What Makes a Spiritual Leader? - Part 2
A great leader spends time in prayer. He knows that right methods, strategies, and training are completely ineffective apart from God's power. Too often able leaders are quick to rest on their gifts, abilities, and strengths at the expense of leveraging God's strength. This is an especially dangerous trap for the gifted leader. A gifted leader can, in a secular sense, lead successfully apart from the power of God. The spiritual leader never settles to lead out of his strength.
As a leader, dealing with adversity is a foregone conclusion. Leaders should remind their followers that the call to follow Christ is a call to embrace and not avoid hardships. In today's spiritual landscape, many influential pastors and leaders have grown massive congregations by actively ignoring this principle. Instead of preparing their followers for suffering, they often communicate the Gospel as a means to comfort and ease. Instead of persevering, naive followers become paralyzed by adversity. The spiritual leader embraces obstacles and equips even his young followers to handle tough times with a proper Biblical framework.
The spiritual leader blends the gentleness of a mother and the instruction of a father. Paul was not just a hard charging, Gospel preaching, overcoming pastor. He was also a compassionate encourager who was intimately involved with the lives of his followers. He gave them hard truth and a compassionate ear. As a father, leaders offer facts, truth, and vision. The mother is primarily a nurturer, the father is a motivator. The spiritual leader is both. To only lead like a mother creates an intimate follower who lacks initiative and instruction. To lead strictly as a father molds a follower into an isolated worker, driven solely by tasks.
Ultimately, the measure the efficacy of a spiritual leader is not in the size of his congregation, funds he has raised, or even publicity he's generated. The true test lies in the perseverance of his followers. Like their leader, they will persevere through extreme opposition. The world is full of sheep. The world needs more brave shepherds who are committed to God's glory. Men who possess humility, prayerfulness, perseverance, gentleness, and a commitment to God's glory will "turn the world upside down." Christian leadership is important because it hastens the return of the first and foremost spiritual leader, Christ Himself.