Great leaders were not just born, they were reborn.
While Christian leadership is often identified with the four walls of the community of faith, actually it’s more than that. It is also transformative in its full effect.
Sure, there are more popular Christian leaders in the history, but these are my top 10 Jesus-followers and influencers in the global scenario.
10. William Carey. Before there was Mother Theresa in India, Carey went to India. Carey is considered as “the father of world missions.” His God-given vision widened the traditional scope of the Great Commission by reaching out to India when no one did so far.
9. William Wilberforce. This man is no ordinary or traditional politician. Wilberforce is an English evangelical Christian leader who fought against the slave trade in most British Empire. His social responsibility is transformative and portrayed in the Amazing Grace movie.
8. Martin Luther. A staunch German theologian and monk, he stood for the truth when some of what he used to believe was in conflict with what the Bible teaches. Luther‘s commitment to making Jesus Christ through the Holy Bible as the sole authority for faith and practice opened the Reformation in Christian history.
7. John Maxwell. An American pastor-author, Maxwell is a world “influencer” through his speaking engagements, training, and books on leadership. His leadership works also are my supplemental readings from time to time.
6. Martin Luther King Jr. An American Baptist pastor and activist who won a Nobel Peace Prize, he is the champion of Civil Rights Movement. King is known for his vision and love for freedom even if it means risking his own life for others.
5. Billy Graham. A world-renowned evangelist, Graham is an American Southern Baptist pastor who led millions to Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. His passion for the lost and secrets to leadership combined are heavily influential in my life.
4. Rick Warren. You may have heard of him through the bestselling The Purpose Driven Life, but he is not just a Baptist pastor and author. Warren is the prime mover of the PEACE Plan (Promote reconciliation. Equip servant leaders. Assist the poor. Care for the sick. Educate the next generation). His book The Purpose Driven Church has been my earliest practical guide in the ministry.
3. Ed Silvoso. An Argentinian evangelist, Silvoso leads Harvest Evangelism and International Transformation Network. I briefly met him in Hawaii through the kindness of Dr. Dave Daugherty. Since then, his books in my personal library are constant refreshers.
2. John Edmund Haggai. An American evangelist I personally met, Haggai wrote books that remained influential to me as a Christian leader. His huge contribution to my spiritual growth in life and leadership is one that I’m ever grateful of.
1. Adrian Rogers. An American pastor, Rogers served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention several times. His biography has been an inspiration to me and helped me made major decisions in my life and ministry.
Some of these well-respected leaders lived in different times, cultures, denominations, and challenges. All of them, however, do not have perfect family backgrounds, upbringing, and leadership styles. But one thing is sure, they do not have a cult following for they did not start their own religion or exclusivist sect for spiritual salvation.
Nonetheless, all of them have something in common: Jesus Christ.
The main factor that makes a leader Christian is Jesus Christ. They live and lead for Him. These leaders can be great mentors, as they did to me in many special ways.
How about you? Do you have model Jesus followers?
Glenn Plastina (c) 2017