You hear quite a lot today about how God pouring his love on us demonstrates how valuable we are. I believe this can often be an example Western, secular thinking getting into the Church ("because I'm worth it"). I'm convinced that almost all the time it is unbiblical. God pouring his love on me doesn't demonstrate my worth and loveliness, it demonstrates his. The whole point of grace is precisely that I don't deserve it.
God is not fortunate to have me. He doesn’t sit in Heaven saying to the angels: “you angels, we up here in Heaven are so fortunate that Marcus Honeysett became a Christian. What would happen to my great plan for reaching the world if we didn’t have access to his talents?” I can pretty much guarantee that conversation has never taken place!
But it’s just possible that one like this does: “you angels, do you see Marcus down there on Earth. He is my child and I love him. He wants to participate in what I am doing, so I am going to let him.
“It will be like when a small child asks their mother if they can help with the baking. The child doesn’t help, in fact they get in the way. Mum will have to clear up a huge mess afterwards and make the cakes all over again. But she loves that fact that her child wants to be with her and to have a go. And I love that Marcus wants to be with me. So I will let him have a go. Just look out for the mess he is going to make!”
When we are trying to spot potential spiritual leaders we are looking first and foremost for inner, spiritual qualification rather than impressive outward qualifications. King Saul was chosen to lead Israel because he was handsome and tall. Everyone thought he was worth it. But everyone was wrong. Nobody thought to inquire about his character which led him to be a terrible leader.
We should be looking for:
- A clear love for God and his word
- A deep concern for God to be glorified
- A love for people and a desire to help others know and enjoy God
- Someone who is kind, wise, repentant and forgiving
- A person of prayer
- A person who sacrifices themselves for others
- A person who is able to teach the Bible
Spiritual leadership is about spiritual depth, not about who might competently and efficiently lead programmes or tasks. We are looking for people who are able to lead others in the ways of God because they know God well. In our Living Leadership ministry we teach that the four fundamental foundations of all spiritual leadership are:
- Living in the grace of God
- Knowing God’s love poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit
- A keen desire to grow in Christ-like character
- Wanting to be a servant
One of our trainers, Jenny, often says “if I approach any particular area of life in asking whether I want to serve this time or not, I will always retain the right not to. If, however, I have decided once and for all that I am God’s servant, that is the last decision I ever get to take. Subsequently it is irrelevant whether I want to serve or not. I am a servant, so that is what I do.” For me that gets right to the heart of the character of a spiritual leader.