Volume. XXIV, No. 46
Sunday, 16 May 2010


Marks of Spiritual Leaders (Part II)


(Continues from Marks of Spiritual Leaders Part I)

 
The Outer Circle of Spiritual Leadership
 
Everyone in the church has one or more spiritual gifts. Everyone should be involved in the ministry. Everyone should be seeking to lead others to the point where they bring glory and honour to God by the way they think and feel and act. But there are some people to whom the Lord has given qualities of personality that tend to make them more able leaders than others, and are called to be leaders in church. Not all of these qualities are distinctively Christian, but when the Holy Spirit fills a person\'s life, each of these qualities is harnessed and transformed for God\'s purposes.
 
Restless
 
Spiritual leaders have a holy restlessness or discontentment with the status quo. Non-leaders have a tendency that causes them to settle in and make them very hard to move off of ‘dead centre’. Leaders have a hankering to change, to move, to reach out, to grow, and to take a group or a church to new dimensions of ministry. They have the spirit of Paul, who said in Phil. 3:13, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before." Leaders are often very goal-oriented people. The church is shot through with imperfections, lost sheep are still not in the fold, needs of every sort in the world are unmet, sin infects the saints. It is unthinkable that leaders should be content with things the way they are in a fallen world and an imperfect church. Therefore, God has been pleased to put a holy restlessness into some of his people, and those people will very likely be the leaders.
 
Optimistic
 
Spiritual leaders are optimistic not because man is good or helpful but because God is in total control. The leader must not let his discontentment become disconsolation or hopelessness. When he or she sees the imperfection of certain things in the church, he or she must say with the writer of Hebrews (6:9), "But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak." The foundation of his or her life is Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose". Without this confidence, based upon the goodness of God manifested in Jesus Christ, the leader\'s perseverance would falter and the people would not be inspired—without optimism, restlessness becomes despair!
 
Intense
 
When the disciples remembered the way Jesus had behaved in relation to the temple of God, they characterized it with words from the Old Testament like this, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up" (John 2:17b). The leader follows the advice of Ecclesiastes 9:10, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goes." Jesus warns us in Revelation 3:16 that he does not have any ‘taste’ for people who are lukewarm: "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." This, of course, does not mean that they would lose their salvation, but His favour. Spiritual leaders must go out alone somewhere and ponder what unutterable and stupendous things they know about God. Therefore, leaders must give evidence that the things of the Spirit are intensely real. They cannot do that unless they are intense themselves.
Self-controlled
 
By self-controlled I do not mean prim and proper and unemotional, but rather master of our drives. If we are to lead others toward God, we cannot be led ourselves toward the world. In other words, we must strive to be a good example ourselves before we can be leaders (I do not mean we must be perfect). According to Gal. 5:23, temperance or self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. It is not mere will-power. It is appropriating the power of God to get mastery over our emotions and our appetites that could lead us astray or cause us to occupy our time with fruitless endeavors. In 1 Corinthians 6:12 Paul says, "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." The Christian leader must ruthlessly examine his or her life to see whether he or she is the least enslaved by anything sinful or displeasing to the Lord. Paul said in 1 Corinthians. 9:25, "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible." Spiritual leaders must track down bad habits and break them by the power of the Spirit! They hear and follow Romans 8:13, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Spiritual leaders long to be free from everything that hinders their fullest delight in God and service of others.
Energetic
 
Spiritual leaders redeem the time (Eph. 5:16). They work while it is day, because they know that ‘the night cometh, when no man can work’ (John 9:4). They do not grow weary in well doing’ for they know that in due season they shall reap if they do not lose heart’(Gal. 6:9). They are steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15:58). But they do not take credit for this great energy or boast in their efforts, because they say with the apostle Paul, "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Cor. 15:10). ‘The world is run by tired men,’ someone has said. A leader must learn to live with pressure. None of us accomplishes very much without deadlines and deadlines always create a sense of pressure. A leader does not see the pressure of work as a curse but as a glory. He does not desire to fritter away his life in excess leisure. He loves to be productive. And he copes with the pressure and prevents it from becoming worrisome with promises like Matthew 11:27, 28 and Philippians 4:7, 8 and Isaiah 64:4.
Theologically Oriented
 
Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."1 Corinthians 2:16 also speaks of the spiritual man as having the ‘mind of Christ’. What is the mind of Christ? It is the mind that knows that all of life, down to its smallest detail, has to do with God. If we are to lead people to see and reflect God\'s glory, we must think theologicallyabout everything—not just certain things according to our preferences. We must work toward a synthesis (ie. the combination of ideas into a complex whole) of all things. We must probe to see how things all fit together and whether if whatever we do contradict Scriptural principles. Leaders must have a theological standpoint that helps give coherence to all things. This will give the leader a stability that keeps him from being knocked off his feet by sudden changes in circumstances or new winds of doctrine or heresies. He knows enough about God and His ways that things generally fit into a Scriptural pattern and make sense, even when they are unpleasant and unpopular or ‘politically incorrect’. So the leader does not throw up his hands but points the way onward to God.
 
Restful
 
We began with the quality of restlessness and we end with the quality of restful.
The Psalmist says,Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. 2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” The spiritual leader knows that ultimately the productivity of his labors rests in God, and that God can do more while he is asleep than he could do while awake without God. He knows that Jesus said to his busy disciples, "…Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while…" (Mk. 6:31). He or she is not so addicted to work or a workaholic that he is unable to rest in Jesus Christ. In other words, he or she is not only a good steward of his talents, but his time and health.
 
Conclusion
 
There is no doubt many other qualities could be mentioned, which if a person has, would make him an even more successful leader. These are simply the ones that I have selected. One need not excel in every one of them. But the more fully each one is developed in a person, the more powerful and fruitful he will be as a leader in church in any capacity. All genuine leadership begins in a sense of desperation - knowledge that we are helpless sinners in need of a Great Savior. That moves us to listen to God in His Word and cry out to him for help and for insight in prayer. That leads us to trust in God and to hope in his great and precious promises. This frees us for a life of love and service, which in the end, causes people to see and give glory to our Father in heaven.
 
Ps Weng
 
Adapted from John Piper’s ‘The Marks of a Spiritual Leader’ (www.desiringgod.org) 
 

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements
*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht. Next Lord’s Day: Team Leader: Bro Raymond Ang.
*Rev & Mrs Pong Seng Yiew wish all mothers at Hope a Happy Mother’s Day.
*Deepest Sympathy to Sis Yvone Kam & family on the home-going of her father, Bro Weng San Kam (S’pore).
*Anyone wishing to join the Church Choir please see Sis Purdee Yeo.
*Family Bible Camp DVDs & CDs - if interested, please fill in the order form and hand it to Dn David Yeo ASAP.
*New photocopier required urgently. The cost is about $9,000.  
 
Looking Ahead
*AFG Bible Camp/Retreat in 11-14 June.
*24th Anniversary Thanksgiving on 20 June.
*Vacation Bible School, 12-16 July.
*ACM & Sixth Session Election - Sat, 28 August.
 
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Bro Raymond & Sis Swee Yee Chia (S’pore); Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Per); Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman (Adl/Melb/KL); Bro Charles & Sis Peng Ha Yeo (Adl); Bros Yick Ho Lam, Jason Teng & Rexson Tse (Adl); Sisters Sarah Lo (Keith) & Sally Teng (Adl) & others who have travelled.
2. Church activities - over the past week.
3. Street Evangelism - by YAF
4. Salvation of the late Bro Weng San Kam (Sis Yvone’s father).
5. God’s protection & provision for Bros Yick Ho Lam & Rexson Tse in PNG.
6. Daily mercies, protection & guidance.
 
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Dr SH Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Samuel Ki, Elton Law, Jonathan Liao, Len & Richard Pearson, Moses Tan (S’pore), Winston Selvanayagam, & Fred Volvricht; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Lydia Fan, Myung Ki (UK), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona & Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.
2. God’s comfort: Mr & Mrs Lajos (Lou) Lodi & family; Rev Dr SH Tow & family; & Sis Yvone Kam & family.
3. Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry (Phnom Penh & Kandal Province).
4. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim & his ministry in S’pore/Malaysia (June) & Adelaide (July).
5. IBPFM (USA) - Board, missionaries & funds.
6. Ps & Sis Ki & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond).
7. Ps & Sis Weng - ministry in Hope BPC.
8. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
9. Journey mercies: Those who are travelling.
10. New Photocopier for church - God’s provision.
11. ACM & Session Election on 28 August.
12. God’s guidance & help for Bro Richard Tee (Melb).
13. Bro Richie & Sis Myra Hornung (Mindanao).
14. Job - Sisters Xandrea Cai, Marion Chan, Judy Li, Corinne Teng & Mag Yu (S’pore).
15. Good health in pregnancy - Sis Demelza Ting. 
16. 24th Anniversary Thanksgiving Speaker: Elder KH Koh of Sydney BPC.
17. Street Evangelism - Salvation of those who received Gospel tracts.
18. Final Stage of pregnancy: Sis Josephine Wong
 
 

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063