Leadership requires integrity.
I just re-ordered a copy of the "21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John Maxwell. My copy was very well-read, with some underlines and yellow highlighting. After a few years, I gave it to a good friend.
Most of us want to be good leaders and I remember that this book had some great pointers on becoming more effective, about developing trust and earning influence. I need to be reminded from time to time about how to be a better leader.
The one lesson however that I’ve learned well is that if you want to lead others, you have to lead with integrity.
John Maxwell said that leadership is about influence, “nothing more, nothing less”. Many learn the hard way that in order to have influence you have to have the leadership character, quality and integrity that allows others to see that you are worthy of their trust. If they see integrity in your steps and you have a passion to lead, they will follow.
Integrity is critically important in the church, as leaders need to fully identify with the global mission of the Kingdom of God. We are to be motivated by the two instructions given by Jesus: The Great Commission, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20); and The Great Commandment, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself."(Matthew 22:38&39)
If you notice in Jesus words, our ministry is not about our own personal gain or our own agenda. When our church leaders truly focus on these very simple instructions, we avoid a lot of the ethical and character flaws that make so many leaders stumble.