Some folks are deeply spiritual, but not the best leaders. Others are strong leaders, but their actions deny their professed Christianity. To be honest, it’s not always easy to find folks who are both deeply spiritual and strong leaders. Here are some markers of those I’ve known who do indeed show both characteristics.
- They pray a lot. These are men whose hearts are bent toward God, and their knees are worn out in prayer. Their confidence in God is palpable.
- They recognize the reality of the spiritual war. They respect the enemy’s power without ever forgetting they’re following the Conqueror.
- They memorize the Word. Just listen to them talk. They sprinkle the Word throughout their conversations, without drawing attention to themselves. It’s just natural to them.
- They know they could always fall. They are never so arrogant as to think failure could not happen to them. Even the possibility of bringing shame to Christ keeps them on their face before Him.
- They study the stories of other spiritual leaders. Usually, they do this through reading biographies and autobiographies. They allow even those who preceded them to teach them via print.
- They drip of humility. They could easily fall into pride, but they continually fight hard against that tendency. They always deflect any praise sent their way.
- They have their own mentors. These leaders never lead alone; they have others who help them guard their heart, push them to continue growing, and challenge them to lead better.
- They make decisions and move on. They pray, seek God through His Word, talk to other trusted believers, and press on. Seldom do they get bogged down with second-guessing their decisions.
- They invest in others. That is, they recognize their responsibility to raise up another generation of spiritual leaders. Their ministry doesn’t end with them.
- They live with intentionality. It seems like every step they take has a clear purpose. Nothing—from their personal walk to their public ministry—ever seems haphazard.
What characteristics have you seen in great spiritual leaders?