...an action, not a position. If someone helps another person accomplish or learn or change something, he or she is a leader. Whatever titles, recognition, or pay these people receive is a separate issue; leaders lead. It's that simple.
Scripturally speaking, leadership is a crucial role, but no more innately worthy than encouragement, giving, or any of the other gifts the Holy Spirit gives God's people. I've recently become almost obsessed with Ephesians 4:12 where Paul says that leaders' "...calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ." (TPT)
I recently shared a message on leading. It's a pretty thorough overview of what the Bible says about church leadership, and the link is live if you want to listen! Right this minute, let me give you some inside information:
As fun and rewarding as it can be, "being a leader" is a lot of work, and there is very little actual power or prestige involved. If you're looking for any easy job that makes you look good and makes everyone assume you are a good person, please stop fooling yourself and wasting everyone's time. We'll all end up disappointed--especially you! But with a tip of the cap to Jeff Foxworthy...
If you are willing to do whatever it takes to help people get closer to Jesus, you might be a leader. If you love to help others through hard times and seem inexplicably effective at doing so, you might be a leader. If you help others understand the Truth and apply it to their lives every chance you get, you might be a leader.
There's nothing quite as exciting as seeing someone you helped nurture and prepare to serve start playing their own part well. If that's what you're doing, that's leadership.