The lack of Christ-like Leadership and the Demise of Christianity in America

Christian Leadership means leading in a Christ-like way. What’s a Christ-like way? It’s leading in such a manner that those around the person would think, “This person would wash my feet, if needed.” In other words, Christian leadership is all about servanthood. The Christian leader should ask themselves:

Do the folks I lead know I am servant first, leader second?
Do the folks I lead know of my devotion to Christ more than any other aspect about me?
Do the folks I lead look at my Christian walk and think I want to follow Jesus in the same manner?

If not, then you are not a Christian leader. The so-called leader might have a title with impressive letters like M.Div, D.Min. or Ph.D after their name. But if they aren’t leading like Jesus, they aren’t a “Christian” leader.

A recent study showed that by the 2070 less than 50% of Americans will identify as a Christian. See the article here). Why such a downfall? No doubt, many factors are involved. Still John Maxwell’s quote “everything rises and falls with leadership,” would deduce that a major factor for the fall of Christianity in America is the lack of Christ-like leadership displayed in the last few decades.

Too often Christian leaders (in many cases, certainly not all) have…

  • Climbed to the top, using the ways of the world instead of the way of Jesus.
  • Demanded to have their way and their rights, rather than picking up a towel and basin. 
  • Focused more on politics than Jesus.
  • Created boogeymen/strawmen to topple, while ignoring Christ and His kingdom. 
  • Been silent when needed to speak, and spoken when silence was the best response.
  • Kowtowed to those with money rather than being faithful regarding “the least of these.” 

At some point, some of these “the rising to the top” leaders may have voiced the importance of Christian servanthood over an autocratic management style. Only to reach the top of the ecclesiastical ladder, seduced by its power, and have subsequently responded more like a shark, rather than the Lamb of God.

The result? The world has been watching and is now rejecting Christ and His bride. People are walking away in droves. Christian leaders are still responding by casting stones at society and those leaving the church, rather than confessing our own sins. Leaders have no one to blame for the demise of the church in America than themselves. 

Is there any way to turn this trajectory around?  Yes, but it will come from followers of Jesus (leaders first) displaying the attitude of Jesus. It’s leading as Jesus– full of grace and truth. It’s servanthood over salaries, titles and position. It’s the way of Jesus. Unless we walk in the way of Jesus, we are no different than those walking the ways of the world.