Leadership Requires Accountability

Who a leader listens to shapes much of what a leader does. A leader who surrounds himself with wise counsel is a leader who is much more likely to lead well. A leader surrounded by fools is a leader who is doomed to fail.

The story of Solomon’s son Rehoboam illustrates this reality well. The 12 tribes of Israel were restless after Solomon’s death, and an influential leader (Jeroboam) from the northern tribes approached Rehoboam on behalf of the people. The people wanted Rehoboam to lighten the load of forced labor, and Rehoboam agreed to give an answer in three days. He wanted to consult some people before delivering his decision. The elders encouraged Rehoboam to serve the people and to speak with kindness. Rehoboam did not listen to the elders but sought insight from people who were in awe of him, young men who grew up with him and served him from birth. They encouraged Rehoboam to declare that the load would be heavier and he would be harsher. He listened to their counsel, the people rebelled, and the nation split. God was sovereign over all of it and had already decided to divide the kingdom, but the leadership lesson in the story is clear: It is foolish to listen to people who are in awe of you (1 Kings 12).

Here are three types of accountability every leader needs to receive from others who are wise:

1. Personal

Leaders need to be surrounded by people who care for their souls, who care that their hearts are tender before the Lord. A leader who shuns community is a leader whose heart will grow cold and will lead without following Christ.

2. Strategic

The wisdom writer reminds us: “Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). All of us have dumb ideas when we are alone. Great leadership never occurs in a vacuum. Great direction and strategy happen in a community of wise people.

3. Team

Wise leaders learn from the team of people they are leading. They don’t view the team they lead as people who mindlessly execute every direction they are given; rather, they view them as partners who contribute wisdom, experience, and perspective.

Who you listen to impacts your leadership. Be sure you are listening to wise people.

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Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger serves as the Vice President of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.

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I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken

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