Sunday, April 2, 2017

What's A Spiritual Leader To Do?

You can't miss the leadership section of any Book store or internet site for that matter--its simply too big.  Do a search on Amazon for books having something to do with leadership and you'll come up with almost 200,000 books with the word "leadership" in their titles.  In 2015 alone, over 1200 books were published that had something to do with some kind of leadership in some field.  Add to these numbers the hundreds of blogs being written that have something to do with leadership and you have a mountain sized stack of resources on leadership that have been written and read.   Throw in the almost just as many definitions of leadership and opinions on what's a leader to do and you have a major leadership traffic jam on your hands. 

In 1991, Joseph Rosa, a professor of leadership studies at the University of San Diego, took on the challenge of reading as many books on leadership as he could in preparation for his class.  After reading all that he could get his hands on reaching all the way back to 1900 he found that the "experts" on leadership  had defined it in more than two hundred ways.  Comparing the differences in definition as well as what each writer suggested were the fundamental tasks of leadership, Rosa states that the closest the different books came to a consensus definition of leadership was that it was simply "good management".  In practice, Rosa wrote, "leadership is a word that has come to mean all things to all people."

The subject of "spiritual leadership" is no different.  Literally hundreds of books, blogs, and internet sites are devoted to the topics of spiritual, pastoral, and ministry leadership. Interestingly enough, they all come up with the same kind of varied conclusions about what spiritual leadership is and does.  Since so many others have thrown their opinion into the mix I thought I'd give it my best shot too.  So, here is what I think spiritual leadership is basically all about and does.

Spiritual leadership is influencing God's people to think, act, and react like God's people in any and every circumstance of life.  As for what a spiritual leader does, I think Craig Hamilton hit it right on the head in his book entitled Wisdom in Leadership when he makes the point that the number one thing a spiritual leader does in any given situation is to ask and answer the question, "What does the Bible say?"  The number two thing he does is to lead God's people to do what the Bible says.  

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