Overview of Spiritual Leadership
Spiritual leadership is a sacred trust God places in the hands of a believer to lead His people. This position must not be treated as any other types of leadership activity. Therefore, the spiritual leader must not seek to justify man, but to please God since He is the one who called, prepared, anointed, ordained, and appointed him into service. Nevertheless, he must keep in mind that faith in God; humility; obedience; and submissiveness to Him are essential characteristics and qualities for his success. That person must have integrity with a consciousness to be obedient to God’s principles for Christianity and leading His people. Therefore, leading God’s people is one of the most awesome responsibilities an individual will acquire.
Effective spiritual leadership brings out the very essence of teaching the gospel in a practical manner. Sadly, so many leaders were shipwrecked along the way, causing untold damages and resulting in heaps of destructive wreckage behind them. Therefore, the spiritual leader must not allow pride or worldly ideologies to replace the doctrine of Christ. He must maintain a strict code of principles to guide the people so that they too adhere to the Gospel of Christ. The people will only obey what the leader teaches. Therefore, if he deviates, then he will be leading God’s people astray. To avoid the pitfalls, there are some guidelines the leader should follow:
Personal Conduct – II Timothy 2:24-26, I Timothy 3:1-16
- Personal conduct is important as a representative of Jesus Christ, whom you serve. You are always on show.
- Your behaviour will either attract others; or hinder them from coming to the Lord.
- Be faithful and observe punctuality.
- Show respect for others, and do not insult God’s people, especially before others or from the pulpit.
- Be truthful. If you are dishonest, you have no business leading others.
The minister who was called by God must seek to please Him in every way he is able to do. He will know that God has a purpose which He will reveal concerning His assignment for being in His service. The minister will not be arrogant and should know the mission and purpose for the church of Jesus Christ. It will be the mission of the church that will give him the impetus to move forward, or he will be disillusioned, and discouraged; and abandon the work very early in this appointment. The minister must be cognizant of God’s mission to restore the relationship with His people which we once had with them before the Fall. For this reason, He sent Jesus Christ into the world to reconcile us back to Himself (II Corinthians 5:17-21).
The Work of the Holy Spirit
It is of vital importance to depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction; teaching and wisdom by acknowledging your weakness and inabilities without Him – John 16:13. Seek to please God through the indwelling Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit’s presence and keeping power you will receive grace, which will help you to practice kindness, patience, and gentleness (the fruit of the Spirit) Galatians 5:22-23.The Holy Spirit will help you to walk in faith to please God – Hebrews 11:6, and to be obedient so that you can obtain Gods’ blessings – Deuteronomy 28. The leader should always seek to discourage the spirits of heresy, false doctrines, apostasy, discords, and others – Titus 1:10-16. This will help to avert destructive conflicts if the Holy Spirit is allowed to direct him in the management of problematic situations and decision making – Acts 6:1-6
When conflicts occur, the Holy Spirit will give wisdom and understanding to manage every situation according to the will of God. It is important to secure effective interpersonal relationship among members/staff – Ephesians 4:1-6. These are examples for the members, the community, and the world – Colossians 4:5-6.
Duties of the Leader
- The leader is a representation of Christ. He should be Christ-like.
- Spreading the gospel to the world. He is a visionary.
- The leader interprets and presents the word of God through various agents: the Holy Spirit, intellectual and spiritual abilities, commentaries, apologetics, dictionaries, revelations.
- Effective problem solving through effective communication. Being impartial and fair.
- Encouraging members. Good listening skills. Loves people.
- Being effective to as many as possible regardless of their contextual circumstances: origin, educational, financial, backgrounds, with fairness and kindness to all, and without partiality.
- Introducing and maintaining the essence and truth of the gospel:
- Understanding the dynamics of conflicts and how to de-escalate them. He should endeavour to encourage. humility and peace among the brethren – Philippians 2:1-9.
- Train and delegate others to help with the work – Titus 1:5.
- Worship – Psalm 34:1, Colossians 3:1-11 – there must be a high standard of worship in the church at all times. However, this does not include worldly music and ungodly events dressed in Christian garb or title.
- Avoid worldliness, spiritual adultery, human wisdom, manipulating others – witchcraft, twisting the truth of God’s Word to obtain monies from people. This will affect the message and doctrine and personal reputation.
- Submit, to the Holy Spirit – Galatians 5:16, 24, James 4:7.
Always Maintain the Principles of the Gospel:
In order to influence others and to reach the world, the leader should practice a life of prayer. This should include fasting for guidance and direction when led by the Holy Spirit. Prayer must be persistent, fervent, effectual, and constant; and always with faith (James 5:16-18; Hebrews 11:6). Another important duty is the serving of Holy Communion. While there are ministers who do not believe that this ordinance is necessary, Jesus made it clear that as often as we do this; we show His death until He comes (I Corinthians 11:26; Matthew 26:26-29). Since the leader is called by God, he should endeavour to win souls as was commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 29:19-20). Winning of souls includes water baptism. Even with this ritual of the Christian church there are ministers who do not believe that it is necessary. The Christian doctrine has not changed from the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20; John 3:5.
Issues that will Affect the Church
In society today, traditional values have changed to please the desires and values of the masses pertaining to family structure and principles which affect the sanctity of life, and marriage. However, the spiritual leader must not be influenced by humanistic worldly standards which are contrary to the word of God. The Bible has made it clear that the word of God cannot and will never change. God’s word has been etched indelibly on the pages of history and cannot be altered, watered down or annulled (Psalm 119:89).
Faith Restoration Ministries & Shekinah Theological College http://www.frministry.org
Shekinah is an online Christian Institution preparing men and women called by God to reach the world for Christ with the Word.
- Sunday morning Worship @ 9:45 am.
- Prayer: Mondays, Wednesdays, & Saturdays @ 6:00 am ET.
- Thursdays: Bible Study, Prayer & Fasting @ 10:00 am.