3 Paradigms for Spiritual Leadership

Posted by on Mar 25, 2013 in Blog Post | Comments Off on 3 Paradigms for Spiritual Leadership

There are leadership principles that span the scope of leadership anywhere and everywhere. Those things are good to learn from and apply. But sometimes, there’s something called “spiritual leadership” that presents a distinct set of things that ought to remain important and even core to who we are as people. It’s really not even about “leadership” but much more about being vessels in whom God uses in this world to accomplish HIS purposes. I don’t know about you, but I want to be that kind of vessel. So here’s 3 snapshots of paradigms that inform and guide my own “spiritual leadership.”


1. As ministry leaders, <strong>when we genuinely experience the beauty, the truth, and the goodness that God offers, that in turn will be the kind of God that we translate through our leadership.</strong> Too many ministry leaders aren’t actually experiencing the beauty, truth and goodness of God in their everyday lives. If we can’t see God’s true beauty, or fail to grasp his profound truth, or don’t really know his unwavering goodness, then we won’t be able to translate it to others..nor should we try to. The world needs spiritual leaders to represent the fullness of God to a generation that questions whether they can look to the church to find him. This is serious stuff for ministry leaders to consider. This is a paradigm that can cause internal dissonance, and I know it has for me at times.

2. For true growth in our ministries and spiritual lives to happen, <strong>we must create space within us where the mystery of God’s Spirit is welcomed and nurtured.</strong> From that place, we will lead our ministries. The rest is in God’s hands. The evil one wants to subtly alter our approach to ministry, to twist what our mindset ought to be and to put our focus more on our own doing than giving God the credit he deserves and relying on Him. The Enemy wants to twist something good like productivity and lead us to believe that it’s a positive trait, and in many ways it is. But he finds crafty ways to take something good and twist it so that we get steered away from remembering who bears the fruit. If we don’t walk in step with the Spirit, our ministries and personal lives will never be marked with this kind of fruit, this kind of love. To walk in step with the spirit, we must create space for God’s mysterious work to be nurtured and welcomed.

3. I’ll let Thomas Kelly’s words challenge and inspire you as a spiritual leader, and leave you with that: <strong>“There is a way of ordering our mental life on more than one level at once. On one level we may be thinking, discussing, seeing, calculating, meeting all the demands of external affairs. But deep within, behind the scenes, at a profounder level, we may also be in prayer and adoration, song and worship and a gentle receptiveness to divine breathings.”</strong> (Thomas Kelly) Kelly: Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion. New York: Harper Bros., 1941, 12.