is a Leader?
Google says: A person who rules or guides or inspires others.
I define a leader as one who is lead by God to feed, guard and guide the flock of God towards personal and collective equipping so that God’s work is done on earth.
In the scripture we have the example of old leader teaching leadership skills to new leaders in Acts 20:18-38
And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. 33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. 37 And they all wept sore, andfell on Paul's neck, and kissed him, 38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
Seven Key areas of importance
There are seven key building blocks which can serve as a skeleton for fixing other leadership attributes for any one who desires to lead others to a firm foundation in Christ Jesus. I have briefly listed them below.
- 1. The knowledge the Word of God: Understanding the main themes of the Bible.
This enables one to have a basic understanding of the fundamental doctrines in the Bible. Any leader who vaguely understands the basic doctrines of the Bible can easily be deceived to start a cult. God will pour His grace and
power depending on how much these eternal principles are observed. It is the work of leaders to pass over the mantle to their disciples just as they received it from the Lord. Let look at this examples:
The transfer from Moses to Joshua
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
- speak it (puts God to work)
- think it day and night (renew your mind and builds faith)
- observe to do all that is written there (in excellence and purity)
- be strong and of good courage (locks the devil out)
David’s advice: even to Solomon
David admonished Solomon to keep the charge of the Lord. He told him as his only son, so as to be able to follow the ways of the LORD. See the impact in the book of Proverbs chapter 1-31
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
You must know the Biblical major themes especially the theme of salvation. How is somebody born again according to the Bible? The four steps are:
- Repentance towards God;
- Faith towards our Lord Jesus;
- Baptism in water in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit;
- Receiving the Holy Spirit for service.
Other Themes as shown in Hebrews 6:1-2
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
- 2. The knowledge of God: who is God? How to serve Him.
Knowing God through daily
and regular fellowship- with Him, other saints respectively: Through an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit: Through a life long discipline of prayer and fasting. Walking in the light as He is in the light, 1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
- 3. The knowledge of who is man: created tripartite.
We need to know who man is -- spirit soul and body
and how to feed each part.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The description of man
- The Body
The body is able
to respond to the surrounding by use of the five senses. The five senses are touch, see, smell, taste, and hear.
This depends on the efficiency of the nervous system and other tissues.
- The Soul
The soul of man has three main parts
- The Will
This component enables one to decide and stand firm on to an action. If the will is not free and strong, one becomes a slave and prisoner very easy.
- The Mind
This is the most important connector between body and spirit. It enables one to think reason and plan. It is supposed to be keep by the peace of God (Phil 4:7, Isaiah 26:3). If mind is not functioning, as it should be, that person cannot even learn from God. We understand by our minds.
- The Emotions
The emotions which are in men are man’s desires, feelings and affections. Emotions are likes and dislikes, the love and hate etc. in men. The word of God commands us to set our affection (strong emotion) on things, which are above and not on earthly things (Col 3:1-2). Many Christians are laboring to satisfy their emotions on what cannot satisfy. The word of God says, they labour in vain (Ps. 127).
- The Spirit
The spirit is the noblest part of a man. It is the real us. God finds it easily to communicate to us by our spirit. The spirit has the following components.
- The Intuition
This part enables us to know. It is the greatest part which if it is convinced, we can act even without asking the opinion of our minds. I know of heaven because of my intuition. I need no more argument for I know whom U have believed and am persuaded that He is able (2 Tim. 1:12).
- The Communion
This part of the spirit enables us to worship and serve God. God is spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). This is also the way to reach and serve God (Rom. 12:11). The Holy Spirit lifts us to worship and fellowship with God.
- The Conscience
This is the most crucial in a man. It is the voice of the heart which tells us wrong or right. It is the carrier of faith. It must be informed aright or else it will be weak and evil. A good, strong and clean conscience is what is demanded by God and His law. To obey the conscience is peace. To disobey the conscience is trouble. This is because it will never keep quiet.
The heart of a man
Most people do not understand when the Bible speaks of the heart. They imagine of the organ for blood circulation, the heart is a combination of the mind, the intuition and the conscience. Friend there is a difference between the mind and the brain. The brain is the physical organ.
There is a difference between the spiritual heart and the body heart.
Also there is a difference between the mind and the brain.
God, the world and man are related to each other as shown below.
The mind of the soul and it will will decide which way a man will follow. The spirit man feeds on God’s word, the soul feeds on mental good to develop will power and the physical man (body) feeds on physical food, how each food type is received and how it operates should be discussed next time.
- 4. The knowledge of spiritual maturity: Christian growth
1 peter 2:2
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
2 Peter 1:5-9
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shallneither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
- 5. The knowledge of the work of Christ: The four men.
Peter, James, John and Paul these men were very central to Jesus, the first three formed
the inner circle of His disciples. Paul followed there work just before Acts 10 in Acts 9. Why? As an apostle to the Gentles.
What was the role of James? To teach us the satisfaction of the Lord’s heart. The Church is only for Him alone.
What was the role of Peter? He was given the keys of the Kingdom, to open the kingdom for both Jews and Gentles.
What was the role of Paul? To build the house of God, put order in the house.
What was the role of John? To build the family of God, the love and the glory of fellowship.
- 6. The knowledge of spiritual battle (satan): dreams to visions
Who is satan?
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
- 7. The knowledge of God’s plan and purposes.
Genesis, Exodus Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges
You have sinned (Genesis); Come out of sin (Exodus); Be right (Leviticus); keep going ( Numbers); Never forget (Deuteronomy); Get your inheritance (Joshua); Get Me there (Judges): the rest of Old testament failed to get God there only David tried much. In the New Testament Jesus comes here so as to prepare people to be able to get God down here, the Church is to do that; in Revelation, God dwells with man forever.
Our Lord Jesus is our example in
all spiritual things.
He demonstrated the seven principles practically so that we can follow them.
- How did He begin? He was sent by God, You must be born again.
- How did He prepare Himself: He fasted and then ignited His prayer life.
- He was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
- He stayed on the Word of God.
- He paid the price to accomplish God’s will: nevertheless not my will but Yours.
- He needed men to accomplish His mission: men mission are interlinked, from a John the Baptist to a Paul.
He is the head of the Church. He said upon this rock (“this foundation”) He shall build His Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. What was that foundation?
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Peter, follow me and I shall make you fishers of men. Luke 5:8-10
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Other organizational and personal attributes
As seen in the books of New Testament leaders: Timothy, Titus and Philemon
- Be an example to the believers: a model, a pattern. Your judgment will be more strict.
And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
- Be sensitive to others: beat your flesh
1 Corinthians 9:26-27
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
- Keep records. As directed by the Lord: make tapes, write books etc.
- Be followers of those who were our leaders before:
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
- Commitment to Teamwork -- Promotes Christian community.
- Passion for Discipleship -- Has a burning fire in his heart to make disciples. Go and make disciple of all nations.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
The time is short, we can not waste time in unholiness, let decide to follow God whole heartedly and be vessels of Honour for the Master to use.
The labourers are few but the work is so much. So commission more labourers by prayer!
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.