What Does a Leader Look Like?

Titus 1: Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.

The Washington Times headline summed it up:  Gibbs’ Leadership Legacy Unmatched in Pro Sports.  The author, Thom Loverro, was referring to Joe Gibbs, a former NFL football coach and a NACAR race car team owner.  Making the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996 as a coach just wasn’t quite enough, as he was also inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2020 as a team owner.

Loverro went on to say: “This is leadership legacy unmatched in American professional sports — immortalized as a leader in two major halls of fame, both of them for creating championship teams.”  As far as his NFL coaching career, Loverro says Gibbs’ Washington Redskins were able to win 3 Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks, “none of whom are or will be with him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame”.  In contrast, Bill Belichick won all six Super Bowls with the same quarterback, Tom Brady.  When it came to car racing, his team success also came with different personalities winning racing and championships, “with Gibbs being the common denominator”.  Gibbs was able to make those around him better.  As a Christian, Gibbs would give credit to God for the successes that he has seen in his life.

I am excited when Christians in sports are honored by non-Christian organizations or media.  16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matth. 5:16).  Gibbs’ leadership light shines brightly, as is evident in the Washington Times article.

The book of Titus is only 3 chapters long, but it is one of my favorites because it is jam packed with incredible wisdom, especially when it comes to leadership.  If you have any desire to be a great leader, spend some time studying this book.  This book is actually one letter sent to his co-worker Titus.  Paul and Titus worked together in Crete, a beautiful island off the south of Greece, spreading the gospel and establishing churches, but Paul had to leave.  This letter to Titus was sent after Paul’ departure and consists primarily of encouragement and instructions for Titus to establish strong, godly churches.  A key element of this building process was the appointing of leaders/elders/overseers (Titus 1:5).

Paul said that an elder must be blameless, and a leader first in his home (vs. 6).  Since an elder must manage God’s household, they are not to be overbearing/arrogant; they can’t have short tempers, be heavy drinkers, nor violent; and they must be honest (vs. 7).  Elders are to be hospitable people, lovers of good, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined (vs. 8).  And of upmost importance, an elder must understand the scriptures, hold firmly to them and be prepared to encourage believers and refute those who oppose sound doctrine (vs. 9).

There are few who will not be called to lead in some capacity, whether that be leading a family, or leading something at school or work.  If you desire to be a godly leader, then consider the list of requirements that God sets out for those whom he wants to entrust with his sheep.  The good shepherd will only trust other shepherds who meet these requirements because he loves his people and wants them led by those who have this same heart of God.  Are you such a person?  Can God trust you with his precious people?

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