The second talk at the FIEC conference was also about leadership and glory but much more concentrating on practicalities. Here is part 1:
What does exercising spiritual leadership look like?
Here is my list:
A. Relationship with God
· a heart that is hot for Jesus
· God and his word, is daily delight and joy
· Concerned for God’s glory in their life
B. Growing in character
· spirit that is humble and loving
· thanksgiving, full of adoration
· puts aside their own interests for the sake of the Jesus in the lives of others
· knows God’s grace abounding to them in sin-covering, transforming power
C. Developing and implementing clear vision
· is desperate to see God-centred churches
· is passionate about his glory being spread
· leading activities that implement the vision
Growing in spiritual leadership means increasingly living and leading in faith to make all the believers are radically God-centred, radically concerned for his glory, radically concerned to spread the fame of his glory and the call to submit to him and be worshippers of him around the world.
Working for their progress and their joy, standing firm in faith. Moving forward and looking upward. Or as Paul puts it in Eph 4, equipping the saints for service and growth unto the stature of Christ.
Pause to ask yourself how do we actually do leading for their progress in the faith and their joy in God? What might that look like in your respective capacities?
Here are a few of my top answers:
· Help people to delight themselves in the Lord. Help them love God, love the Son of God, love the Spirit, and to give expression to their love. It’s the easiest thing in the world to replace being a worshipper with being a professional Christian. Guard your worship life and lead others
· Help them love the Word of God . It’s the easiest thing to start to come to the Bible only to prepare things for others. Guard your life. Watch your life and doctrine closely. You will save yourself and your hearers
· Help people appreciate the benefits of Christ. Adoption, forgiveness of sins, a home in heaven, entrance into God’s family, freedom from guilt and the curse of the Law, the gift of the Spirit, a new heart, new desires, a Heavenly Father, a great high priest through whom we have redemption
· Help people see the glory of God in the gospel of his grace. Romans 5 says we reign in life by receiving of his grace and the gift of eternal life. Help them know how to receive and seek God for his grace with them
· Love people at all times and do them good, especially those in difficulty and distress
· Have ambitions for where God might take people. Show them some of what is possible in the Lord if they live and act in faith, especially in world mission
· Help others pray. Pray with them. Show them how you pray. Tell them what you pray for them
It’s a much wider vision than merely putting on a programme, isn’t it? Spiritual leadership is a bigger category than other leadership, because we are developing people’s souls and their walk with the Lord, not just their skills and abilities. We are helping them participate with God in growing the Kingdom, not just putting on an activity or programme. Which means that our investment in them is a much bigger thing than merely training. It is discipling them. Or, as Paul put it, working with them for their joy. That is my definition of discipling people: working with them for their joy in God.