Chief-Sinner Leaders

Paul calls leaders not merely to be humble and self-effacing but to be desperate and honest.  It is not enough to be self-revealing, authentic, and transparent.  Our calling goes far beyond that.  We are called to be reluctant, limping, chief-sinner leaders, and even more, to be stories.  The word that Paul uses is that a leader is to be an 'example,' but what that implies is more than a figure on a flannel board.  He calls us to be a living portrayal of the very gospel we beseech others to believe.  And that requires a leader to see himself as being equally prone to deceive as he is to tell the truth, to manipulate as he is to bless, to cower as he is to be bold.  A leader is both a hero and a fool, a saint and a felon.

We are both and to pretend otherwise is to be disingenuous.  The leader who fails to face [his] darkness must live with fear and hypocrisy.  The result will be a defensiveness that places saving face and controlling others as higher goods than blessing others and doing good work.  Clearly, the biblical model of leadership is odd, inverted, and deeply troubling.  It is so troubling that most churches, seminaries, and other religious organizations would never hire a 'chief sinner.'  The only one who thinks to do so is God.

Dan Allender in Leading With A Limp, p 57.