The Inspirational Leader

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” (Matthew 4:19, NLT)

Some leaders inspire leaders, while other leaders organize leaders.

Leaders who inspire through vision and calling get “into” the soul of others, challenging them to follow Jesus. Organizational leaders develop a vision statement, make plans, and give directions.

Inspirational leaders work from the inside out, while organizational leaders work from the outside in. An inspirational leader gives a call to serve, while the organizational leader pays others to serve.

Both the inspirational and the organizational leader can succeed, but inspiring is a lot easier than organizing – and cheaper too. 

Inspirational leaders follow the example of Jesus, while organizational leaders follow Collins, Covey, Drucker, and Maxwell. Organizational leaders fit others into their paradigms, while inspirational leaders release calling in others.

The church should be more inspirational than organizational. 

Too many churches look more like an organization chart from Harvard Business School than the Ephesians chapter 4 leadership model of apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, and evangelists.

Clear vision is essential in organizational leadership. Calling is most important to the Spirit of God. As Paul writes …

Lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God (Ephesians 4:1).

Organizational leadership focuses on defined priorities. Inspirational leadership is messy, resulting in leaders who follow their own calling and not necessarily the mission statement of an organization.

I’ve observed both organizational and inspirational leaders.  

Inspirational leaders are better at creating leaders who lead others. Organization leaders often end up with a small circle of workers dedicated to the organizational leader’s vision.

Points to note …

  • Burnout happens more with organizational rather than inspirational leadership.
  • Organizational leaders develop loyalty to goals, not maturity in Christ.
  • Inspirational leaders often don’t want to lead; they just want to follow Jesus. They can seem annoyed with crowds, but crowds follow anyway.
  • Inspirational leaders pray more as they seek God for direction in ministry.

Inspirational or organizational – we are all leaders, and our leadership style sways one way or the other.

I’m inspired by this verse of scripture … 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

We can go to colleges, business schools, or seminaries to study organizational leadership. We must follow Jesus to be an inspirational leader.

Great leaders inspire others to follow Jesus. This is the calling of the church.

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