3 Ways Your Faith Impacts Your Leadership

A leader discovers how faith influences leadership by reading his Bible daily.

Who we are defines everything we do as leaders. Our passions, dreams and visions guide us and our teams towards our goals. Our strengths and weaknesses determine how well we lead our organizations and those around us. But there is another, more important aspect of our lives that defines our leadership — our faith.

As Christians, we believe that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). We believe that the Bible is God’s Word and our ultimate authority. But how does our faith in Christ affect how we lead others?

Here are three ways faith influences leadership.

1. Provides a moral standard.

In the business world, it’s challenging to have strong values. People have different agendas and beliefs, loyalties are constantly shifting, and oftentimes, there isn’t a clear distinction between right and wrong. 

As Christians, we believe that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). We hold that the Bible is the ultimate authority and is therefore trustworthy as our moral foundation. When we come up against difficult situations, we can pray for wisdom and go to God’s Word as our unshifting standard. While it doesn’t give us a play-by-play of what we are supposed to do or tell us whether a choice is inherently right or wrong, it does give us a strong ethical and moral foundation to rely on.

2. Refocuses our intentions.

No matter how good our intentions are as leaders, we can easily become motivated by things like pride, monetary gain or our desire to succeed. We can lose sight of what really matters and become consumed with what we want, rather than what is best for our organizations and those around us. 

As Christians, we are called to love and serve those around us, “because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). The Bible also tells us to “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). Faith influences leadership when we invite Christ in and keep Him as our focus. Then we can lead with the right intentions and begin to truly love and serve those around us

3. Changes how we see ourselves.

As leaders, we are often faced with criticisms and can become overwhelmed by our failures. It’s easy to define ourselves by how others see us or by our shortcomings. We become painfully aware of how much we are lacking and feel inadequate, unable to lead ourselves or those around us.

When we belong to Christ, our identity is not in how perfectly we lead or how we fail; it is in the love Christ has for us. Ephesians tells us that “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved,” and that it is “not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (2:4-5, 8-9). We can’t earn His love, so we can’t lose it by falling short. With that in mind, we can lead confidently, knowing we will be loved and forgiven no matter what. 

1 John tells us that “if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (4:11). Once we understand God’s love for us, we are called to love and serve others as Christ does — but we aren’t called to do it alone. Remember to invite Christ into your day and ask Him to help you serve your team. Continually ask for wisdom and read His Word, while being intentional about spending time in prayer. Doing so will allow you to find the peace and strength necessary to effectively lead and love those around you.