The First Step to True Spiritual Leadership

Recently, I began reading the book Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. So far, this has been a fantastic book and has pointed out numerous misconceptions that leaders and, frankly, myself have. A lot of times we think that passion and ambition are some of the best qualities of a leader. These qualities can be great, but many times they become used for the wrong purpose.

In the first chapter of his book, Sanders says, “All Christians are called to develop God-given talents, to make the most of their lives, and to develop to the fullest their God-given gifts and capabilities. But Jesus taught that ambition that centers on the self is wrong.” This statement took me off guard. How could someone being ambitious about something they love ever be wrong? It all goes back to the motivation of the heart. If our ambitions are centered on selfish desires, rather than godly desires, they become prideful and full of arrogance.

Sanders goes on to remark, “Ambition which centers on the glory of God and welfare of the church is a mighty force for good.” Whether you are a children’s pastor, youth pastor, or a senior pastor, if your ambitions to do what you do are self-centered rather than centering on the glory of God, they are wrong. Our ambitions should put God first, others second, and ourselves last.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do (children’s ministry, youth ministry…WHATEVER), do it all for the glory of God. -1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)


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