The leading of the Spirit and the spiritual Leader
I have noticed some things in spiritual leadership as I have journeyed. I believe many of those things determine the height or lack thereof of those being led by leadership. The leader who does not lead can never expect greatness to follow him. The leader who waits on others to determine his vision will find himself walking in circles. Leadership does not wait for consensus to speak what God is saying to him. Those who follow leadership are searching in the leader for clarity of direction, courage in decisions and commitment to Divine inspiration.
1. No congregation, no committee and no community of followers will be able to boldly forge the future without a leader who has clarity in direction. leadership has to work through the tough decisions of where they are going, why they are going there and when the journey is going to start. Let the leader not know and all types of confusion will rise in those who follow. When people are
confused about direction they will either go everywhere or go nowhere. The lack of clarity also opens the leadership up to challenges of leadership. This is not necessarily rebellion but response by leadership yet to be positioned. If the leader does not lead then someone will. As one of my friends used to say, “Either have a project as a pastor or the congregation will make you the project.” In other words just because you possess a position does not mean followers will submit to your position. Your leadership clarity will either validate that position or victimize you in the position.
Leadership has to pray, study and strategize in the long lonely hours to be ready to clearly speak direction to those following. What has God said to you? Not the books, the denomination, the board but what has God Said? You as the leader must clearly know what God has said about direction. If you do not have a direction don’t direct in darkness. Better to wait than to lead not knowing. You might fake it for a while but somewhere the truth will be revealed and you will have lost your right to lead.
2. Courage in Decisions
Can God trust you to lead if He gives you the plan? He will not waste His plans on those who are cowardly in leadership. I know the statement is strong but God has to have courageous leadership. So what if your leadership is uncomfortable to those who hear the commission. Nobody likes to move out of their comfort zones. The challenge of leadership is to lead people out of their spiritual Egypt’s and warm desserts! God never desires for His people to be slaves or run around in circles. If you are managing a crew for the Egyptians then God cannot use you! If you are a tour conductor for the dessert tour then you are disqualified to lead God’s army. God needs those who are in Egypt to look beyond the borders of their life to a better place. God needs warrior who looks past the giants in Canaan and walls in Jericho to pursue His victories. If you cannot speak what God is saying because you are afraid of what others think or feel then you will never win the leadership battles. No, you will never get to the battlefield because you will be negotiating at the table of compromise. It is not that we are not afraid as we lead but our passion for God’s direction suppresses our fear! Leaders must be courageous enough to fight their own fears in leadership. Sometimes the biggest guy to stand against is the guy wearing your boots.
3. The Spiritual Leader must be committed to Divine Inspiration!
Sometimes the greatest things happen when the leader is inspired by something new or unexpected. I believe that if a leader suppresses or ignores that moment he might miss the momentum of that moment. Inspired leaders scare people and throw people off. But that is okay for folks to have to watch you closely. It is good for folks to sense God moving in you in those moments. You cannot calculate everything God wants to do through you. If you try to put God’s word to you, through a committee, it will be lost. Now if I bring God’s direction to a board or a church and they neglect it then they have taken on the responsibility of leadership. God will hold them accountable for wrenching leadership from the hands of God’s man. Yet, if all the leader can do is ask for permission to lead he is incapable of leadership. Leadership on a leash is not leadership. So many supposed leaders have learned where the end of that leash is and they run only so far. When I train a dog I put him on a long leash. That way when he is moving about and goes the wrong way I can jerk on the rope. He feels the jerk but cannot determine where it comes from. The result is that he determines his behavior caused the pain which results in him changing his behavior. If it was a short rope he would know it was I and resist me and keep his behavior.
If you want to know if your on a chain try to determine your vision and see what you feel. Never assume because their is pain in your behavior that your behavior is wrong. You may not can see what is causing you pain but your pain cannot determine your behaviors.I would say break out of that leash and run with God’s direction.
Commitment to divine leadership never allows organizational collars to be placed on your neck. You might ask, “But will that will stifle my opportunity for advancement in a organization?” Sure it will! The Pharoah’s of this world cannot have rogue managers. God is not looking for puppets! He is looking for people who are not looking at advancing in organization but operating as an organism of the body of Christ. We who are led by the spirit must die to our desire to please men and live only to please our Divine Christ! This commitment will put you outside the doors of many places of organization. But when God’s divine life is flowing through you then God can use you to lead his people.
So what is God saying to you? Do you have the time to find out? Are you willing to let go of some of the things that is blocking the voice of Christ from your life? Do you have the courage to lead? Do you have the courage to push past your fears to lead? Are you on a leadership leash? Are you willing to suffer to be free to lead? When will you decide to do what God is calling you to do? Today?