A leader is not someone who is a scholar or a professional. They are not merely individuals who have gone through a process of developing skills to lead others. A leader is someone who influences those they lead in a way that is in agreement with what God is doing as a whole among all who are being led. Whatever the Spirit among people is writing must be embraced by leadership within the environment of that community being expressed by the Holy Spirit. Leaders are the first to respond to what God is doing in the heavenly community they are part of. Whatever is being expressed of heaven must be embraced by leaders and implemented into natural expressions by leaders first. The objective of any expression of God’s community must be that the community members embrace the expression of God being given to them by the Holy Spirit. God wants to express Himself in a specific way and in a specific area in every expression of His community in the earth.
A leader is not someone who can give eloquent, impressive sermons. A leader is not someone who is a great orator, educator, or instructor. When we exalt these things we rob the church of the spiritual blessings that only spiritual leaders can bring. We don’t need information about love, mercy, or understanding. We need love! We need mercy! We need understanding! Leaders are an expression of God’s love, God’s mercy, and God’s understanding. They are expressions of whatever God is doing and in whatever way God is revealing Himself among people.
It is spiritual life that produces spiritual leaders, and only spiritual leaders serve to activate, facilitate, and release spiritual people. Those spiritual people are not the result of leadership. They are the result of the Holy Spirit working in their midst, but leadership is an example and an inspiration to that entire community expression of whatever God is doing. These are men and women who live to activate, facilitate, and release all that God is doing within their sphere of influence in life. They themselves must excel in being activated, facilitated, and released in all that God is doing so they can serve to assist others in all that God is doing.
Spiritual life is activated through a close relationship with God, God’s people, and the spiritual examples of leaders in the faith. These are leaders who live to respond to the NOW personal voice of God in their lives. They are people of faith! Leaders must exhibit compassion, concern, willingness, humility, warmth, forgiveness, brokenness, self-sacrifice, service, maturity, transparency, and the like in becoming what God has called them to be. Leadership is a gift to those they lead, not a position of being lords of what they lead.
Leaders must have a heart for God and for the generational destiny of those they lead. They must be willing to go through difficult things on behalf of those they lead. It is not their own will that is to be implemented in the communities of Christ that they lead. It is the will of the Father that they serve. They must lead with His heart and must therefore exhibit the heart of parents in the midst of the congregation. This is the example set by the early Church leaders in the birthing of the Church.
1 Thessalonians 2:2-13 You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition. So you can see we were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives or trickery.
For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts. Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know. And God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money! As for human praise, we have never sought it from you or anyone else.
As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but instead we were like children among you. Or we were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children. We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.
Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory.
Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe
As leaders we must exhibit hearts of servants to those we lead. We serve the will of the Father in the role of leadership in the community expressions of God in the earth. It is not merely the actions of our lives that reveal who we are. It is the inner heart attitudes and motivations that manifest as the actions of love for God and for His people.
Food For Thought.
Ted J. Hanson
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Thank You – Ted J. Hanson