I am rereading the book, Spiritual Leadership, by Oswald Chambers. I originally read it while a student at Colorado Christian University. You know how that goes; you read it quickly, glean what you need for class, and then move on. This time I have decided to read it slowly and spend more time reflecting on the message.
Chapter Two discusses the search for leaders. Sanders (1967) writes, “The Bible shows us that when God does find a person who is ready to lead, to commit to full discipleship and take on responsibility for others, that person is used to the limit” (p. 17). That statement caused me to pause. I thought to myself, am I being used to the limit? I had to honestly answer no. That led to the question, am I allowing God to use me fully? Ah, that is the question.
Sanders continues, “If the world is to hear the church’s voice today, leaders are needed who are authoritative, spiritual, and sacrificial” (p. 18).
Authoritative leaders have a vision and are confident in where they are going. Leaders with such confidence bring authority to their leadership and inspire people to follow them
Spiritual leaders have a close relationship with God and spend time in prayer and reading Scripture. Sanders writes, “Without a strong relationship to God, even the most attractive and competent person cannot lead people to God” (p. 18). Isn’t that what it’s all about? If leaders are not leading people to a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ, than none of the rest matters.
Leaders follow the example of Jesus Christ and learn to be servant leaders. Through serving others, leaders set the example for others to follow. Servant leaders also spend time equipping and preparing others to lead.
After reflecting on all three of these attributes, it all came together. A spiritual leader who has a close relationship with God understands His will. A leader who understands God’s will has a vision. A leader who has a vision carries His authority to fulfill that vision through servant leadership.
God is always searching for leaders. It isn’t that He can’t find any, but people may not respond to His call. Are you ready to make that commitment to be the leader God has created you to be? Are you allowing God to use you fully? Those are the things we need to consider.
Sanders, J. O. (1967, 1980, 1994). Spiritual leadership: Principles of excellence for every believer. Chicago: Moody Press.