“Leadership is the ability of a person to influence others to take action. There is, of course, spiritual leadership and natural leadership. In natural leadership, the personality of the leader is a prime factor. If such a leader s highly successful, with him there is an incandescence, a certain magnetism, I drive, a flame that burns.”
By J.T. Pugh
Leadership is the ability of a person to influence others to take action. There is, of course, spiritual leadership and natural leadership. In natural leadership, the personality of the leader is a prime factor. If such a leader s highly successful, with him there is an incandescence, a certain magnetism, I drive, a flame that burns. If such a person commits himself to true spiritual leadership, to this natural ability is added the personality of the Holy Ghost, which gives the leader a keen sensitivity and also works upon the hearts of those he seeks to lead. The church, both locally and corporately, has been blessed most when it has been led by strong, capable spiritual leaders.
The ready service of spiritual leadership is not present in the church by accident. Such leadership must be developed by preceding leaders who deeply care for the continuing welfare of the church. This responsible pattern of self-Less provision of leadership for the future was established early in the history of God’s work. The eighteenth chapter of Exodus describes the four measured levels of responsibility that Moses created in Israel so that the needs of the people could be taken care of.
In the years of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the masses of people influenced by Him could be defined in three concentric circles. The less personally impacted were the multitudes’ Then there were thousands who were called “disciples,” and were baptized (compare Matthew 3:5-6 and John 4:1-2). Then there was the closer circle of His apostles. “And he . . . called unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.”
Even in this apostolic circle there was yet another proximity. Peter, James, and John were more intimately near to Jesus than anyone else. This intimacy is seen at the resurrection of the ruler’s daughter,’ Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane,’ and His transfiguration.
Though the immediate leadership of the New Testament Church was at first altogether in the hands of the apostles, we find that as the church grew, additional leaders were added.’ These leaders, we know, were instructed and prepared to discharge their Christian responsibility. Such instruction is seen in Paul’s solemn charge to the Ephesian elders’ and to Timothy.’
Leaders in the early church evidently felt that it was their duty to cultivate men with spiritual leadership abilities to succeed them. Surely the Holy Ghost must have urged this upon them, for we know that the success or failure of any group, be they religious or secular, is determined by the quality of leadership they have.