By Bob Fryling - senior vice president

The Making of a Leader

Most leaders of campus fellowship groups are perplexed by the question, “What is leadership?” Very little in college coursework prepares us for leadership. Add to that the high value North Americans place on independence—as well as major recent disappointments in both government and church leaders—and most people shy away from being publicly identified as a leader. It’s easier just to be a member of the group.

When I speak to InterVarsity groups on leadership, the question, “What is leadership?” invariably draws blank looks. Though the awesome realization that God has entrusted Christian students with leading his strategic work on campus may hit home from time to time, most don’t really understand what leadership is.

So what is leadership?

As I’ve studied the lives of various leaders in the Bible through the years and sorted through the issue of what makes someone a good leader, I’ve come up with a triangle diagram that’s helped me grasp the prerequisites of Christian leadership.

At the top of the triangle I place knowledge and experience, the qualities which people most readily associate with leadership. I define vision, the second basic prerequisite to leadership, as “the ability to see beyond oneself.” And thirdly, it’s important to influence and lead in a way that nurtures and encourages people while you provide direction.

Leaders with knowledge, experience, vision and people skills can still lack the vital quality that brings all these other traits together: the character of a servant.

Read the rest of this article on leadership at, InterVarsity’s website for college students.