What Is Spiritual Leadership?

Excerpts from Henry Blackaby’s new book, Spiritual Leadership, 2001, published by Broadman and Holman

1. A Calling.
“Holding a leadership position in a Christian organization does not make one a spiritual leader. Spiritual leadership is not an occupation: it is a calling.” (Page xi)

2. Leaders You Can Trust.
“People know intuitively that claiming to be a leader or holding a leadership position does not make someone a leader. People are warily looking for leaders they can trust.” (Page 5)

3. Leadership Based on Scripture.
“The trend among Christian leaders has been for an almost indiscriminate and uncritical acceptance of secular leadership theory without measuring it against the timeless precepts of Scripture.” (Page 10)

4. God’s Authority in the Spiritual and Secular Realm.
“The problem was the Israelites’ assumption that spiritual concerns, such as righteous living and obedience to God, belonged in the religious realm while the practical issues of doing battle with enemies, strengthening the economy, and unifying the country were secular matters. They forgot that God himself had won their military victories, brought them prosperity, and created their nation. He was as active on the battlefield as he was in the worship service. When the Israelites separated spiritual concerns from political and economic issues, their nation was brought to its knees. Scripture indicates that it is a mistake to separate the spiritual world from the secular world.” (Page 13)

5. God’s Leading for Leaders.
“Spiritual leadership is not restricted to pastors and missionaries. It is the responsibility of all Christians whom God wants to use to make a difference in their world. The challenge for today’s leaders is to discern the difference between the latest leadership fads and timeless truths established by God.” (Page 14)

6. God’s Agenda.
“There are a number of helpful definitions of leadership available, but we believe true spiritual leadership can be defined in one concise statement: Spiritual leadership is moving people on to God’s agenda.” (Page 20)

7. Valuable Model of Leadership.
“Too often leaders allow secular models of leadership to corrupt the straightforward model set forth by Jesus.” (Page 24)

8. Leading Through Obedience.
“Jesus has established the model for Christian leaders. It is not found in his ‘methodology.’ Rather, it is seen in his absolute obedience to the Father’s will.” (Page 28)

9. Look and Listen to the Father.
“If Jesus provides the model for spiritual leadership, then the key is not for leaders to develop visions and to set the direction for their organizations. The key is to obey and to preserve everything the Father reveals to them of his will.” (Page 29)

10. Pleasing God.
“Spiritual leaders do not try to satisfy the goals and ambitions of the people they lead but those of the God they serve.” (Page 29)

11. Seeking and Acting.
“Spiritual leaders seek God’s will, whether it is for their church (mission) or for their corporation, and then they marshal their people to pursue God’s plan.” (Page 30)

12. Being Christ-Like.
“Just as Christians are aware that a worldly lifestyle can discredit their Christian witness to others, so leaders know that a careless lifestyle can diminish their credibility in the eyes of their followers.” (Page 158)