The Resources of the Leader
By Geoff Gorsuch
Some men have a clear idea of where they would like to go but can’t persuade anyone to follow them. That takes us to the second qualification of a leader, his reputation. One of the more famous quotes generally attributed to President Eisenhower is, “A leader has followers and is trustworthy.”
Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6). Any genuine life in a ministry, therefore, will come from Him through the heart of the leader. A wise monk once said that the ministry is this: “It is simply giving to the people what Jesus has given to you.” We bring Him into our small group as leaders when we embody the hope and life that Christ came to give all men.
To be a spiritual leader, therefore, is to minister through His resources, not our own. We cannot give away what we do not possess. If our own spiritual resources are depleted, we will have little to share with our brothers. In Luke 6:45, Jesus says, the good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart…for out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Our words will be an overflow of our heart. The heart is the reservoir for spiritual resources. So what can we store up in our hearts? The answer is His Word, His Spirit, and people.
The Word of God: I have hidden your word in my heart (Psalm 119:11). His Word equips us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Scriptures give us genuine hope. Followers need the assurance that the leader is working on his own integrity issues by listening to the voice of God in His Word. They will listen to a person who is listening to God because his life and goals will reflect God. Before a leader can speak for God to others, he must allow God to speak to him.
Jesus Christ, Himself: So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17). This is a picture of the Spirit-filled life. Paul wrote, our competence comes from God, who made us competent by the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:5-6). To be filled with the Spirit is to have a moment-by-moment conscious dependence on Christ. Spiritual leadership cannot be accomplished through the resources of the flesh.
People: Make room for us in your hearts (2 Corinthians 7:2). Do we really care for people? As we fill our hearts with concern for people, we find ourselves praying for them. The weakest link in the life of any spiritual leader is probably prayer. There are so many good things to do that we fail to do the best thing: pray! Leaders, by their natures, are activists. Therefore, they rarely bring their needs and those of others to God in prayer. What happens when we do pray? There is power. Lives change, including the life of the leader! The following acronym-ACTS-may be a helpful guideline in prayer.
ADORATION: Praising God for who He is. Reflect upon Psalms 145-150. It is often beneficial to reflect to God in worship what you learned about Him in His Word.
CONFESSION: Telling God about us-our sin, our feelings, our fears. “Lord, here’s where I’m coming from this morning…”
THANKSGIVING: Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18). What are you thankful for: Your wife? Your children? Your pastor? Each man in your group? Tell the Lord about it.
SUPPLICATION: This means praying for ourselves and interceding for others. God always answers our prayers-sometimes with “yes,” sometimes with “no,” sometimes with “wait”-and sometimes with the “peace that passes all understanding.” The mark of His Presence! However, every answer comes from the same loving hand…if we will only pray!
1. Here we see a radical departure from the usual considerations concerning leadership. What strikes you the most? Why?
2. What else would you say about the spiritual resources at our disposal as “servant leaders?” What would you add to the list?
3. About how much time do we spend in prayer just “asking” when compared with adoring God and confessing to him? Why do you suppose that is?
4. What is the spiritual power to be found in “giving thanks for all things?” Why is that?
Excerpted from, “Brothers!” by Geoff Gorsuch.
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This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”