Bible Study: Nature Of Spiritual Leadership (Jer 3:15; Matt 20:25-38)
The Church has been deceived into seeking leadership “light” from this darkened and decaying world, as though the Word of God has no superior precepts on leadership.
The world in their mundane mind erroneously think that change is always a sign of advancemnt such that God and His Word should also change to advance! But change is sign of imperfection, that’s why our God and His Word are so proven, pure and perfect (Psa_12:6; Psa_18:30; Psa_30:5; 1Pe_2:2) that they do not change (Mal_3:6; Luk_21:33); rather they remain steady and the standard for ever and all who are imperfect must seek change and transformation toward the divine standard.
Much of modern, mundane leadership techniques is ungodly. Some of the modern best practices are adulterated inferior analogues of ancient biblical principles. God has not left us ignorant of what is pure quality leadership. Sociological research and management innovation may produce temporal leadership principles that are far-reaching and pragmatic, but only Scriptural revelation offers superior spiritual guidance to leadership that will endure forever. The kingdoms and treasure of this world shall bow to and become sublect to the Kingdom of God and of His Christ (Rev_11:15; Rev_17:14; Rev_21:24).
God has divine purpose in making provision for leadership in the Church (Jer_3:15; 1Th_5:12-13; Heb_13:7; Heb_13:17). Leadership for the Church should be spiritual not political or commercial. By spiritual is meant not mytstical, occultist, or spiritistic but that it is led by Christ’s Spirit in accordance with God’s Word. It should be pastoral in style and divine in agenda: serving the Lord’s saints, to enhance their service to the Lord (Eph_4:11-14). Although Spiritual Leadership has some clear temporal goal of growth in grace, yet there is also the eternal hope or vision of glory which determine the necessary mission and operational means for Spiritual Leaders (Eph_5:25-27; Col_1:24-29; 1Ti_2:3-4).
The polity (organgram, organisational structure) of Christ’s Church and Kingdom is heavenly and spiritual, “not of this world” (Joh_18:36) and “not as the Gentiles who know not God” (Mat_20:25-28; 1Th_4:4-6); therefore Spiritual Leadership does not seek its interest but shows compassion.
Spiritual leadership is
– not commandant leadership but servant leadership (Mat_20:25-28);
– not taxing leadership but tending leadership (1Pe_5:1-4).
Spiritual leadership does not dictate and devastate like the bramble (Jdg_9:15) but motivates and edifies by example (Joh_13:13-15; 1Ti_4:12; Tit_2:7); not monarchical but collegial.
Spiritual leadership is not about ingenuity after modern Gentile techniques but sincerity after Christly precepts and sanctity after God’s pleasure and purpose. Joh_13:12-17; Act_15:6, Act_15:22; 1Co_9:19; 2Co_4:1-5; 1Th_2:7-12.
Spiritual leadership derives from the Scripture and Christ and also directs toward Christ. It must be done in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit (1Co_2:1-7); to the glory of God (Col_3:17, Col_3:23); and for the benefit of everyone (Col_1:24-29), but not for personal interests (Php_2:19-21).
Spiritual leaders must not only possess spiritual qualities (knowledge, character and power) but social qualities too (1Ti_3:1-7). The Spiritual Leader does not LEAD as HEAD to be served but HELPER who serves and tends and guides.
The Spiritual Leader is not self-centred but God-centred, not ideology-based but Word-based:
– His/her confidence is not in self or people, but in God;
– His/her decisions are not his/her own, but God’s will;
– His/her delight is not to be obeyed, but to obey God;
– His/her motivation is not ambition, but devotion (love of God);
– His/her method is not his/her devices, but God’s direction;
– His/her appointment is not by man’s desire, but by the Spirit’s desire;
– His/her vision is not personal dreams, but Christ’s mission and agenda.
I. U. Ibeme