Spiritual Leadership 101
May 1, 2016
Someone wrote that true spiritual leaders were an endangered species. There is a difference between a cooperate leader and a church leader. One leads a cooperation while the other leads a church. One is about leading the company to accomplish the “bottom line” while the other is leading the church to “walk the line” (Gal. 5:25).
Glenn Wagner wrote in Escape from Church, Inc. (p. 101): “Good and faithful shepherds look after their sheep, tend to their injuries, search for the lost, and bring them all to good pasture. Generals, kings, and CEOs are more concerned about the bottom line and ultimate results than they are about lost or hurting sheep.”
The trouble with the future is that it is no longer what it used to be. There is a great vacuum of true spiritual leadership. Barna quoted in his book, Today’s Pastors, “only 6% of senior pastors believe they have they have the gift of leadership.” If this is true, then Maxwell’s statement in his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, which he calls the “law of the lid”, should concern all of us. The law of the lid says that if your ability to lead is at a 4 out of a possible 10 being tops—then, those that follow you will be no more than 3’s.
In order to build people—you must be able to have them follow you. In your preaching, teaching, and ever other facet of pastoral ministry. One of the easiest tests to see if you’re really a leader is go somewhere and look behind you—if people are following you—you are a leader. Leadership is simply getting people to follow you.
You will be successful at leadership when—you have people follow you—that will only happen when people think they are making a difference, feel they are contributing, and know that their efforts are recognized and their needs are being met. You will be successful at spiritual leadership when you show people how to follow God.
Someone once said, Here’s what leaders do: 1) They talk about what’s important around here; 2) They talk about where we are headed; 3) They talk about what we stand for; 4) They talk about falling in love with risk. And, 5) They learn to motivate people.
I deeply believe we need more excellence in the church. We also need to keep learning leadership skills, but not at the expense of divine presence. We do need corporate skills in the church, but we need pastoral skills even more. Keep learning and always be teachable. Yesterday’s manner won’t feed today’s hungry people—keep seeking God for a fresh supply of spiritual food for those that will pull up to the table. Be a true spiritual leader! Don’t be an endangered species.