steward them in a way that
honors and glorifies God alone. God has called us all to be leaders in some sense of that word and a major step to launch your leadership to the next level is simply being comfortable in your own skin while realizing and utilizing the gifts God has given you.

Leadership is simply about influence. No great leader can last trying to emulate someone else. You must first be fully aware of God’s gifts in your life and constantly hone them in to make sure they are being used fully. Your leadership ability will grow as you grow deeper in your confidence in who God has specifically made you to be. My God doesn’t make mistakes. Each and every person He has crafted has a specific leadership purpose whether they are aware of it or not.