Marks of a Gospel-Centered Leader-Part 3: Intentionality

You (and everything else) exists because God is an intentional leader.

In part 1 and 2 of this series, Marks of a Gospel-Centered Leader, we looked at the foundational elements that shape and inform how we lead: Identity and Integrity. Today we shift into the more visible aspects of our leadership.

Mark #3: Intentionality

Intentionality is the level in which we move from self- leadership to leading others. Leadership necessitates both action and objective. Put simply: intentionality is the level at which most of our leadership occurs.

Lets use this working definition for intentionality:

Intentionality is acting with initiative towards completing a specific objective.

Jesus, of course, was the most intentional leader who ever lived. The Chrisitian’s redemption is tied directly to the intentionality of Jesus in His commitment to His mission (objective). Consider his response to Pilates questions regarding his leadership position as King.

John 18:37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

Jesus actions aligned with his objective. This is the essence of what it means to be an intentional leader.

Leadership involves intentionally leading others in such a way that maximizes the glory being brought to God in any given endeavor. The Gospel-centered leader takes initiative and inspire others to action in order to accomplish an objective.

Intentionality requires both vision (objectives = preferred future) and action (initiative).

The distant cousin of the intentional leader is the theoretical leader. The theoretical leader is typically so preoccupied with their vision that they never get around to planning and executing tasks towards that vision.

The Japanese proverb accurately sums up this disconnect between action and vision in the theoretical leader:

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” – Japanese Proverb

If you want to spot leaders in any team, look for problem solvers, look for people with far more ideas than complaints. Look for those who step into leadership vacuums without waiting for a title or position.

Look for intentional leaders and commit to intentionally developing them.

A few thoughts as we wrap up:

  1. What are some concrete, measurable goals you have set for the team you lead?
  2. How often do you abandon projects after the initial excitement wears off?
  3. For every 1 future objective (vision) have 3 action items that would advance the team you lead towards the vision.


Chad Williams

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