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The Search For Leaders

The Search For Leaders

Developed by Rodney W. Francis  

(from original notes  by “Christian Life Centre,” Wellington, New Zealand).

  “For exaltation (“promotion; to make high”) comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another” (Psalm 75:6-7 , NKJV).

 There is a growing cry, as well as need, for God-called and God-ordained leaders to arise to fulfil their destinies. God and man are constantly searching for leaders in the various aspects of Christian ministry, work and outreach . . .

 “The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people . . .” (1 Samuel 13:14 ).

 “I beheld, and indeed there was no man . . .”  . . . “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth . . .” (Jeremiah 4:25 and 5:1).

 “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30 ).

 The over-riding need of the church, if it is to discharge its obligation to this “now” generation, is for a leadership that has God-given authority, is spiritual, has understanding of people’s needs, and is sacrificial.

 GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY:

 Because people need to be led by one who knows where he/she is going in God, and is therefore able to give clear direction; at the same time inspiring confidence. (Authority is not authority unless it is accepted by the people acknowledging that gifting of God in their leaders.)

 SPIRITUAL:

 Because that which can be explained purely in the natural will result only in sterility, as well as moral and spiritual bankruptcy (producing no fruit for God). Joseph was a man who was promoted from a prison to a ruler second only to Pharaoh in all the land of Egypt, because Pharaoh recognized the Spirit of God in him. And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” (Genesis 41:38 ).

 UNDERSTANDING:

 Because if we do not understand the many temperaments (behaviour, moods, character) of people we will quickly come to wrong conclusions about them, which will help to destroy rather than release them into their calling in God. When Solomon was promoted to leader of Israel, he asked God: “Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9 ) ~ (Please read 1 Kings 3:5-28 ).

Paul’s desire and prayer was “that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9 ). (See also Ephesians 1:17-23 and Proverbs 4:4-7 ).

 SACRIFICIAL:

 Because leadership is modelled on the life of the One Who gave Himself for the whole world.

 Leadership is more than the product of natural endowments and traits of personality. The real qualities are to be found in those who are willing to suffer for the sake of objectives great enough to demand their wholehearted obedience. Surely the Gospel’s claim on our life is great enough to make us want to be fully available to God in the place where He has planted us? This means total commitment to Jesus Christ and His body (the Church). God has a very definite purpose for your being where He has called you, so be encouraged to “Bloom where you are planted.” Let your roots go down deep so you can be prepared for whatever lies ahead. Right preparation leads to:

 SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY:

 This comes ~ often unsought ~ to those who, in earlier life, have proved themselves worthy of it by spirituality, discipline, ability and diligence. It comes to those who have learned the principles of submission and obedience, which cultivates a teachable spirit. Church and Ministry leaderships are not likely to release into responsible positions those who cannot be trusted through an inability to listen, learn and obey. Leadership is not “doing your own thing.” A great desire to please God by word and deed is an essential part of spiritual authority. A willingness to lay down one’s life totally, if necessary, for the Lord Whom we love.

 Samuel Logan Brengle was one of the great leaders in the Salvation Army. He had this to say about spiritual authority: “It is not won by promotion, but by many prayers and tears. It is attained by confessions of sins, and much heart-searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice of every idol; a bold, deathless, uncompromising and uncomplaining embracing of the Cross, and by an eternal, unfaltering looking unto Jesus crucified. That is a great price, but it must be unflinchingly paid by him/her who would not merely be a nominal leader, but a real spiritual man/woman whose power is recognized and felt in heaven, and hell, and on earth.”

 A Comparison Between Some Of The Dominant Characteristics Of Natural And Spiritual Leadership

Natural:     Spiritual:
Self-confident .  Confident in God
Knows men . Also knows God
Makes own Decisions . Seeks to find God’s Will
Ambitious  Self-effacing (humble)
Originates own Methods . Finds and Follows God’s Methods
Enjoys Commanding Others  Motivated by Love for God and Man
Independent .  God-dependent

For those who have aspirations (“strong desires to achieve something, such as success”) for leadership and who feel that the doors are not opening up “as they should,” need to understand that far more is required than a knowledge of the Word, an ability to preach or counsel, etc. God is the One Who promotes! Leaders come under a lot more pressure than others. They must be able to live by example ~ not only in the church or gathering, but also in the home ~ which is seen by Christians and non-Christians alike (1 Timothy 3:7 ). Jack Lloyd (Blenheim, NZ) once said:“People cannot hear what we say for what we are,” and this is so true in the area of leadership.

 Paul spent much time training Timothy in the ways of leadership, so when he was finally released into his ministry he had been established in the faith and could withstand the buffetings of Satan (See 1 Timothy 3:1-13 ). “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16 ).

 Real fulfilment in God can only be realized as we find His calling for us ~ and grow and flow in it.

 Questions To Ask Potential Leaders:

  1. Does he/she do little things well?
  2. Has he/she learned the meaning of priorities?
  3. Does he/she use their leisure time wisely?
  4. Has he/she learned to take advantage of momentum (or opportunities given)?
  5. Has he/she got initiative (or is he/she “a self starter”)?
  6. What is his/her attitude to discouragement?
  7. Has he/she the power of growth? i.e., a gatherer, or a scatterer?
  8. How does he/she face impossible situations?
  9. What are his/her weakest points?

 Acts 6:3 mentions something about leadership:

 “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”

 Leadership Must Be:

  1. Of Honest Report (Luke 8:15 ).
  2. Full of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49 ; Acts 1:8 ; Romans 14:17 ).

  Criteria Of Leadership Potential:

Most people have hidden and undeveloped callings and abilities, which through lack of self-analysis AND consequent lack of self-knowledge, may remain undiscovered. An objective study will help us:

  1. Have you ever broken a bad habit?
  2. Do you retain control of yourself when things go wrong?
  3. Do you think independently? (or, Are you a “Yes” man or woman?)
  4. Can you handle criticism objectively and remain unmoved under it?
  5. Can you use disappointments creatively?
  6. Do you secure the co-operation and respect of others?
  7. Do you possess ability to secure discipline without resorting to show of force?
  8. Do you find it easier to keep the peace, rather than remake it once it has been shattered?
  9. Are you entrusted with the handling of difficult situations?
  10. Can you accept opposition from others without considering it a personal affront?
  11. Do you find it easy to make and keep personal friends?
  12. Are you unduly dependent on the praise and approval of others?
  13. Are you at ease in the presence of your superiors?
  14. Do your sub-ordinates appear at ease in your presence?
  15. Are you really interested in people, or do you show respect of persons?
  16. Can you anticipate the likely effect of a statement before you make it?
  17. Do you possess a strong and steady will?
  18. Do you nurse resentments?
  19. Are you readily optimistic? (“expect and see the best in all things”?)
  20. Are you in the grip of a vision similar to Paul ~ “This one thing I do . . .” (Philippians 3:13 ).
  21. Do you welcome responsibility?

Who am I, and What Does God Have for Me?

A.   Recognize Your Desires ~ Honestly face up to your desires.

  1. If I could be assured of success, what would I like most to do for the Lord?
  2. What is my greatest concern in serving the Lord?
  3. What is my greatest concern for the Church ~ locally, nationally, world-wide?
  4. What areas do you think we are lacking as a church or fellowship?
  5. Would those desires and concerns really be what the Lord wanted?

B.   What About Recognizing The Gifts That God Has Placed In You?

People need to sense a security within us. If we are secure in God ~ and in the place of His calling ~ and understand our gifts and abilities ~ they will know it. Using your talents and abilities confidently creates confidence in the people and provides an atmosphere in which they can grow. If I am insecure, people will sense that insecurity.

We Need To Settle These Questions In Our Lives

  •  What am I?
  • What am I not?
  • Why am I here?
  •  And not there?

Having settled that, it is important to then discover the role you are to play as we believe God for increase and a harvest of people. What makes you uniquely able to perform that responsibility? Let us try the following questions to help you discover this:

  • What would you really enjoy doing most for the Lord?
  • Is there any role you feel uncomfortable in?
  • What particular abilities do you think you have that are important to your local church or fellowship?
  • How could you cultivate and develop that ability?
  • Do you see women functioning in important positions in the church or fellowship gathering?

The key to success is start asking God for a vision of where you fit in.

C.   Begin To Minister:

  • Do you really want to teach? Do not hang back.
  • Do you really want the gift of administration? Volunteer to help.
  • Do you really want the gift of mercy? Start visiting sick people.
  • Do you rally want to minister in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit? Start mixing with people where they are allowed to function.

(In the above four cases discuss and co-operate with your leadership).

  •  The Gifts and Abilities of the Holy Spirit are for service ~ that means work!

Confirmation of your area of ministry will come through the degree of fruitfulness and the sense of fulfilment. This sometimes is a matter of “trial and error.”

  • LEARNING your gift will take TIME ~ USING your gift will take the REST OF YOUR LIFE!
  • The Holy Spirit needs YOU!
  • We also need your help.  

Finally, your church or fellowship gathering leadership welcomes your friendship and communication as to how you can better “flow in” with the fellowship where God has placed you in. To us it should be the best place in the world to be until such time as the Lord leads us out into something different.

  •  Be God’s example to others!

Rodney is the Founder/Director of “The Gospel Faith Messenger” Ministry which ministers to thousands through literature, Bible Correspondence Courses, books, manuals, preaching/teaching, conducting Seminars, “Schools Of The Holy Spirit,” “International Training Schools” and the “Equipping of Timothy’s.” He has authored more than 20 books and carries a heart to see this generation of believers equipped with leadership skills to do the job of fulfilling the purposes of God. He ministers out from Paraparaumu, New Zealand, carrying credentials both with “The GFM” Ministry, and “United Kingdom Elim (ECI)".

 "The Gospel Faith Messenger" Ministry.  PO Box 57, Paraparaumu 5254, New Zealand.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.