Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Right Thinking On Christian Leadership (2)

by Rev. James Wong

This is the third week of our nomination of candidates for election. The nomination will end on the 26 July 2009 follows by election in August.

Last week I shared that (1) Christian leadership is different from leadership in general because of the different driving forces behind the two, and (2) the basis of leadership in the church which is; to serve the needs of the congregation and to advance the gospel. This week I will deal with the issue of the gifts of the Holy Sprit and the development of Christian Leadership.

1. The Holy Spirit endows the gift of leadership: Romans 12:6-8 (NLT)
says: “6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

According to this passage there is little demarcation between the gifts given by the Holy Spirit and our natural talents. However, some spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit are detached from our natural talents, such as, the gifts of healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between sprits, speaking in different kinds of tongues and the interpretation of tongues ( 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NIV). Whereas in the Romans 12:6-8 passage, most of the gifts mentioned are related to our natural talents and experiences, such as, the gifts of serving others, teaching, encourage others, giving, leadership ability and showing kindness. We can exercise and develop such gifts so that our service to the church becomes more effective.

2. Christian Leadership Must Be Developed. This is the specific instruction for those in leadership, “If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously” (Rom 12:8c). How do you know whether you have been given the gift of leadership ability? One sure way is to test it. Be a leader in a fellowship or in some form of leadership position in a group, and see whether you can lead and influence others towards a desire spiritual goal? If you can lead, and others confirm that you can, then you have such ability. However, you must take it seriously because your seriousness or slackness will impact the church directly. Good spiritual leadership leads the church forward, whereas shoddy leadership causes the church to stagnant, or worst, leads the church backward. Leadership ability is endowed by the Holy Spirit but it must be developed, like a teaching gift, to effectively build up the church. God bless your leadership.
(more to come on leadership next week)

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