God calls, prepares and empowers spiritual leaders to lead His church. Spiritual leadership is not a job for everybody. While every Christian is called to follow Christ wholeheartedly, and make an impact on the world around them—some are called to equip the Body of Christ as spiritual leaders.
Spiritual leadership is vitally important. People rise and fall to the level of our leadership. People are drawn into the Kingdom, and drawn into Christian service because of faithful, healthy spiritual leadership.
It is so important for those God calls to spiritual leadership to be eager to grow into everything God calls them to be.
WE ARE CALLED BY A GREAT GOD—MAY WE NEVER BE STAGNANT OR HALF-HEARTED IN THAT CALLING!
Here are eight habits every spiritual leader should attain to:
1. WALK WITH GOD
Spiritual leadership is primarily about walking with God. It is His Kingdom, and His reign that we are seeking to establish, not our own. We must keep our hearts daily submissive to His Word and rule in our lives. We should seek to know Him more, and then make Him known to those we lead.
The primary way we walk with God is through engagement with His Word: reading, meditating, applying His eternal wisdom to our daily lives of spiritual leadership.
Spiritual leaders need to seek God more than they seek ministry. Their first priority everyday should be to know God more, to follow Him more wholeheartedly, to grow in their knowledge of Him.
God may have called them to influence others for the sake of the gospel, but they know closeness to and obedience to God is the prize they are after. If Jesus isn’t the prize, you are running the wrong race.
2. TAKE IN MORE THAN YOU GIVE OUT
As spiritual leaders, we should seek inner growth of character, wisdom and obedience more than outer growth of ministry impact. Yes, we want both, but we need to watch closely that we are in the Word of God, reading good books, spending time around mentors, as well as watching the overall health of our soul, relationships and emotions more than we are giving out.
This can be tricky for pastors who are preaching every week. Sundays come with surprising regularity. But simple ways to work toward this end would be:
• Set time for healthy growth habits once a week
• Plan growth time in your schedule just like you plan out your to-do list
• Schedule another pastor to preach once or twice a month in your place to give your more time for intake than giving out.
What we don’t want as spiritual leaders is to sound like broken records. Yes, we have specific gifts we will camp on, and we drip vision continually, but God forbid we preach on the same themes week after week because we aren’t growing. This is one reason why expository preaching is so beneficial. We move beyond our personal gifting, and into God’s abundant Word which covers areas we would never think to cover.