Thursday, January 16, 2014

What is Spiritual Leadership?

What is Spiritual Leadership?

Spiritual leadership differentiates itself from secular leadership with the foundations of how a person builds a platform for influence. Secular leadership or just 'leadership' can be about influencing people to meet stringent financial targets; this may include firing and hiring at will. Leadership in business (and management) may involve any set of values, as long as you hold to those values firmly, for example, in Built to Last, Jim Collins even says that what your values are, are not as important as having values in the first place. Spiritual leaders probably wouldn't even use the language of 'building a platform' and would definitely not suggest their values shift over time.

Spiritual leadership is simply about people following you, as you follow Jesus and point the way to him. Too simple? Let's not overcomplicate the matter here. As I write in a previous blog about the definition of leadership, David V. Day and John Antonakis offer a comprehensive study into leadership with their textbook, The Nature of Leadership (2012). As difficult as it is to define leadership, they offer their definition of leadership before proceeding with their 600 page volume. They write:

...leadership can be defined in terms of (a) an influencing process-and its resultant outcomes-that occurs between a leader and followers and (b) how this influencing process is explained by the leader's dispositional characteristics and behaviors, follower perceptions and attributions of the leader, and the context in which the influencing process occurs (: 5).
Spiritual leadership sets itself up with a whole lot of different characteristics and behaviours to leadership in the business world. A Christian leader has committed their life to Christ. They follow the ways of Christ, to the best of their ability and to the best of their understanding.

Here are some thoughts from Jesus himself, that surely impacts the life of any Christian leader:
  • Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself
  • Turn the other cheek
  • If someone asks for a warm coat, give them two
  • People will know you are my disciples, if you love one another
  • Don't look at a woman lustfully, or you've committed adultery in your heart
  • God blesses those who are humble, the earth will belong to them
And so the list goes on. The life of Jesus, and what he communicated to his people, is relevant for spiritual leaders. The foundation of a Christian's life, is based first and foremost on the ministry of Jesus.

A guest blog from Bob Hamp (on Michael Hyatt's Blog) speaks of six characteristics of spiritual leaders. He writes that:
  1. They lead others into their own encounters with God
  2. They lead others to discover their own purpose and identity
  3. They lead others into transformation
  4. They impact their atmosphere
  5. They help others see old things in new ways
  6. They gain a following because of who they are- not because of the position they hold
So what is spiritual leadership? It is the God-given capacity one has to lead others in fulfilling their potential in life, by pointing other to Jesus.

If you want to sharpen my thinking on spiritual leadership or what to add a comment, please do so.

God bless.

~ Pete.

Find more on Spiritual Leadership here.
Also: 10 Reasons Why People Don't Go To Church

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular ALL TIME Posts