Clippings from “Spiritual Leadership”

Day 4 of J. Oswald Sanders and Spiritual Leadership.

Chapter 6 = Insights on Leadership from St. Paul

Sanders reviews St. Paul’s instructions to his protege, Timothy, regarding the characteristics of a spiritual leader:

the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. (1 Timothy 3:2-7 NIV)

A few “notables” from his reflections:

  • “The character of the [leader] should command the respect of the unbeliever, inspire his confidence, and arouse his aspiration. Example is more potent than precept.”
  • “A leader cannot allow a secret indulgence that would undermine public witness.”
  • “A well-ordered life is the fruit of a well-ordered mind.”
  • “If you would rather pick a fight than solve a problem, do not consider leading the church.”
  • While a leader is caring for church and mission, he must not neglect the family, which is his primary responsibility. The discharge of one duty in God’s kingdom does not excuse us from another. There is time for every legitimate duty. Paul implies that a person’s ability to lead at home is a strong indicator of his readiness to lead in ministry.

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