Both. It’s both. Leaders are both born and they are made.
Born that way. There are natural gifts and talents on a person for the call God has placed on their life. Every person! God gives gifts to every person and whether we use them for His glory and honor or not, the gifts are irrevocable, Romans 11:29. We would be ignorant to deny this.
God has purposed people for certain functions in the church. Jesus is the head of the church and we are the body. We all have a job to do and the church grows and builds itself up as each part does it’s work, Ephesians 4:16.
God gives unique personality and talent and even wires us to be passionate about the very things He has called us to.
Why wouldn’t He do that? When He says, I know the plans I have for you, Jeremiah 29:11. David said of God, You created my inmost being… All the days ordained for me were written in your book, Psalm 139:13,16. And Isaiah says, aren’t we all the work of His hands, Isaiah 64:8.
Leaders are very much born because we come out of the womb created and destined by God himself.
Leaders are made. There is a very definite ability to grow and develop in our leadership. (I should really say, character). In fact, it’s a necessity. It’s learned self-control so that we can lead others for good, with integrity, and bring honor to God doing it.
People boil leadership down to one word: Influence. There are people all over the planet wielding great influence, it doesn’t mean they are great leaders. They can be hurting more people than they are ever helping because of their corrupted character.
Moses was destined by God, from birth, to lead Israel out of the oppressive slavery of the Egyptians. Moses was raised in the household of Pharaoh. He had the best education money could buy. He was in a position of influence and power over the whole Nation of Egypt. He had massive influence, yet he didn’t have mastery over his own thinking and emotions. He lacked self-control, he lacked character.
Moses saw an abuse of an Israelite slave and thought he was standing up for justice by rashly attacking and killing the abuser, an Egyptian. He was acting upon an impulse and without wisdom or understanding and he got it wrong, very wrong.
Rejected by both the Israelites he was trying to help and running from the consequence of his crime against the Egyptian, Moses went into hiding.
Moses spent the next forty years in isolation learning to master himself. There on the backside of the desert, in a very small place, far away from the riches and fame of the palace he was raised in, Moses learned to control his emotions and his thinking. He learned about people as he faithfully shepherded the flocks of another man, His father-in-law, Jethro (Exodus 2, 3 and 18). For forty years Moses learned many vital lessons.
God broke Moses of his dependence on flesh –his education, his success and prominence in Egypt, wealth and riches. God broke Moses of his false confidence in human ability. Moses learned humility, self-control, and patience. Moses knew God had called him to do something significant, and he knew of the diabolical injustices suffered by the Israelites. He carried this knowledge for forty years in Jethro’s tents. These forty ‘wilderness’ years were a divine set up, as Moses was about to lead millions of Israelites out of oppressive Egypt and through forty ‘desert’ years. Moses had to know God and how to follow God’s leading.
Moses was born with a call from God and leadership on his life yet it took decades for the timing of God and the leadership and character lessons before he could lead God’s people the way God wanted him to lead.
Moses was a born leader and he was made a great leader.
(Photo is Moses from The Bible Series, http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/filmchat/files/2013/03/bible-moses2.jpeg)