[management by God] certified leaders

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. director of family ministry at st. edward's episcopal church. president of fistbump media, llc.

November 29, 2010

I recently passed one of the most important certifications that I could ever get! Along the lines of the FREE management training mentioned in my last post, I was certified by my son as a great dad!

He was playing, but then started doing something that he shouldn’t be doing (I forget what exactly it was, but I remember getting on his case about it). After “reminding” him of his poor choices with my stern, disciplinarian voice. He stopped and looked at me and said, “I love you daddy!”


There I was trying to be the “mean” guy and bring correction to him, and rather than fighting the correction, he stopped to tell me how he really felt about me.

As we look at the next qualification for the executive-leader, we come to, “with all dignity keeping his children submissive.”

The first thing that I want to deal with is the negative connotation of the word submissive. Most people desire independence to the point of rejecting the idea of being submissive. We think that someone who expects people to be submissive to them is going to use hateful tactics to force someone into an inferior role.

That’s not submission, that’s abuse, and it is not biblical.

Being under submission simply means that you are under authority. Authority is a good thing, and is quite biblical. What I’m talking about here is the idea that a good leader can keep his children acting under his (or her) authority.

However it doesn’t stop there. The passage continues with the qualifier of “with all dignity.”

This means that those under authority mustn’t feel like they’re being pushed down, but rather lifted up. This is why it’s so special to me that my own son, even when getting disciplined, still takes the opportunity to share his love for me. This tells me that he not only respects my authority over him, but he also appreciates it.

The best leadership training there is starts in the home. But this one gets specific with one important concept, and that’s the idea of servant leadership.

I believe my son appreciates my authority because he sees that I’m not “leading” him for my own selfish gain. I’m leading him (with a servant-heart) to raise him up to be everything that he can be.

Another thing that the world today seems to get twisted around is this idea of being a “servant“. My servant-heart towards my son doesn’t mean that I am submitting to his every desire, but that I am putting his best interest before my own.

A good leader doesn’t act out of selfish gain or ambition.

As I lead my son (or other people in my organization) selflessly, and work to build him (them) up, then I will begin to see a level of respect and commitment to follow me that’s rarely seen.

This type of servant leadership leads to loyalty. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples to teach them how to lead with a servant-heart. And they went on carrying the message of the cross to the world in the face of trials and persecution. Their task wasn’t an easy one, and their loyalty to their leader is unmistakable.

Questions to consider:

  • How are you building up the people around you?
  • How can you “wash their feet” to display your servant-heart towards them?
  • Where is discipline needed in their lives?
  • How can you bring correction to them without hurting their dignity?

See more from the management by God series!


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[management by God] certified leaders

by Dan King time to read: 3 min