We believe the gospel is essential to leadership development. You see, Jesus was the freest person to walk the earth and it is no coincidence that he was also the best leader. Free from sin and selfishness, Jesus was able to put others first and lead people into greater freedom. So today, leaders must also live in this freedom to be truly effective.
Unfortunately, freedom is often misunderstood. Spiritual freedom in Christ is not about personal rights, government regulations, or social status. Jesus showed this through his submission to the Father, taking the role of a servant, and not seeking any advancement of his own- yet he was fully free. The freedom that Jesus offers is freedom from sin, the law, and selfish desires.
Paul wrote about this freedom in the book of Galatians. Some Galatians were tempted to trust in the law and some thought, like us today, that freedom meant they could do whatever they want. But that isn’t Biblical freedom. Though the gospel frees us from sin, we must daily choose to walk in that freedom by denying ourselves.
The chart above shows that true freedom requires faith in Christ and denial of our old nature. Without both, we will continue in a form of slavery. This is why Jesus calls his followers to pick up their cross, deny themselves and follow him. As Paul reminds Jesus’ followers, this is only possible by walking in the Spirit.
This kind of spiritual freedom is especially important for leaders today, who must pave the way through discipline and self-control. Without living in this freedom, leaders cannot bring the church into the abounding freedom that Christ provided through his life, death and resurrection!