5 Tips for Being an Awful Leader


Have you ever read the book of 3 John? It’s the shortest book in the Bible (219 words in the original Greek). You figure, with that short a message, it must pack a punch, right?!


One of the themes that’s written about is leadership: how to care [well] for our leaders, what poor leadership looks like, and what’s important to good leaders. That’s quite a bit of information to fit into 15 verses, right?!

The part that spoke to me the most was the bit about how NOT to lead. The two verses that talk about it say this:

I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

3 John 9-10 NIV

So, based upon this church leader – Diotrephes – here are our 5 tips for being an awful leader:

1: Love to be first. (…Diotrephes, who loves to be first…)
2: Keep God’s wisdom (and messengers of it) at bay. (…will not welcome us…)
3: Gossip. (…spreading malicious nonsense about us…)
4: Restrict/forbid outside [positive] influence. (…refuses to welcome other believers…)
5: Ostracize people who think differently than you. (…stops people who want to do so and puts them out of the church…)

Yikes, right?!

So, my first two reactions to that information is to 1) can you believe how much wisdom God can pack into two verses?!?! and 2) How many times have I led more like Diotrephes than like Jesus? Jesus:

1: Loved to be last.
2: Talked with his Heavenly Father regularly and welcomed the Holy Spirit.
3: Spoke love, justice and truth.
4: Promoted community.
5: Hung out with everyone the world rejected.

I want to be the Jesus kind of leader. I think I’ll stick with his 5 tips.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me how easy it is to forget who is ACTUALLY in charge: YOU. Help me to love leading how your son led in his time here on earth. Give me a humble heart that loves to serve. Amen.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Recent Posts


Leave a Reply