Jul 23, Jimmy added it I have heard of this classic previously but have not had the opportunity to read it until now. Having thus finished the book, there were parts of the book that was profitable for me spiritually. The author Oswald Sanders gave examples of Godly men whose I have heard of this classic previously but have not had the opportunity to read it until now. The author Oswald Sanders gave examples of Godly men whose greatness also meant that they were disciplined with their time. This is an area I have been grown much in the last few years being in Seminary, yet I also realize that I can still improve in the area of time management.
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Motives in leadership can either limit or enhance the results to be produced in ministry. Ultimately, the best motivation for leadership is to serve God and serve others through leadership. Servant leadership is the aim of spiritual leadership p. One would think that all ambition is evil. Yet, God regards well the ambition to serve Him with a pure heart.
The heart for servant-leadership expressed in the life of Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, who founded the Moravian church, was proven out in the effectiveness of its missionary work abroad p. Those who followed his example of service and devotion to God through ministry leadership achieved great success in both the results of their ministries and the number of them called to the work. All the leaders God calls have shortcomings p. Sacrifice is a hallmark of the spiritual leader and may explain why so few serve in leadership or succeed in it p.
It is one thing to try to make oneself into a spiritual leader. It is quite another to surrender oneself to God and seek transformation by Him. To be great in the sight of God, one must be willing to serve p. God is sovereign in His calling of spiritual leaders p. Spiritual leadership requires suffering p. Leadership should not be sought for personal gain, but rather for service to God. The spiritual leadership should expect hardship, humiliation, and attack.
Glory will likely not come from men. But God will honor His humble servant. Leaders are gifted according to the Spirit of God and then conformed to the will of God p. While circumstances and timing may appear to choose the leader, it is God who has prepared and called the leader in his or her circumstances and time p.
The quote from the biography of Sangster was both foreign and true. His willingness to serve while loathing the task is an excellent example of the heart of a true spiritual leader. This very humility rings authentic in Francis and is clear evidence of his calling. Summary Chapter 5 helps the reader discover his or her aptitude for leadership through a twenty-two question test, which is approximately half of the chapter pp.
These questions are designed to uncover both natural ability and spiritual giftedness. When I first read the book, I noted my personal struggle with nine of the twenty-two test questions. Today, I can clearly see my improvement in many of these areas. In particular, I have learned to develop rather than direct people, and to encourage rather than criticize p. In leadership, many opportunities arise in which discretion is required. The indiscreet leader will not lead anyone very long.
Paul was perhaps the best example of spiritual leadership after Christ Himself. He was trained and prepared well before his calling, an effective natural leader and most powerful under the headship of Christ p. This is a useful insight. Teaching is not just to impart information, but to help others grow and mature spiritually. This insight from the book was reassuring for me as a pastor of a small church.
Peter was a leader with natural abilities p. The spiritual leader should serve willingly p. This is pleasing to the lord for His under shepherds to represent Him well. To bring dishonor to His name as an under shepherd is the most grievous of sins for flock and the lord.
The paragraph p. God will give power to the humble leader. In the final section of the book, Sanders addresses the weight of ministry and the value of relying upon the Lord to supply every need of the spiritual leader p.
This can easily be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of daily ministry. Sanders organizes the criteria in this passage under the following headings: Discipline, Vision, Wisdom, Decision, Courage, Humility, and Integrity and Sincerity.
Sanders defines discipline as both self discipline and the submission to authority pp. He describes vision as both insight p. Sanders notes that wisdom is essentially the proper application of knowledge p.
In the section on decision, he points to decisiveness as a necessary trait of spiritual leaders p. Under courage, he presents a form of spiritual fearlessness p.
Humility, as mentioned in the prior chapter is indispensable in the life of a spiritual leader p. Transparency, steadfastness and loyalty are the true hallmarks of the leader who has integrity and sincerity p.
They show that I can do much more with the time I have if I will only devote each moment to the Lord. This is a very useful insight. Expect great things from God. Yet, as the spiritual leader matures, he sees that the best work and greatest results of his ministry are directly from the hand of God. He argues that Jesus Himself used anger righteously and wisely p. Gregarity, devotion and affection are the keys to developing lasting deep personal friendships pp.
These qualities are necessary for the most successful spiritual leaders. Tact and diplomacy are most useful in conflict resolution and preventing conflict, and are indispensable to the spiritual leader p. The fruit of executive ability is vision translated into action p. Sanders encourages the spiritual leader to lend often a sympathetic ear to those of his flock p.
The chapter closes with a word about the importance of keeping up with and deftly handling ones correspondence p. Tactfulness is often lost on me in my impatience to make things happen and get things done. The virtue must be acquired through practice and diligent attention to it. I feel it is not out of reach for me, but is sometimes a difficulty. First, one must be converted and indwelt by the Holy Spirit p. Second, one must call upon the power and presence of the Holy Spirit for the work of ministry pp.
Third, one must live a life in surrender to the conviction and will of the Holy Spirit p. How the Lord will grant to us the measure of His Spirit that we seek and are prepared to receive.
One is not called to a work by the Lord and then left ill-equipped and ill-supplied. The chapter expresses the utter spiritual poverty of the leader who fails to devote himself to prayer p. Yet, it also deals with the difficulty of prayer p. Sanders points out the many fruits of prayer, such as power for living, power for ministry and power for healing p. He argues for value of a consistent and effectual prayer life for the spiritual leader p.
And finally he addresses the apprehension of the knowledge of the will of God through prayer p. The reminder that prayer is a form of spiritual warfare p.
How unfaithfully I have attended to this discipline of spiritual warfare. Time is a gift from the Lord and must be managed wisely as a steward p. Each person is allotted the same amount of time in each day, but some use it more effectively than others p. Once time is wasted or lost, it can never be recovered p. Sanders gives several examples of famous people who were noted for their efficient use of time, but most notably Christ pp. The amount of time allotted by God to each person is sufficient to accomplish His will and live according to His plan.
I have found the motto to make good use of both my impulsiveness and my time. Other examples of studious Christian leaders include Tyndale and Wesley p. The spiritual leader should read for inspiration and to improve preaching, writing, vocabulary and knowledge of subjects p. A good reading list should include histories, biographies, poetry, political treatises, Bible commentaries, and even fictional novels p. The greater benefit comes from delving deeply into a few volumes rather than skimming many.
Good and valuable books should be read not once, but several times, at least three. The first time rapid and continuous, the second careful and paced, the third like the first p. When reading on a particular subject, say the Civil War, coordinate the reading of other related subjects.
For example, read a biography of Lincoln along with a history of the battle of Gettysburg or the poetry of Whitman p. This is a valuable suggestion. Zealous devotion is required p. A willingness to spend oneself in the enterprise to which one is called is key p. The best goals challenge and unify. Indecisiveness and procrastination p. The spiritual leader must be ready to take on difficult issues or problems, find solutions and implement a plan of action. Standards should be established and active investigation, accountability and corrective measures should be employed whenever necessary to ensure the spiritual health of the leadership group Sanders identifies loneliness, fatigue, criticism, rejection, pressure and perplexity as the primary avenues of self sacrifice.