To have fruitful spiritual leadership one must have healthy relationships. First, one must have a healthy relationship with God, leading to healthy relationships with others. This is the beginning point for forming and fostering a healthy disciple building community. Many pastors and leaders in the church today have a spiritual relationship with God yet lack the identification of living a life of Godly spiritual leadership.
Being a student of the Bible is great and should be one of the top 2-3 attributes of all pastors and church leaders. Yet being a student of the Bible does not make one a great leader. Being a good pastor with outgoing friendly people skills is also great, but not an indicator of fruitful spiritual leadership. Perhaps we have bought into the idea that leadership is influence – and indeed influence is a significant part of leadership.
Spiritual leadership is more than influence. Leadership is bringing others along with you. That means not expecting anyone to do that which you are not willing to or have not already done. The essence of fruitful leadership is to bring along and to guide. Fruitful spiritual leadership then is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit while bringing others along with you. Growing together while accomplishing the work of our Lord.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus says, “You will be my witnesses…” The word ‘you’ is plural. Jesus did not say you will be my witness. This was not a command for one person. Nor was it a command for only the eleven who had been closest to Him.
This early New Testament church in the book of Acts grew rapidly. It did so because the Apostles and early responders knew that all growth comes only through the Holy Spirit. Along with this was the realization that it was not only about the few who had been educated by Christ in person. The comprehension is that Jesus’ command was for those present the day He spoke those words and all who would be joining them to take an active part in the movement. Every believer is a disciple.
Whenever Spiritual Leadership is present, aka the Holy Spirit is leading, there is a movement. Read scripture and you will see that when the Holy Spirit is present there is a movement like the wind. In Acts chapter 2 verses 2-3 we read, “Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”
From Genesis 1:2 we read of the Holy Spirit moving above the surface of the waters all the way to Revelation 22:17 where the Holy Spirit is tending to the bride of Christ. From the proclamation to Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah, to the descending of the Spirit at Jesus’ baptism and throughout the life of Jesus. The Holy Spirit’s presence is always associated with movement. It is the movement of God.
Spiritual leadership is always initiated by and through the Holy Spirit. Regardless of your position in life or the church, what must you do this week and throughout the month of January to welcome the Holy Spirit’s moving in your life to become the fruitful spiritual leader God has called you to be?
George Yates is a Church Health Strategist and coach partnering with pastors, churches, individuals, and organizations, assisting patrons in becoming effective in fulfilling their God-given purpose.