Knowing the difference between a bad pastor and a good pastor, a good spiritual leader and a poor spiritual leader is very important. While no man or woman is perfect, and none us will ever meet a perfect leader or be a perfect pastor, the Bible does give us insights on what solid characteristics to look for in a spiritual leader. In previous posts we have looked at 10 Signs of a Bad Spiritual Leader and 4 Signs of a Good Spiritual Leader and Pastor. Let’s look at 4 more good signs to look for in the spiritual men and women, pastors and leaders that serve us in the Church of Jesus.
#1 – A GOOD SPIRITUAL LEADER IS SELFLESS
And I have been a constant example of how you can help the poor by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: `It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35 (NLT)
A good spiritual leader focus on giving and developing God’s people. It’s not Gods’ will for a leader to drain and take advantage of people. We are to give of ourselves in the discipleship process. Jesus taught us that it is always better to give than to receive. This truth is only magnified in the life of a leader entrusted with so much responsibility. We are to support those who are weak. The way up is always down.
#2 – A GOOD SPIRITUAL LEADER PRAYS
When he had finished speaking, he knelt and prayed with them. Acts 20:36 (NLT)
A good spiritual leader prays. That sounds like a given truth but many leaders in the Church simply do not pray, instead they often lean on their own understanding. The first choice seems to be “trying to figure things out” instead of falling on our faces in utter dependence. The church has been invaded with the doctrines of man, the business philosophies of man, and the prayerlessness of its leaders. Lord help us to pray and then pray some more!
#3 – A GOOD SPIRITUAL LEADER IS AUTHENTIC
They wept aloud as they embraced him in farewell, Acts 20:37 (NLT)
A good spiritual leader is a real, authentic person. He or she is the same at home, at the church, and anywhere. Hypocrisy is one of the ugliest demonstrations of unbelief among spiritual leadership. So many have been hurt by fake pastors. Instead of fearing God and His holiness, so many today fear man, thus falling into the trap of not being real. Paul is surrounded with weeping, kissing, hugging, and deep expressions of emotion. Away with the thought that the spiritual leader is stoic never showing emotion. Be yourself allowing God to reveal the gospel incarnationally, through your real life of faith and dependence.
#4 – A GOOD SPIRITUAL LEADER IS HUMBLE
They wept aloud as they embraced him in farewell, sad most of all because he had said that they would never see him again. Then they accompanied him down to the ship. Acts 20:37-38 (NLT)
A good spiritual leader is humble and growing down in that humility. God gives grace to the humble but resists the proud. Leadership of any kind tends to have a negative effect on some. For God’s leaders in His church, if this pride is not crucified and laid aside, it will ultimately destroy a person. We were taught often to not “read our own press clippings”. Of course we don’t see many newspapers today so that phrase would be turned into, don’t buy into all compliments. It’s God who is using you and He will share His glory with no man. “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else. I will not share my praise with carved idols. Isaiah 42:8 (NLT) The way of good spiritual leadership is humility.
Friend, if God has called you into serving through a position of leadership in His church, submit yourself to Him unreservedly. Hold nothing back. As much as depends upon you, walk humbly and dependent in relationship with Jesus. Serving and overseeing God’s people is no small thing. It’s a huge responsibility. Whether it’s kids or adults, small groups or large, local or global, we will answer to God for our leadership.