Spiritual Gift of Leadership
A Spiritual Gift Definition by AssessME.org
The spiritual gift of Leadership is the God given ability to lead people to accomplish God’s vision and goals. The biblical image used when describing leadership is “shepherd”. A Shepherd does not force his will upon the sheep, rather he tends and cares for them. The sheep instinctively follow a good shepherd. Jesus describes himself as the “Good Shepherd”, and calls Church leaders his “Under Shepherds”. The “Under Shepherds” must faithfully follow the example of the “Good Shepherd” and lay their lives down for the welfare of the sheep (John 10:14-18). The person possessing the spiritual gift of Leadership, will display the same servant principles evidenced by Jesus and the Apostles.
Leaders within God’s Church are held to a higher standard before God. Hebrews 13:7-17 states… ”Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith….Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account….” In 1 Timothy 5:20, the Apostle Paul stresses that “(Leaders) who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that others may take warning”.
Depending upon your personality style, you will likely prefer to utilize your leadership gifts in one of the following ways, Please select all the gift expressions that may apply to you.
Paul was a great encourager – his letters to the early churches contained exhortation and encouragement as well as teaching. Encouraging leaders are able to motivate whole churches, teams and individuals. They have great discernment into people’s gifts, their feelings and what motivates them, able to release them into fulfilling their ministries. Who doesn’t need encouragement! Encouraging leaders have the knack of knowing when a quiet word can spur people on, when to challenge and when to support, when to coach and when to give space. Occasionally they may irritate people by appearing less “involved” than other leadership styles – sometimes people want more than just encouragement. If you feel led by God to serve others in this manner, please select the appropriate checkbox
Management / Administration
All churches require good stewards and managers, people with gifts of administration (Acts 6). Any vision or change requires people who are able to plan, problem solve, delegate and organize. Without this gift, the best plans may not get implemented! The apostles delegated the practical tasks of sharing food and taking care of the widows to those gifted with the necessary skills, including Stephen and Philip. Managers are often under appreciated, having a leadership style which is less “up-front” than some of the other styles. However, much of the work simply would not get done without them. They are able to organize and follow through on all the necessary tasks and activities to ensure that projects are completed on time. They may struggle to relate to the visionary pioneers – dreaming of achieving the impossible is not their home ground! If you feel led by God to serve others in this manner, please select the appropriate checkbox.
Many church leaders feel they ought to be Pastoral leaders, although many don’t have this as their primary style. This is not a problem! Pastoral leaders are real “people-people”, who have an important role in supporting the pioneers, strategists, team leaders and the rest of the church, particularly when times are hard. Vision and moving into vision seem less important to pastoral leaders. Peter was a pastoral leader, a complete contrast to Paul’s energetic church planting and exhortation. Pastoral leadership is often unseen, and often unappreciated publicly, yet hugely important. Those who are pastoral leaders can sometimes be threatened by the pioneers and strategists – and at times are irritated by the attention to detail shown by the managers. Yet their contribution to a team is invaluable – take time for a moment to think of a pastoral leader – and you will probably find that they command huge respect and support. If you feel led by God to serve others in this manner, please select the appropriate checkbox.
Pioneering Leaders are willing to push themselves and take appropriate risks, striving to discover and reach long term goals: “forgetting what is behind, and straining for what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:12). Pioneering leaders are passionate and are wholly committed to a vision. Paul is a great example of a leader who was focused on pushing out the boundaries of the church, despite the personal risk. Pioneering leaders are at their strongest in the early stages of a vision or project, excited by seeking out where God is calling. However, as time passes they may lose interest in the implementation of a vision, eager to be looking ahead to the next challenge. If you feel led by God to serve others in this manner, please select the appropriate checkbox.
Leaders who can break down visions and large aims into manageable chunks are vital for the church. Strategic leaders have the insight and focus to work out ways of achieving the vision (the “how”) and are able to persuade the rest of the church to accept this plan. When Nehemiah led the Jews in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, he demonstrated great strategic leadership in delegating the work. The result was that the walls were rebuilt in 52 days. Strategic leaders can bring common sense to difficult tasks. They are able to help people see how the seemingly impossible can be achieved. However, like Pioneers, they can be less engaged with the implementation of a task, preferring to leave this to others. If you feel led by God to serve others in this manner, please select the appropriate checkbox.
Team Leaders influence groups, whether having a formal leadership role in the group or not. For the church as ‘the body’ (1 Corinthians 12), working together is clearly important. The key strengths of team leaders are a desire to work with others and an ability to trust them. Team Leaders need great humility and servanthood – their sole aim is that the team achieves its goals. What they as individuals achieve is secondary. The greatest contribution Silas made to the church was probably training and equipping Paul so that he could go on to achieve greater things. Team leaders are invaluable. If the church is truly to function as a body, team leaders are needed to ensure harmony and effectiveness in the way the team works. If you feel led by God to serve others in this manner, please select the appropriate checkbox.