Spiritual Leadership Discussion Aids
What is spiritual leadership?
Spiritual leadership has its foundation in a life surrendered to God. A spiritual leader inspires others to be Christ-like in a nurturing, self-sacrificial manner which affirms and encourages others. He has no tolerance for sin and readily assumes responsibility for error without attempting to escape accountability. Spiritual leadership rests on trust, love, integrity, and honesty. (Romans 12:17) “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”
Spiritual leadership is often referred to as “servant leadership.” Spiritual leaders are called to serve others, thereby serving God. They lead by example, striving to remain blameless by the grace of God. Spiritual leaders are conformed to the image of Christ through their victories and failings, knowing their faith defines them, not their success. A spiritual leader is open to counsel and willingly steps into the leadership roles the Lord has appointed him to even when he feels inadequate, fearful, or uncomfortable. Effective spiritual leadership requires a blend of assertiveness and humility which is grounded upon and guided by the Scriptures and leading of the Holy Spirit. Knowing the Word of God and intentionally allowing it to change his behaviors and attitudes is fundamental to a spiritual leader’s life as he leads others by example. This example serves as a wit- ness both to the believer and the unbeliever alike. (2 Timothy 3:10) “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience.”
What isn’t spiritual leadership?
(2 Timothy 2:24) “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.” Spiritual leaders do not lead by controlling or micromanaging others. They do not claim spiritual superiority but are gentle and patient realizing who they have become is because of God’s grace. (1 Corinthians 15:10) “But by the grace of God I am what I am…” True spiritual leaders are never demeaning to others and never use coercion to further their agendas. They follow the biblical principles of being submissive one to another in the spirit of humility. (1 Peter 5:5) “Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility:”
(1 Timothy 3:4) “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” Spiritual leaders do not shirk their duties at home and elsewhere, but they accept them willingly, modeling leadership through godly behavior and teaching biblical truths. (1 Timothy 5:8) “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
Who is a spiritual leader?
We might quickly assume a spiritual leader is only an elder, minister, Sunday School teacher, or those with an “official” position in church. However, since all Christians are called to a life of servitude and love toward others, all Christians are spiritual leaders with varying roles and responsibilities in the home, church, workplace, and community. It is easy and tempting to pass off opportunities for service with the mindset we are not qualified or authorized. We must all be open and available to that which God would have us to do. (Galatians 5:13) “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”
Series 1: Foundational Principles of Spiritual Leadership
What Spiritual Leadership Is:
- Personal Worship
What Spiritual Leadership is Not:
- Spiritually Superior
Series 2: Spiritual Growth and Maturity
- The Discipline of Growth
- Exercising Patience
To view the discussion aid packet, please click here.
For Further Information:
Spiritual Leadership: A Commitment to Excellence for Every Believer
Author: J. Oswald Sanders
Teaching the principles of leadership through biographies of eminent men of God – men such as Moses, Nehemiah, Paul, David Livingstone, and Charles Spurgeon. Christianity needs a powerful voice in today’s world. Such a voice can come only from strong leaders guided by God and devoted to Christ. Spiritual Leadership will encourage you to place your talents and powers at His disposal so you can become a leader used for His glory.
Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood
Author: Dennis Rainey
As men, all of us face decisions in life that demand courage. One courageous choice leads to another; tomorrow’s integrity depends on today’s bravery. In this easy-to-read book, the author identifies five stages of a man’s journey through life – boyhood, adolescence, manhood, mentor, and patriarch – and examines a man’s responsibilities at each step. A good resource to use individually or in a small group setting.