Being Rather Than Doing: A Deep Dive into Christian Leadership

Christian Leader Being in Prayer


Unlock your potential in Christian leadership with our guide on ‘being rather than doing’.


The nuances of Christian leadership often revolve around the principle of ‘being rather than doing’. This concept goes against the grain of the action-oriented world we live in, but is deeply rooted in biblical teaching. When it comes to Christian leadership, it becomes critical to understand that it is more about embodying the teachings and less about the tasks performed.

Essential to any discourse is identifying the principle at hand – in this case, being. This idea takes precedence over a culture that idealises doing. Anyone can do actions and follow instructions, but Christian leadership involves more than checking boxes off a list or fulfilling obligations. It’s about cultivating a Christlike character, and immersing oneself into the values, virtues and spirit that underlie those actions.

Over time, the focus on ‘doing’ rather than ‘being,’ can lead to disillusionment or burnout – this is where ‘being’ gains relevance. In Christian leadership, when ‘being’ is prioritised, it results in a sincere, profound commitment that’s driven by the essence of who you are, rather than what you do. It’s about living an authentic Christian life, remaining rooted in your spiritual formation and allowing your actions to naturally flow from a conviction deeply embedded within you. This aspect of Christian leadership needs more emphasis, to manifest ‘actions’ that genuinely reflect one’s ‘being’.

In the Sphere of Christian Leadership: Being Rather than Doing

A common misconception has swirled within the Christian community when it comes to the role of leadership. Often, the emphasis is placed on “doing”; overseeing ministries, organising events, and orchestrating service initiatives. Yet, Christian leadership embodies much more. It is about “being rather than doing”. A wise, steadfast leader personifies Christian values and teachings in all walks of life, a beacon for others to mirror in the holistic context of Christianity.

Echoing Christian Teachings: Being a Role Model

At the core of Christian leadership, lies the resounding ideal of ‘being’. It is expected that Christian leaders will emulate Christ. This means acting with compassion, exhibiting self-sacrifice, and displaying humility without needing to put on a show or check off items in a “to do” list. Christian leadership is about individual transformation anchored in Christ’s teachings, inspiring transformative context around it. “Being rather than doing” epitomises the essence of Christian leadership.

Holistic Approach for Christian leaders: Balancing ‘Being’ and ‘Doing’

Significantly, “being rather than doing” does not suggest that “doing” is entirely unimportant in Christian leadership. It signifies that “being” is vital and comes before “doing”. Christian leaders are expected to be a reflection of Christlike behaviour before they can make an influence in the community. To be effective, leaders do require strategy, vision and action. Consider “being” and “doing” as two sides of the same coin, equally critical, yet the weight is inclined towards “being rather than doing”.

Developing ‘Being’: A Commitment to Growth

Calibrating one’s internal compass towards ‘being’ requires an unwavering commitment to self-development. Honesty, resilience, empathy, and patience become tempting attributes yet challenging to uphold. Prioritising ‘being’ can manifest in numerous aspects of a leader’s life, from praying passionately, embracing solitude for reflection, to seeking insightful wisdom in Christian scriptures.

Leadership: A Servant’s Heart

Leaders with a servant’s heart reflect Christian teachings through their actions and behaviours, placing others’ needs before their own. The notion of ‘being rather than doing’ inherently supports this model of leadership, where the emphasis is on “being a servant” rather than “doing a servant’s tasks”.

Effectual Christian leadership is founded on the bedrock of embodying the teachings of Christ, embracing service, exhibiting integrity, displaying empathy, and fostering unity. It’s not about the magnitude of tasks accomplished but being a beacon, guiding others towards a Christ-centered life.

This, in essence, is the true inclination towards ‘being rather than doing’. The emphasis is about being authentic in one’s faith, walking the path of Christ, and inspiring others to do the same. A mix of compassion, integrity, humility, love, and service define Christian leadership – attributes that cannot be ‘done’ but ‘be’.

Outlining this shift towards ‘being’ is instrumental for present and emerging Christian leaders alike, as it emphasises leadership as an extension of one’s Christ-driven life.


A shift towards “being rather than doing” in Christian leadership can be manifestly transformative. It reconfigures the essence of leadership from a task-focused approach to an identity-rooted basis which, in turn, influences actions and reactions. A spiritual leader embracing this paradigm cultivates an environment of authenticity, empathy, and spiritual growth, building a fellowship both more resilient and more loving.

Being rather than doing transforms Christian leadership into a liberating journey that bridges faith and life in a substantive, impactful manner. It promotes higher engagement amongst the congregation, as leaders who embody the spirit of Christ draw others to reflect upon their own spiritual journey. Token gestures and shallow efforts thus give way to genuine acts of service, enriching the collective faith experience of the community.

This reorientation to “being rather than doing” reflects the essence of true Christian leadership. Indeed, it recaptures the very core of Jesus Christ’s teaching – to love and serve without pretense or anticipation of reward. In an era where leaders are often judged by their list of accomplishments, this shift is both revolutionary and laudable. For in embracing this radical authenticity, a Christian leader exudes an influence that no mere laundry list of tasks could ever achieve, thereby magnifying the power of their pastoral stewardship.

Key Takeaways

  • Emphasising “being rather than doing” in Christian leadership, one can see its profound impact on nurturing spiritual maturity more than achievements or actions.
  • By highlighting “being rather than doing” in the context of Christian leadership, the importance of personal character growth, authenticity, and strong relationships with God can clearly be underlined.
  • As we delve deeper into “being rather than doing”, it’s key to understand that Christian leadership is about making the most of our God-given personalities and capabilities, rather than merely performing tasks on a to-do list.
  • Exploring the idea of “being rather than doing” gives a whole new perspective on Christian leadership. This principle showcases the value of focusing on the heart and the journey, rather than just the destination.
  • Unfolding the concept of “being rather than doing”, it can be seen that Christian leadership demands a continuous process of transformation and reflection, definitely more about ‘being’ – which in the long run bears more fruit than simply ‘doing’.

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

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