The spiritual leader is by its definition a “Co-Worker” of God. The quality of life of the people in society is largely depends on how effectively the leader manage to co-ordinate and synchronize the group behavior and actions to accomplish the goals and aspirations.
A leader is a person who rules or guides or inspire others. A leader is the person who has the ability of influencing a group of people to move towards its goal setting or goal achievement.
Spiritual leadership is the opposite of what most people think. The true spiritual leader, with a humble spirit and service, will cause people to follow him because they want not because they have to. People want to follow a person who serves alongside them and sets an example for them. The apostle Paul says “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
The gift of leadership is not a matter of a certain personality type. Peter was a leader by virtue of personal strength. James by virtue of practical wisdom. Paul by virtue of intellectual capacity. All these leaders shared all these virtues, but each of them had a distinct personality strength that uniquely marked them. The spiritual leader required to be a godly leader, biblical speaking, has its source in a personal abiding relationship with Jesus Christ.
The portrait of a spiritual leader
When God instructs the Church on the qualifications for leadership, it is the character qualities that are emphasized rather than any notion of giftedness. While things like communication skills, vision casting abilities academic qualifications, all of these take second place to Christian character when we examine what the New Testament has to say on this subject.
- Full of the Spirit and wisdom
The book of Acts is a book marked by true spirituality and biblical leadership. In this book we are constantly referred to men of great maturity and Christ-like character, but also it is really the acts of the Holy Spirit and Word-filled lives. It is the story of men who established the church and these men were endowed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Men are called to witness, to serve the others, to preach the Gospel, but the Bible first calls us to be filled with and walk by the Holy Spirit.
- The heart of a servant
There is much more concern for self-fulfillment than for pleasing God and truly serving Him and others as seen in the life of Jesus. Servant is first of all one who is under submission to another. For Christians, this means submission to God first and then submission to one another.
Then, as one in submission, a servant is one who seeks to meet the real need of others or of the person he is serving. To put it another way, it means willingly giving of oneself to minister for and to others and to do whatever it takes to accomplish what is best for another.
The Bible is full with examples of faithful leaders. In the Old Testament there are Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel. In the New Testament there are the disciples, Paul, Timothy, Titus and many others as well. But the Lord Jesus is our supreme example or model of faithfulness. Faithfulness is always related on God’s truth. Faithfulness is an attribute that is a vital part of the character of God Himself. Fundamentally, since faithfulness is an attribute of God, His faithfulness becomes a great resource for faithfulness in His people.
The leader and his tools.
A spiritual leader needs to have the right tools in his hands. These tools will help him to be an efficient leader. If a leader wants to accomplish something and build up the people of God, he needs the right tools. These tools are God’s Word and Prayer.
- The leader and the Word of God
If a spiritual leader does not know what he has in his hands the result will be negatives. A spiritual leader must know the Word of God; he must spend time reading and study the Word of God.
All the success of a leader’s life depends upon the degree to which he trusts God. Many of us think that success in God’s ministry depends upon education, natural ability, physical energy, but these are small factors compared with a person’s trust in God. A perfect heart in God’s eyes is a heart that trusts Him. A leader must trust the Lord in order to be a channel of blessing to others.
All the work is weak where there is not active believing. Faith is a channel through which God is able to send blessings. Where God sees faith He is able to release His power. This Word is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). The Spirit is the One who makes the Word effective. The work of the Holy Spirit is not only to convict of sin, but to reveal Jesus as He Himself promised: “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14).
One of the biggest challenges for leaders is the ability to take good decisions. The Bible has a lot of examples of people who took good or bad decisions. God gave us the capacity to take decisions and to take them efficient. If a leader spends time with the Word of God he will take high-quality decisions.
The Word of God is God’s wisdom. Because Solomon knew that leaders must make good decisions, he urged them to attain wisdom and mental discipline and to understand words of insight (Proverbs 1:1-6). A spiritual leader must arm himself with the knowledge of the written Word of God. The Bible it is not merely a book; it is a letter from God to us. In the Bible, God communicates who He is, how He wants to know us, how we can respond to His gracious offer and the best way to order our lives according to our inherent design.
- The leader and the prayer
Much has been written about prayer and every Christian leader will acknowledge the importance of this verbally. I’m convinced that the existence or lack of prayer in a leader’s life is seen in his ministry and the people he leads.
If someone is a leader, it’s because God has given him that gift and he wants to use it. Because this position comes with a lot of influence, it is necessary for that person to know who he is and surrender his whole being to God.
The weakest link in the life of a spiritual leader is probably prayer. Leaders, by their nature, are activists. They want to get things done. Prayer is often seen as in interruption of the work. It’s tough talking to an invisible being for any length of time.
Christ Jesus used to spend nights in prayer (Like 6:12). He thought His disciples the importance of prayer (Mark 6:46; Luke 9:28). Since leadership is the ability to move and influence people, the spiritual leader will be alert to discover the most effective way of doing this.
Men are difficult objects to move and it is so much easier to pray for temporal needs than for situations which involve the human heart. The apostles knew the necessity and worth of prayer to their ministry. They prayed day and night to bring their people to the highest regions of faith and holiness. Prayer is one of the eminent characteristics of strong spiritual leadership. A prayerless ministry is the undertaker for all God’s truth and for God’s Church.
A prayerless leader will never learn God’s truth; a prayerless ministry will never be able to teach God’s truth.
Leaders are faced with many different challenges in this world, attacked from Satan at any time and Jesus answer is so simple: come, take and learn…If leaders are called to work on Christ’s behalf, then He will provide all they need to complete the task. John 15: 4: “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the Vine.”
Christian leaders who have truly impacted my life are not the ones who just gave a nice speech from the pulpit but when shaking your hand they don’t remember your name… but the few who lived what they preached, were not afraid to fail, showed me grace and another chance… .
Our understanding of what lies at the very heart of being a spiritual leader will have a marked impact not only on our general philosophy and direction but also on the way in which we implement leadership in the Church.
This is the Spiritual leader: a follower of Christ, the leader who possesses Jesus’ character and who is gifted and enabled by the Holy Spirit, marked by self-sacrificial ambition, motivated by an others-centered love, and a pursuer of servant authority.
What kind of leaders impacted your life???
Please take a moment and share with us!