In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul makes the startling point that we can have the greatest spiritual experiences in the world, possess the most amazing gifts and knowledge, and we can engage in the most sacrificial and stunning displays of ministry, and yet if we do all these without love, we would “only be a noisy gong or clanging cymbal…[we] would be nothing…[and we] would have gained nothing.” (13:1-3) 
If we apply what the apostle says to leadership, we can conclude that the very best of leadership skills, experiences, insight, and gifts in the world--all without love--comprise just a bunch of worthless noise. Bottom-line, such leadership is not the equivalent of an accomplished pianist sitting down at the keys. Rather, it is like a child banging away!
Can we imagine any more impactful statement about the need for love in leadership? Leaders, in other words, need to be those who possess the God-honoring, Spirit-empowered desire to benefit others in their relationship with God—a desire which leads to action (if possible) and affection for them in accordance with the truth of God.This is biblical love.
Also, this is our next truth to consider in biblical leadership. If we will carry out the first truth of laying before self and others our ultimate purpose of glorifying God by enjoying him, we will need to remember this second one. We must:
Embody love as a key purpose in the church.
This Truth Supported From The Pastoral Epistles
As Paul outlines for Timothy and Titus how the church is to function, he clarifies that an elder is to love other Christians enough that he “enjoy[s] having guests in his home” (1 Tim. 3:2); leaders are to treat others with respect, no matter what their age is (1 Tim. 5:1-2)—and this is a big part of love (1 Cor. 13:5); the leadership of the church is to love those in need enough to give guidance to how to help them in wisdom (1 Tim. 5:3-16); a believer is to love his family enough to help them with their physical needs (1 Tim. 5:8); leaders must be “kind to everyone” (2 Tim. 2:24) and “gently instruct those who oppose the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25)—both of which are a key part of love (1 Cor. 13:4); and wives are instructed to “love their husbands and children” (Titus 2:4). In fact, Paul starts right off in 1 Timothy 1:5 by writing, “The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love….”
The point is that there is to be a lot of loving going on in the church and the leaders are to set the example. After all, in 1 Tim. 4:12 Paul tells Timothy: “Be an example to all believers…in your love….” In other words, in the very New Testament books that instruct leaders with how to lead in the Church, we discover that love of others is one of the most important ways we carry out our ultimate purpose of glorifying God.
This Truth Supported From The Rest Of The Bible
Our discovery in the pastoral letters should not surprise us, for it is exactly what we find in the rest of the Bible. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” and all those who do this will, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:27-39). Such love of others that flows from our love of God is the summary of the entire Bible (Matthew 22:40). Since love of God is such an important part of glorifying him and since we cannot love him without that leading to our loving others (1 John 4:7-21), love is one of the major ways we carry out our purpose. Leaders are to lead by and model this love for others!
So, leaders, no more empty noise in our leading! Lead with love!
Application Of This Truth
Here are some simple ways we can apply this truth.
1. We must remember that the end never justifies the means. As leaders we must not just keep our eyes on goals and outcomes, but also on how we go about an action or ministry. We must display both love for God and others.
2. One of the areas in which we will be challenged to the greatest degree is that of conflict. It is so easy to feel justified in responding to others in anger because of what they have done. The leader is wise who remembers Proverbs 16:32 (“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” [ESV]) and the teaching of James 3-4. Learn to deal biblically and lovingly with conflict.
3. As you lead, keep in mind that all you do is to be out of love for God and those whom you are leading. Don’t lose sight of people and focus only on projects and goals.
4. If you struggle with leading in a loving manner, have someone(s) not only regularly pray for you about this, but also have them ask you occasionally, “How are you doing with love?”
5. Memorize and regularly pray this second truth.