Okay...back to this topic because its one that I'm constantly analyzing...both in myself and in others.
1. Let's begin here...in the church leadership is completely in God's hands. I've said before I get to lead at Eastview because God has allowed it. This means that all leaders are leaders by God's permission and as such answer ultimately to Him. This is hard to understand for someone who may not be in a leadership position because....well it seems manipulative that a leader would say, God put me here! But in fact, that is the burden/privilege that every true leader feels down deep inside. Believe me when I tell you that this Eastview job is not something you sign up for in Bible College. After 25 years of pastoring, I can begin to see how God directed my life circumstances to bring me to this leadership position...but I can't really tell you how it happened, I can only tell you that I believe it to be true. A leader for God has some significant choices to make concerning location and usage of his leadership gift, but ultimately he can't take credit for being where He is because God has place him there.
2. Of course, he can't be boastful about having the leadership gift, because this is not something the leader has chosen either. The Holy Spirit chooses who gets what gift according to his desires. Again, I've talked to many who wish they had the leadership gift (and many more who are convinced they do!) and I always say, you either have the leadership gift or you don't. It's not up to you or me, but a design of the Spirit.
3. This means that sometimes a Christian leader makes decisions that he can't explain or really receive input into because he is literally being led by the Holy Spirit. I'm not talking about decisions like should we spend this much money on missions, or lights, or kids supplies, or new Bibles, have a new staff structure, etc... There are FEW decisions (but there are some) that simply have to grab the heart of the leader and when the heart is grabbed - the true leader will go there. In this instance, there are many who will say, "this guy wont' listen to others and thinks he's in charge of everything, blah, blah, blah." But in reality, this is what a leader does. The leader often excitedly goes before a bunch of people who don't see clearly the spiritual direction that the leader sees. This is called spiritual leadership and it is way different than being in charge, or being the boss, or having authority. It's about getting others to go where he knows the Spirit is going. This is leadership and its hard to explain because its Holy Spirit stuff, but its biblical and its necessary to accomplish what God will for his kingdom.
4. God doesnt' need leaders. Anything he wants he can accomplish all on his own. Why do we place such high priority on leadership. Well, leadership is not more important than any other spiritual gift, but God does use leaders to influence all of the spiritually gifted. Yes, it's true, God doesn't need leaders, but biblically and historically He always chooses to use them. This is a great mystery, but God has chosen to place and gift fallible people to lead.
5. I don't know where this serious blog came from...I'm way too tired at the end of this long day to write something like this. So take it with a grain of salt. On the other hand, I am a leader...so maybe by the Spirit's power there are some nuggets of wisdom in there.