Most Leaders Want to Finish Well.

Yet studies show that the majority of us don’t. Money, sex, pride, power, family problems, and plateauing are cited as the big barriers facing leaders who want to finish well.

Most Leaders do NOT Finish Well.

Only about 30% of today’s Christian leaders finish well.

For Good or for Bad, Leaders Impact Corporations, Communities, Churches, and Nations

Leaders – good ones and bad ones – make a difference in everyone’s life. Histories of human societies chronicle consistent narratives of a few leaders whose disproportionate leverage brought either harm or healing to the masses.

What causes leaders to fall prey to these pitfalls? Why do successful, talented, and bright leaders so often sabotage their professional and personal lives through immoral and destructive behavior?


The first step toward a downward spiral is growing self-centeredness. Leaders become increasingly confident about their accomplishments until they start to believe that they are special. As a result, they begin to make decisions in isolation, discounting the contributions and counsel of others.

The Problem with Productivity

Christian leaders today often function with a leadership paradigm that prioritizes success above everything else. Too many leaders and their organizations operate under the guise of “fruitful ministry” that is defined by numbers and budgets.

Unlike other models that prioritize an "if-it-works-it-must-be right" orientation toward leadership, Christ-Centered leaders lead with no guaranteed outcome, but only with the assurance that it is the right way to lead.

Why Christ-Centered Leadership?

We believe a fundamental distinguishing characteristic of the way Jesus led was his commitment to prioritize others' highest kingdom potential over one's own personal success.

What distinguishes Jesus’ leadership in light of more dominant leadership models of His day and ours?

  • Jesus influenced those He led by developing authentic relationships with them rather than resorting to strong-arm coercion or positional power.
  • Jesus’ radical priority that His followers grow to their maximum kingdom potential was at the heart of Jesus’ life and ministry. Jesus saw people as God’s image-bearers. He saw the future fueled by their collective, Spirit-empowered genius, and consistently demonstrated His unflinching commitment for them to reach their highest kingdom potential.
  • Unlike other leadership models that tend to emphasize the success of their followers as long as the leader succeeds more. Jesus gave Himself to the task of reproducing Himself into those who would carry the torch after His departure. Jesus set His vision on the future, when those He had developed would catalyze a movement to change the world.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. - John 14:12

We believe Christ-Centered Leadership should be focused on four primary characteristics:

1. Founded upon relationship (rather than control)

Foundational to Jesus’ leadership was His relationship with the disciples. Rather than exerting control over them, He led them by walking dusty paths beside them, answering their questions, and entrusting them with insider information. He was honest in his conversations with them. They knew Jesus genuinely cared about them. Thus, He earned their trust, even when His words and actions were difficult to understand or receive.

2. Activated by influence (rather than hierarchical authority)

Jesus’ leadership was activated by influence rather than delegated positional authority. Despite His unrivaled spiritual authority, Jesus’ leadership of others was not accomplished through strong-arm coercion. Instead, people had a choice to follow Him or to reject His invitation and turn away. Our freedom to choose was one of God’s most profound displays of true leadership. A restored relationship with God that is dependent on a person’s choice is central to the gospel message. Jesus did not use a hierarchical structure to manage people; instead, He invested in relationships to influence people. 

3. Focused on follower potential (rather than the individual’s production)

What most set Jesus’ leadership apart was His capacity to discern and to develop His followers’ potential. He saw people as a personification of God. He saw the future fueled by their collective, Spirit-empowered genius, and He consistently demonstrated His altruistic commitment for each individual to reach their own highest Kingdom potential. The radical priority that His followers grow to their maximum Kingdom potential was at the heart of Jesus’ life and ministry. He never held a prominent community or organizational position, and He did not seek success according to standard organizational measures. Rather, He took up the task of infusing His commitment into those who would carry the torch after His departure. He set His vision on the future where those He had developed would catalyze a movement to change the world. No greater, life-changing leadership priority exists.

4. Committed to common purpose (rather than leader-only agenda)

Jesus built relationships that were committed to a common purpose. A famous fish story in the Bible concludes with Jesus saying to Simon, “’Do not be afraid, from now on you will be catching men.’ And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5: 10-11) Simon (and others) came to believe that Jesus was committed to their highest Kingdom potential, so Jesus’ purpose and their purpose became one. Through true relationships, Jesus profoundly influenced the lives of His disciples so that eventually they owned His vision and profoundly shaped the course of history.