4. Leadership requires a personal work of grace in the leader.
Paul writes, “For this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering” (1 Timothy 1:16, emphasis added). Notice the phrase “in me first.” There has to be something happening in you, and then you become the pattern. You are the first partaker of grace, and what you partake of is what you put into others. The “first” paves the way for everything else.
What is happening in you? Can people sense God in you, not just on you?
5. Leadership requires the ability to use prophetic words as weapons.
Paul charges Timothy to “wage the good warfare” according to the previously spoken prophecies, or divinely inspired words regarding Timothy’s ministry and life. By using the word “warfare,” Paul is saying that we are on a military campaign, and in a campaign, you must finish the battles. We are to use these words as weapons to fight well, keeping a firm grip on ourselves and our faith.
Prophetic words are weapons of supernatural strength that are to be used for multiple battles and to inspire us to finish our work.
6. Leadership requires evident personal progress.
Maturity is not always associated with years. Timothy was probably 30 years old when he received the letters from Paul. Yet he was directed to give himself to studying, exhortation and doctrine so that his progress would be evident to everyone. Regardless of your age, you can make strides toward maturity.
Progress is not automatic. It is not transferred because you are around other people who are progressing. You may feel as if you are progressing, but you are magnetized by them. When you are away from them, you go back to your level of advancement or nonadvancement.
There are three areas where leaders should progress: confidence, example and your gift. Progress in your confidence in God’s Scriptures, in prayer, divine protection and in God. Progress in example in your speech, your conduct, purity and your lifestyle.
Finally, progress in your gift. Expand your mind and knowledge base. Read books, articles, blogs, listen to podcasts—don’t be satisfied with your current functioning level of skill. Stretch and try new things. Ask others to help you and make you better! That is how we grow and become leaders who influence real life change!
Leaders must be equipped with critical leadership skills and solid understanding of today’s world challenges. You the leader can take the insights given from the best leader the church has ever seen and use them. We have several directives from this leader, the apostle Paul, and we’re going through 22 of them in this series of blogs. So let’s keep digging in.