A Leader’s Job Description
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God… Romans 1:1 ( NIV 1984)
In the opening passage of Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome he describes himself and his job (role, contribution). This concise description can provide all Kingdom leaders with a template for our contribution as well.
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus…” The word means “one owned by another” (bond slave, doulos) and describes a person in relationship to a master. It is the same word used to describe Jesus in Philippians 2:7, “…taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
Being a servant is a leader’s identity, not their activity. This identity does not change, regardless of whether or not our role, title, or responsibility changes. All who are followers of Jesus find our identity as servants of Him who bought and paid for us with His own blood on the cross. Sometimes we have the privilege of expressing that servant identity in leading others. But at other times, we may express that same servant identity by following someone else as they lead us.
Paul continues his own description, “…called to be an apostle…” The word means “one who is sent out; a messenger sent with a message to deliver” Here Paul begins to put a sharper point on his own personal job as he works out the specifics of his servant leadership. He was to be an apostle to the Gentiles (the nations; the non-Jews). This explanation was given at his conversion on the road to Damascus and was further clarified in a meeting with leadership in Jerusalem some years later (see Galatians 2).
Paul’s function was to be a pioneering messenger to the Gentiles, planting the good seed of the gospel among peoples (Gentiles) who did not have a Jewish background. He laid foundations that others would come afterwards and build upon (see 1 Corinthians 3). He knew his role and his personal function in light of the bigger goal of advancing the Kingdom and discipling the nations for Christ.
So too for any Kingdom leader; we must be very clear on our personal function that we bring. It is a function that we, and only we, can and must do. It’s more than just ‘lead.’ But, rather, what part of the overall leadership function do you do? That’s strategic leadership at it’s best.
Are you clear on your identity and your strategic leadership activity? What is it that you and only you can and must do, today, as you lead?