Spiritual Gifts: Leadership
Who are some leaders in the Bible? How did God call and equip them?
Moses - His call is related in Exodus 3 & 4. Moses didn't want to go, but when God insisted and even became angry he did. God first equipped Moses with a helper (his brother Aaron) but as time went on, Moses grew in his own gifts.
Deborah - We don't know how Deborah was equipped, but we do know that it must have been a divine call for her to lead as a judge in a day when women just didn't take such positions. In the end, she went to battle with a general who wouldn't go unless she went along (Judges 4 & 5).
Gideon - Gideon was hiding out threshing wheat in a wine press so he wouldn't be found. God held Gideon's hand by giving him signs as he learned to obey and trust God (Judges 7 & 8).
Mary - While an angel delivered the call of God, Mary seems to have been equipped from the very start. Unlike many who argued, she said, "I am the Lord's servant! Let it happen as you have said" (Luke 1:38). That is a truly extraordinary response to the initial call of God to a difficult mission.
Peter - Peter was an impetuous fisherman. Jesus equipped him through three and a half years of teaching, then the trials of the crucifixion, and finally through the outpouring of God's power at Pentecost.
Paul - God had to knock Paul down on the ground and strike him blind to get his attention. Once he was called, however, he was equipped through the gifts of the Spirit time alone, and also experience. In reading Paul's letters in the New Testament, we can watch him grow in his call.
What are some key scripture passages to read in reference to leadership?
Romans 12 - deals with authority, how the body works together, spiritual gifts, and ties it all together in service.
1 Corinthians 12 - lists the gifts of the Spirit, but more importantly tells us how the various gifts work together in one body, subject to the rule of love (1 Corinthians 13).
Ephesians, 1 Timothy, Titus - these are the more technical and pastoral letters that explain something about how leadership is exercised in the church.
What are some prerequisites for leadership in the body of Christ?
There really is only one:
Read Hebrews 11 some time and look up each person's name in a concordance. How many were prepared for service when they were called? God can use anyone, even a donkey, to lead someone!
What are some principles of leadership in the body?
Who needs the gifts of leadership?
Every Christian is in a position to lead, however small or obscure that position, even if you only lead through your witness for Christ. Some people are called to lead more people, and to lead in more ways than others are, and we tend to call these people leaders.
Leadership is not always about acting or speaking. If God gave you the vision for an event or activity, you were obedient, and God's vision is being carried out, you are a leader whether or not you appear to be leading, and whether or not you get the credit.
All scripture quotations taken from the Contemporary English Version, Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society.