What are the Secrets to Good Leadership, Biblically Speaking?

Bro. Eliseo Soriano answering queries of faith in a Worldwide Bible Exposition at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.

The International Evangelist answering queries of faith during a Worldwide Bible Exposition at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.

“What can you give as advice that I may better improve my service to our barangay?”

Towards the end of the Worldwide Bible Exposition on April 26, 2013, an incumbent barangay captain from Quezon City in the Philippines asked Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano what advice he could give on good governance.

“Firstly, there’s no better way of leading people than the leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ,” replied Bro. Eli to Renato Galimba. The Lord Jesus Christ exercised what the English Bible calls “righteousness,” which in the original Greek manuscript means “justice” or “equity,” according to the Overall Servant to MCGI.

“A government must practice equity or righteousness,” he added. “Fair treatment to all men with no favoritism, that is the foundation of an established government.” Bro. Eli also noted that exercising righteousness or equity in government proves not only beneficial to the people, but to their leader as well.

When the inquirer visited the Locale of Lagro, Quezon City to ask Bro. Soriano, the Philippines was set to hold its Mid-term Elections on May 13, 2013. Registered Filipino voters would have to elect senators, party list groups, mayors down to town councillors.

For the People in Power

The international evangelist stressed what qualities set a good leader apart from the mediocre ones. He cited Romans 20:28, which states: “a good conscience; a good will; a heart with no intention of deceiving his fellows, with no plans to be corrupt nor to aggrieve others; are what support the seat or power of a leader such as a king.”

As the history of any country will show, the poor often receive unequal treatment or injustice. Poor people have neither money nor influence to protect them. Bro. Soriano echoed in his answer a very popular quotation from former Philippine Pres. Ramon Magsaysay made over six decades ago: “Those who have less in life, should have more in law.”

“I remembered that [Pres. Magsaysay’s statement] because I agree to that,” remarked Bro. Eli. He then explained that in the country now, there are many good laws. However, a problem arises when those who implement them give bigger protection to the rich than to the poor.

The Servant then pointed out that in leading the members of the Church of God International, he and Bro. Daniel always make it a point to never take advantage of or aggrieve anyone.

The Blessed Poor

“What I lead is more than a country,” began Bro. Soriano. He gave as example the country of Dominica in Central America whose president leads about 70,000 people. “I lead many more than that, but with the Lord’s mercy, we don’t oppress anyone. We don’t deceive anyone.”

While some leaders in both political and religious realms may believe that the secret to a long and solid reign is to favor the rich for personal gains, the Bible shows a different way to go said the televangelist.

At MCGI, poor members have access to a slew of free services like medical care, legal assistance, primary to tertiary education, food and accommodation. Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel have put up charitable institutions across and outside the country to extend help not only to brethren, but to non-members as well. Among the said public services include orphanages and homes for the elderly.

Majority of the brethren of the MCGI belong to the poor and marginalized sector of the Philippines, Africa, Papua New Guinea, and the war-affected people of Central and South America.

Due to his strong and inspiring leadership, not a single organizations notice Bro. Eli’s style of leading. In the Philippines alone, these multi-sectoral groups have faithfully bestowed their Most Outstanding Minister and Outstanding Preacher Award to the popular radio and TV host of the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) program.

Secrets to Good Leadership

“Like what is said in Proverbs 29:14, a king who faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever,” read the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) television and radio program host. He iterated that a leader’s power will strengthen when he treats and judges the poor fairly. “It is a secret of a righteous leadership.”

Bro. Soriano added that another secret to good leadership is being well-meaning or putting the concerns of others before one’s self. He also added that leaders must be generous and not greedy. “Mercy establishes a king, so does truth. A king’s seat is upheld by mercy,” stressed Bro. Eli.

Without mercy and equity, when lies proliferate instead of truth, Bro. Eli noted that the masses rejoice after a leader leaves his office. He cited Proverbs 29:2, which states that the people mourn or sigh when a wicked person rules.

The 66-year-old preacher then recalled how many of his fellow Filipinos were glad when Ramon Magsaysay and Diosdado Macapagal lead the country. “When they were removed from presidency, some Pinoys even cried.” An airplane crash caused the death of President Magsaysay.

Leading the Good Way

“If I were you, and I was head of a barangay, my first order of business would be to deal with the poor,” said Bro. Eli in his final remarks to Brgy. Captain Galimba. “Give the poor favor because they need protection. And you’ll see that you won’t be removed from being a barangay captain.”

He also advised the inquiring captain to use the funds of the barangay in worthwhile activities. Bro. Eli assured the captain that when people see their leader truly attending to the poor even when the barangay lacks the fund, its rich residents will help.

The MCGI Servant then expressed his hope that the Philippine President will be able to set things straight in the government despite his many enemies. “May God help President Noynoy to make the government well.”

“And if not the entire government, may we have good governance in barangays, as in Lagro Quezon city.”

(Words by Rigor Arellano)

(Photo by Rovic Balunsay) 

Related links:

For more information on MCGI’s charities: http://www.mcgi.org/about/charities/

Know more about Pres. Ramon Magsaysay and Pres. Diosdado Macapagal here: http://www.biography.com/people/ramon-magsaysay-40218