TRAIN IT ‘TIL IT’S TRUE - The Discipline of Spiritual Leadership
If being human is natural & if holiness is supernatural then OF COURSE it is going to feel unnatural & inauthentic the first time you do anything holy. BUT pursuing that growth, despite the discomfort, is a key factor in becoming a leader of faith.
One of my favorite sayings is "Don’t fake it til you make it, TRAIN IT ‘TIL IT’S TRUE!"
This is the mantra of a spiritual leader! So lets talk about the 4 must have qualities that a leader of faith must train into their life.
I have tried to narrow it down the most important ones through the dissection of scripture & the following are the few that stood out among others: ( please see bottom for verse references)
A Spiritual Leader Must Be Spirit-filled
This is a requirement of a spiritual leader. Although there are many important qualities to posses in leading, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a non-negotiable. A person can have a brilliant mind, a great education, many connections, yet is still incapable of providing true spiritual leadership.
To be filled with the Spirit means that the leader voluntarily and wholeheartedly surrenders his life and will to the Spirit. The personality, gifts, and talents of the leader are all operating under the leadership of the Spirit.
Bottom line, you must prioritize Jesus….. devote to Him daily! If you don’t lead yourself well how can you lead others?
A Spiritual Leader Must Have Humility
Spiritual leaders can’t pretend to be perfect the must be the leaders on confession and accountability… allowing those around them to say “me too”
Spiritual leaders are not elected, appointed, awarded, earned, or promoted into Spiritual leadership. There are there solely because the infinite God of the universe has called them there! Not by their own merits… but by his good graces’ and for HIS good purposes! HE alone makes them!
There is no such thing as a self-made spiritual leader. A true leader influences others spiritually only because the Spirit works in and through him to a greater degree than in those he leads.
A Spiritual Leader doesn’t preach AT, but instead lifts UP!
Most Spiritual Leaders want to teach when what they really need to do is ENCOURAGE! It takes humility to take the attention off yourself!
*NOTE: Many who aspire to leadership fail because they have never learned to follow. If you can’t humbly acknowledge the there is an Almighty ruler of the universe & you are not that person… you will tank as a leader! AND PRAISE GOD FOR THAT.
A Spiritual Leader Must Gain Self- Discipline
This is an essential quality. All other gifts remained stunted if this one is lacking. Leaders need to learn to obey the discipline that is imposed from without, as well as take on a more strenuous discipline from within.
A Spiritual Leader Must Be Ready & Yearning to Take Action
Let’s start with what God says about yearning…one of my favorite verses is Deut. 28:47
Deuteronomy 28:47-48 New Living Translation (NLT) If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, 48 you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. The Lord will put an iron yoke on your neck, oppressing you harshly until he has destroyed you.
GOD TAKES THE POSTURE OF YOUR HEART Very seriously!
He kept the Israelites in the dessert for 40 years because of their grumbling, unbelieving hearts… Their complaining led to conflict with God! – serve with zeal! BECAUSE BEING A CHRISTIAN IS FUN! It's so much better than any of the other options! It is most wonderful adventure you will ever go on! Let your heart burst & shine with the joy of the truth! Isn’t that why you came to God in the first place? You knew that life with him was better than life without him? - SHOW THAT! ACT ON THAT!
BILL “RED BARON” MCKENZIE The founder of Pine Cove Camps said this about starting his amazing ministry “I didn’t have any special ability to start a camp—only my availability. I didn’t know any better than to believe God.”
God doesn’t call the qualified! He qualifies the called
You can be confident that the one called by God into Spiritual leadership will have, in the holy spirit, all the gifts necessary for the service at hand
We see this in who God chose to be his disciples. Even the most unexpected outsiders can be used as the cultivators of their generation if they are simply looking for opportunities to serve God & have the margin to accept the offer when He comes calling!
I think that Samuel Brengle, he was a commissioner in the Salvation Army, summed up perfectly the qualities necessary for being a Spiritual leader when he wrote this,
“It [spiritual leadership] is not won by promotion, but my many prayers and tears. It is attained by confession of sin, and much heart-searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice of every idol, a bold uncomplaining embrace of the cross, and by eternally looking unto Jesus crucified. It is not gained by seeking great things for ourselves, but like Paul, by counting those things that are gain to us as loss for Christ. This is a great price, but it must be paid by the leader whose power is recognized and felt in heaven, on earth, and in hell.”
*** Please note that the verses used to write this blog are:
Mark 10:42-45 – Jesus says “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all
John 13:13-17 – Jesus says “ be a servant of all putting others needs before your own… do as Jesus did! Don’t just hear them… DO them
John 13:34-35 – “ love one another, just as Christ has loved us! AS BELIEVERS THIS IS WHAT WILL BE OUR MARK OF SEPERATION FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD
1 Timothy 3:2 AND Titus 1:7-14 – A list of characteristics & action steps for men & women who are in a position of leadership in the body of Christ
Titus 2:1-15 – A list of characteristics and actions steps for mature men & women of faith to abide by