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The 10 Commandments of Christian Leadership Development

When it comes to developing as a leader—specifically as a Christian leader—here are 10 imperatives for development. Though not an exhaustive or infallible list, these challenges will help develop you as a leader.

1. Follow first.

Follow Jesus above all. Jesus is the One who transforms our character. If your love for Him grows cold, your character will suffer, as will those you serve. Without Jesus, your leadership may be transactional, but it will not be transformational. 

2. Lead yourself.

The most difficult person to lead is yourself, but if you cannot lead yourself, how can you lead others? A lack of discipline in one area of your life will spill over to other areas.

3. Set up chairs.

If you cannot set up chairs, you cannot be a leader. Christian leadership is about serving. If you are above setting up chairs and other tasks, you cannot and should not be a leader.

4. Embrace pain.

Pain is inevitable and instructional. Because we live in a fallen world with broken people, there is great pain in leadership. Embrace the pain, and the Lord will use it to develop you.

5. Submit to everyone.

Respect the leaders the Lord has placed over you, but also submit to those you have been asked to lead. Adjust to others as a servant. As you do, you will learn and grow from those you willingly place yourself under.

6. Find a mentor.

Great leadership is often more caught than taught. Surround yourself with people whose lives challenge and encourage you.

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Eric Geiger is the Senior Pastor of Mariners Church in Irvine, California. Before moving to Southern California, he served as senior vice-president for LifeWay Christian. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary and has authored or co-authored several books, including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. He is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, taking his daughters to the beach, and playing basketball.