Are Leaders Born or Grown?

This is a question that has been discussed for years, and when you meet an impressive leader, you usually come down on one side or the other of that question, but, the next time, it may change.  Are they natural leaders because they are born leaders or are they good leaders because they have been taught to be good leaders?

In the world of business, economics, organizations and some churches, either one could be true.  You have people who seem to have been leaders all of their lives and you have those who have learned as they have come up through the ranks.  Then you notice that some drop out along the way while others seem to appear from nowhere.

In the “Building God’s Kingdom” world, it’s this last group who seem to appear from nowhere, and they are the ones that I want to talk about.  I think that’s the way God “raises” leaders.  In His world, good leaders are “called” and “anointed.”

For example:

*Nehemiah, called from slavery, anointed by God to be the governor of Jerusalem.

*Moses, called in the wilderness, anointed by God to lead a nation into the wilderness.

*Rahab, called from prostitution, anointed to be a famous mother.

*Peter, called from failure, anointed by God to be a successful preacher.

*David, called as a shepherd, anointed by God to be a king.

*The widow of Zaraphath, called from starvation, anointed to minister to the prophet of God, Elijah.

*Abraham, called as a nobody, anointed by God to be the “father of nations”.

*Paul, a fanatic, anointed by God to completely switch sides.

*Elisha, called while plowing a field, anointed by God to succeed Elijah.

We could go on, but, you see what I mean.

God uses the most unusual people to lead, well…. people like us!  People who don’t seek it, who were not born to succeed to the leadership role, who stumble and struggle as they go.  People, like us, who get discouraged, make mistakes and often have to cry out to God for help because we find ourselves in impossible situations.

But, never forget:  We lead because we are called to lead!

We were called to have a relationship with God (1 Corinthians 1:9)

We were called to absolutely obey God  (Hebrews 11:8)

We were called to be a part of God’s purpose (1 Peter 2:9)

Romans 1:6  “You also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”

And, in the midst of the struggles, don’t forget:  We only lead because God called us to lead and has anointed us!

God is our leader, we follow Him  (Matthew 4:19)

God whispers in our ear, we are never alone  (Matthew 28:19-20)

God brings people into our lives to help us  (Philippians 2:19 – 24)

Paul told Timothy to “fan into flames the gift that is in you”.  We need to nurture what God has put in us  (2 Timothy 1:6).

Take a minute and think with me:  What were we called from?  Do we remember our calling?  What have we been anointed to do?

Lead on, called and anointed one!



Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

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