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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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
— Debra
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
— Laurie
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)

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