The gospel isn't only a message that leaders communicate to others, it's something they desperately need themselves. Steve Timmis explores these implications in Gospel Centred Leadership. Check out some quotes below:
1 - Gospel Culture
[A] gospel culture not only needs to be created but also sustained. A culture needs to be created where it is normal to know what the gospel has accomplished (the indicatives), and consequently how we are to live (the imperatives); a culture where people are constantly reminded of who they are in Christ. We need to remind one another of the essential truths of the gospel: that we are more sinful than we dare admit and more loved than we would ever dare believe. All the imperatives of the gospel (what we are to do) will flow out of these indicatives. (what the gospel has accomplished).
2 - Shaping that Culture
We will therefore forgive one another because we are forgiven much. We will want to be holy because we have been made in the image of God to be holy. These truths about who we are in Christ are going to be the main means by which leaders can shape a culture. This is an important issue because our surrounding culture fights to shape and define us. If the gospel is the defining feature of a group then people are pastored more easily and pointed to Jesus more effectively. Problems become more acute when anything other than the gospel is the defining feature.
3 - Taking the Initiative
If leaders are going to set the direction and create a culture, they need to be the people who take the initiative. They have to take the initiative by getting involved in people's lives, by teaching them, and speaking to them gently about the gospel in order that the gospel imperatives are obeyed instinctively and faithfully.
4 - The enemy of Idealism
Idealism is the enemy of relationships of all kinds, and something that Christians seem especially prone to. Idealism is the enemy of the gospel, because it doesn't take into account the truth that churches and Christians live in two worlds - the perfect world to come, and the failing, sin-ridden world that is passing away.
5 - You are not the Saviour
Through inexperience or pride, leaders can overstretch themselves thinking that they themselves are to be a "saviour" of God's people. They believe that it is up to them to make people godly, to sort out their problems, to rescue them from disaster. They get caught in a cycle of crippling workloads, a stressful sense of responsibility for others, and guilt and despair when they fail. Time and time again I have seen people who have become overwhelmed by the false task they have set themselves. Instead, leaders need a quiet confidence in Jesus to rule through his word, by His Spirit.
Being an example is the primary way we lead.
Leadership is always about encouraging people to do what I do, and not simply to hear and do what I say. This is why godly character is essential: it demonstrates where the real authority lies. The task of a leader is to teach the word of God. That word is to be applied in the first instance to my own life, and I am to live under it and be shaped by it. That way, people will see that it is Christ, not me, who rules His church!
7 - Fear of Man
To fear people does not mean that we are afraid of them in the way that we now use that term; we're not necessarily afraid that they might hit us or shout at us. Rather, fearing people means that they dominate our vision - they are disproportionately large in our thoughts and estimation. As a result, their opinion matters to us more than it should. Fearing people shapes our actions, and so we fail to live wisely and well. This is the theological explanation for what is commonly know as "peer pressure".
8 - Fear of the Lord
"Fear the Lord" with all your heart, and telling others about him in all the glory of his death and resurrection is inevitable and irresistible. This applies in every area of life. If we "fear the Lord", our words will be to build up, encourage and help others to grow more like Jesus. If we "fear the Lord" we will resist temptation because his glory and delight will be the most significant thing to us, rather than a moment of passing pleasure. If we "fear the Lord" we will use our resources to bless others, knowing that they are made in the image of God and that he is a just God. In every way, not least leadership, the wisdom of fearing the Lord results in living well.
9 - Delegation
Refusing to delegate tasks can deny others the opportunity to serve. Pride can be at the root of this, too.
10 - Creating culture
Culture will be created through prayer, Bible teaching, example and influence.