BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously” (Romans 12:8 NLT).
Leadership is stewardship. Leadership is a serious responsibility that calls for utmost dedication. It is a versed concept, which so many spiritual and secular leaders have written on, yet leaders learn new things everyday. There are different theories of leadership yet scholars are quick to agree that there is no single best leadership theory.
From the Word of God, we learn some wisdom on leadership which can be helpful, in both spiritual and secular life. I have been able to glean some in my study of the Bible, and this wisdom is what I want to share in this message. I believe God that as you read these tips, your leadership ability and skills shall receive a significant boost. What are these leadership tips?
1.A leader must be established in God’s love. Leadership is serious work and there are high and low moments. A leader must operate from a foundation of the truth that God loves him independent of any leadership role He has given him. What people call success is good, but it is not the basis of God’s love towards him. Failure in any assignment, including failure in a leadership position, is painful, but it will not make God not love a child of God.
Without understanding this, a leader will be under pressure to impress God. But he may end up being like the brother of the prodigal son, who was serving his father not as a son but as a slave. “So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him’” (Luke 15:29-30 NKJV).
Hear the reply of his father: “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours” (verses 31 NKJV). Nobody stopped him from killing any animal he might have wanted to kill but he wasn’t serving his father with the mentality of a son. His father loved him so much, and all he had was his, but unfortunately, he didn’t know.
A leader must serve God in leadership with the mentality of a son, not with that of a hireling or slave. He must live in the love of God daily. Jude writes, “I am writing to all who are called to live in the love of God the Father and the care of Jesus Christ” (Jude 1 NLT). A leader must never allow success or failure, challenges or victories to separate him from the love of God. Romans 8:38-39 says, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NLT). God loves you despite the negatives in your life, and He loves you not because of any positive thing you’ve done.
2. A leader must know his true identity and have Godly self-worth. Who are you? Jesus was not confused about His identity. In Matthew 16:13, He asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”(New King James Version). They told Him some said He was John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Jesus then asked His disciples who they said He was. Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (verse 16 NKJV). Jesus didn’t ask the question because He didn’t know who He was. He asked for the sake of His disciples. He wanted to be sure they knew who they were following about.
Even before Jesus started His ministry or did any miracle at all, He already knew who He was. At His baptism, a voice from heaven announced, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17 NKJV). That announcement wasn’t for the sake of Jesus but for the sake of those present. A similar thing happened at the Mount of Transfiguration. A voice out of the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5 KJV).
John the Baptist also knew who he was. When the Jews sent the priests and Levites to ask him who he was, John wasn’t confused about His identity. John confessed to them that he wasn’t the Christ – the Messiah. Then they questioned him to confirm if he was Elijah but when he said no, they asked if he was “the Prophet,” and he again said no. Pressed further on who he was, John replied, “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the LORD’” (John 1:23 NKJV). You’ll find the full story in John 1:19-27.
John could have claimed to be the Messiah because the Jews were eagerly waiting for the Messiah, and John the Baptist was already an outstanding man. He was the first prophet to appear on the scene after four hundred years of silence – no word from the LORD since the Book of Malachi.
If he had claimed to be the Messiah, he would have gotten a large following. In fact, he had a large crowd already trooping to him in the wilderness. But John knew who he was and wasn’t out to play to the gallery. Before those questioning him mentioned any name at all, he announced to them that he wasn’t the Messiah. Questioned further, he told them he wasn’t either Elijah or “The prophet”. He was, simply, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the LORD.” He knew who he was, and wasn’t ready to allow people, situations, or circumstances to describe him. Do you know who you are?
Every leader should know that he is, first and foremost, a child of God before whatever assignment God may have given him. A leader must derive his identity and self-worth from God. It is not a leader’s work or ministry that should give him identity and self-worth but who he is in God. With this perspective, even when he has not yet achieved the expected results or gotten a breakthrough, he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a sense of failure. He knows he is accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6), not on the basis of performance or achievement, the size of church or ministry, the popularity or acceptance by people, the number of services held on Sunday or the budget of ministry or church, etc. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3 NKJV).
When a leader knows who he is and has high-level self-worth, he doesn’t go about looking for people’s approval or get worried by people’s disapproval or low estimation of him. We see this example in the LORD Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. In John 5:41-43, Jesus said, “Your approval or disapproval means nothing to me, because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. For I have come to you representing my Father, and you refuse to welcome me, even though you readily accept others who represent only themselves” (NLT).
3. A leader should cultivate intimacy with God. The leadership responsibility God gives a child of God is not superior to an intimate relationship with Him. A leader should not be so busy that his fellowship with God suffers.
As busy as Jesus was, He didn’t allow it to disrupt His fellowship with God. Jesus spent time alone with God daily in prayers. He prayed at different times. He prayed all night. “And it came to pass in these days, that he went out into the mountain to pray; and he continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12 ASV).
He prayed early in the morning. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35 NKJV). He prayed after ministering to people. “Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray” (Mark 6:45-47 NKJV).
After watching His habit of praying alone for some time, one of His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. “And it came to pass, as he was praying in a certain place, that when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, even as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1 ASV). And He did teach them what is popularly called the LORD’s Prayer.
When He was about to go to the cross, He took four of his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane and asked them to be praying so that they would not fall into temptation while He went some distance from them to pray because his soul was sorrowful even unto death (Mark 14:32-42; Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46).
The psalmist said, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and stand before him?” (Psalm 42:1-2 NLT). Intimacy with God is very important for a leader. In fact, when Jesus called His disciples, His first priority for them was intimacy with Him – intimacy with Him came before any other thing. Mark 3:14-16 says, “Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons” (NKJV). Being with Him, came before sending them out to preach, and to have the power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.
A leader must make fellowship with God his most important priority. Moses spent much time with God, and He spoke with him face to face (Numbers 12:8). A leader who spends enough time with God will receive constant revelations from Him and the power of the Holy Spirit upon his life will increase.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony, Moses did not know that the skin of his face glowed because he had spoken to the LORD face to face (Exodus 34:29). He had to cover his face with a veil after speaking to the Israelites until the next time he would go to speak with the LORD (Exodus 34:28-35; 2 Corinthians 3:13).
When a leader cultivates a personal relationship with God and has quality fellowship, his followers will recognize it; they will feel the impact.
A Christian cannot be effective as a leader without intimacy with God. This includes fellowship with Him in worship, the study of the Word of God and meditation, and prayer for himself, his followers, and his assignment. “If Christ Himself needed to retire from time to time to the mountain-top to pray, lesser men need not be ashamed to acknowledge that necessity” (Streeter).
4. A leader must be diligent. Proverbs 12:24 says, “Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave” (NLT). Leadership is not lazy work; it is a serious business. Laziness is a disservice to destiny, but the consequences are worse in leadership. “The lazy man will not plow because of winter; he will beg during harvest and have nothing” (Prov 20:4 NKJV).
Not only does laziness destroy the leader, but it also destroys even the followers and any organization. Laziness in leadership sends a wrong signal to the followers. Some of them, unfortunately, may adjust and become lazy while some may decide that is not the right place for them to be. How can a leader make a demand on followers to work hard when the leader is slothful?
A leader must be prepared to sacrifice time, money, and comfort to pursue and fulfill his call. No leader gets ahead without diligence. “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 23:1 KJV).
The apostle Paul said he labored more abundantly than all the other apostles, yet not by himself, but by the grace of God, which was with him (1 Corinthians 15:10). Two factors Paul mentioned in that scripture – grace and labour. Grace without labour will lead to disgrace! You must add diligent labour to the grace that you have received from the LORD. Don’t receive grace and just sit down – you will become a laughing stock. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty…” (NKJV).
You cannot make maximum impact in leadership without adding labour to grace. Romans 12:11 says, “Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically” (NLT). Take note of that adverb – enthusiastically. The Bible does not spare the slothful. Proverbs 18:9 says, “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer” (NKJV). Proverbs 12:24 says, “The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor” (NKJV). That means that the diligent will have the upper hand.
If Jesus had folded His arms having received grace, if He had not gone about His father’s business, He would have ended a failure despite being the Son of God. But He said, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49 NKJV) And the Bible says in John 5:17, “But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father has been working until now, and I have been working’” (NKJV).
A leader doesn’t achieve his goals by wishing; he achieves his goals through diligence. “The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor” (Proverbs 21:25 NKJV).
5. A leader must never abuse his followers. He must serve them rather than seek to be served. In Ezekiel 34:1-10, God accused the shepherds (leaders) of Israel of abuse of the sheep, by failing to discharge their responsibilities. They were feeding themselves with the sheep’s fat instead of feeding their flocks. They were taking care of themselves and leaving the sheep to starve. They clothed themselves with the sheep’s wool and did not strengthen the weak sheep. They neither took care of the sick sheep nor bound the broken sheep. They failed to seek the lost sheep. They ruled with force and cruelty and were not available for the sheep. They abandoned their flocks to be attacked by every wild animal. The sheep God referred to, were the people of Israel that the leaders were supposed to provide with responsible leadership.
Leadership is for service, not to be served. Jesus taught his disciples this when he washed their feet, including the feet of Judas, despite knowing that he would betray him. Jesus said to his disciples, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:12-15 NKJV).
The teaching of Jesus on leadership is that whoever wants to be the leader must be ready to serve others. “And whoever wants to be first must become your slave. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:27-28 NLT). Jesus emphasized that the rulers of the Gentiles exercised dominion over them, and those who were great exercised authority over them but leaders among his followers must become servants of all (Matthew 20:35). That was revolutionary. And that is how it should be in Christendom.
Unlike the irresponsible shepherds in Ezekiel 34:1-10, shepherds in the vineyard of God should, as Peter said, “Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly – not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example” (1 Peter 5:1-3 NLT). Verse 4 adds that when the head Shepherd (Jesus) comes, such leaders shall be rewarded with a never-ending share in his glory and honor.
6. A leader should never try to control the lives of his followers even though he controls the organization (church). A leader must not have a controlling spirit – that is the spirit of witchcraft, the spirit that controls others through intimidation, manipulation, and domination for personal advantage. This is not the Spirit of Christ.
When leaders adopt an authoritarian leadership style, they enslave the people; they oppress and exploit them. People are not free to ask questions – I’m not talking about being rude, disrespectful, or critical. People under such leadership cannot take decisions for their PERSONAL LIVES based on God’s leading or their convictions; they MUST follow the directive of the leader, and those who fail to do so are labeled as rebels and could even be sent away. They try to take the place of God in people’s lives. Many of the people who hang around such leaders have in them many questions begging for answers but they dare not talk. Such leaders only succeed in leading insincere or hypocritical followers.
Sometimes the followers are already brainwashed that their church is the only church doing the right thing – the only place they can fulfill their destinies or make heaven.
Leaders with a controlling spirit have no regard for the family of their followers – they break homes in subtle ways especially setting the husband against the wife, and vice versa. There is no peace and joy in the homes of many of their followers. Even, in such a church, members, workers, and leaders do not have the joy of the LORD; they don’t serve the LORD with gladness (Psalm 100:2). Somehow the leadership has a stronghold on them that makes them stay – they hardly leave, even when they’re not at peace with themselves about their continued stay. The leader and his family are the only beneficiaries of this unbiblical leadership style. However, such leaders, who abuse their followers, ultimately fail because a time will come when the eyes of the people will open and they’ll be compelled to leave.
7. A leader must protect his heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do” (NLT). The Bible says, “As soon as Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him” (John 13:27 NLT). Judas was among the twelve disciples Jesus sent out, two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits (Mark 6:7). Verses 12-13 say that they cast out many demons, and, anointed with oil, many who were sick, and healed them. But here, we see a reversal. Satan entered into someone who had cast out demons in the past.
A man’s heart, especially a leader’s heart, is very important in his life. He cannot afford to leave his heart unprotected. Therefore, he must take care of his ears, mind, mouth, eyes, and legs, because these are the gates to his heart. That is, he must be careful what he listens to, thinks about, says, looks at, and where he goes.
Proverbs 4:24-27 shows us some gates to the heart – the mouth, the eyes, the feet: “Avoid all perverse talk; stay far from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil” (NLT).
John Bunyan, in his book, “The Holy War”, said there are five gates in the city of Mansoul (a man’s soul) that Satan will use to enter the city and the gates are the Eye-gate, the Ear-Gate, the Mouth-Gate, the Feel Gate and the Nose-Gate. A leader must protect his heart by ensuring that Satan does not use any of these gates to enter his heart. One receives information through these gates and one must be on the guard to ensure that information that is dangerous to one’s life, information that can lead to sin does not enter – including hurts by people that can make one bitter. The leader must learn to forgive those who hurt him; he must not allow it to enter his heart (Matthew 6:12, 14, 15; Luke 17:3). Paul demonstrated this example as a leader in his letter to the Corinthians. “I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt your entire church more than he hurt me. He was punished enough when most of you were united in your judgment against him. Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise he may become so discouraged that he won’t be able to recover. Now show him that you still love him” (2 Corinthians 2:5-8 NLT).
Right there on the cross, with the nails driven into his hands, Jesus prayed for those who conspired to kill him. “Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’” (Luke 23:34 NKJV).
Protect your ears, mind, mouth, eyes, and legs. The psalmist said, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness” (Psalm 101:3-4 NKJV). Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman” (Job 31:1 NLT).
The sin of adultery first begins with looking lustfully at the opposite sex or sometimes thinking about the act. David committed this sin when he saw the nakedness of Bathsheba and began to think about her, sent for her, and slept with her (2 Samuel 11:2-5). David actually started by not being at the right place at the right time. Verse 1 says the incident happened at the time of year when kings went to war. Rather than go to the battlefront, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to destroy the Ammonites. That was not a war to be delegated because it was “in the spring of the year, at the time kings go out to battle” (1 Chronicles 20:1 NKJV).
Joab won that battle despite David’s failure to go. The crown of the king of Rabbah was set on David’s head (verse 2). However, David’s sin of adultery and murder was a blemish on his reign and life.
A leader must protect all the gates to his heart because the devil can come through any of them. “Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you are no longer subject to the law, which enslaves you to sin. Instead, you are free by God’s grace” (Romans 6:13-14 NLT). Based on the Word of God, he must practice the concepts of selective exposure, selective perception, and selective retention – theories in psychology used in communication research.
8. A leader must be teachable. A leader must not allow the fact that he is a leader to go to his head, especially before God. He may be the leader of a global ministry, with a yearly budget running into billions of dollars and pounds but he’s still a child of God. A Christian leader must remain a child that God can teach.
He may be a “big man of God” to people, but he is a child before God. Children are teachable, and the Bible says, “Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:4 NLT). He must open his ears to learn what God is teaching him and take appropriate actions, and not say like Eli, “It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him” (1 Samuel 3:18 NKJV).
A leader can learn from anybody including other leaders, subordinates, and followers. He should not assume he knows everything. The latter part of Romans 12:16 says, “And don’t think you know it all!” (NLT) It is a pride for a leader to assume that he knows it all. If a leader assumes he knows it all, he won’t allow his followers to come up with ideas, initiatives, or solutions to problems. He won’t admit his errors or mistakes and apologize; he won’t accept corrections from his peers or superiors not to talk of his subordinates or followers. “People who accept correction are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore it will lead others astray” (Proverbs 10:17 NLT).
A leader must be ready to learn. Paul told the Philippians, “The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you” (Philippians 4:9 The Amplified Bible).
9. A leader must be able to control his emotions. The soul is the seat of emotion. Every man, especially a leader, must be in control of his emotions; he must not allow his emotions to control him. Not all emotions, feelings, are right. For instance, one may feel like slapping another person, but that will not be right. That’s why one should not be led by one’s emotions but be led by the Spirit of God and by the Word of God.
One of the qualifications for appointment as an elder or pastor is that “He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered” (Titus 1:7 NLT). That scripture also says an elder must not be violent. A similar list of qualifications for appointing an elder is given in 1Timothy 3. Verses 2 and 3 say, among other things, that an elder must exhibit self-control and must not be violent, but gentle.
Anger is one of the emotions that a leader must control. Proverbs 15:18 says, “A hothead starts fights; a cool-tempered person tries to stop them” (NLT). A leader of people cannot afford to be a hothead, a hot-tempered person otherwise he will, through anger, destroy everything. There is righteous anger, the type that God has towards sin and evil – leaders should share in that nature of God but there is also uncontrolled anger.
There is a controversy among Bible scholars on Moses’ anger in breaking the two tablets on which were inscribed the terms of the covenant, the Ten Commandments, written by the finger of God, and given to him on Mount Sinai. While some Bible scholars see it as righteous anger at the sin of idolatry by the Israelites and, therefore, God did not condemn him, others see it as uncontrolled anger. Exodus 32:19 says, “So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses’ anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain” (NKJV).
Those who do not see anything wrong in Moses’ action in breaking the tablets argue that Moses did so because the people had already broken the covenant between them and God and, therefore, were unworthy of the tablets. They further submit that Moses’ action was to teach the Israelites a lesson and for him to further intercede for them before God as he had done before when he had not seen their sin of idolatry which God told him about. God, in anger, had vowed to destroy them and make Moses a great nation. But after Moses’ intercession, God agreed not to destroy them (Exodus 32:7-14).
However, those who consider Moses’ action as a failure on his part to control his anger argue that although what the Israelites did was evil, Moses needed not to have broken the tablets to express his anger. But those in support of Moses believe that Moses’ sight of the calf and the Israelites dancing after he had pleaded with God not to destroy them was a proper reaction – they had rebelled against God and were unworthy of the tablets.
Because Moses’ broke the tablets, he had to repeat the journey to Mount Sinai for the purpose of getting the laws written on new tablets again. “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke. So be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself to Me there on the top of the mountain. And no man shall come up with you, and let no man be seen throughout all the mountain; let neither flocks nor herds feed before that mountain.’ So he cut two tablets of stone like the first ones. Then Moses rose early in the morning and went up Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him; and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone” (Exodus 34:1-4 NKJV).
As said before, the fact that God didn’t rebuke Moses and gave him another opportunity to come up to Him with new tablets is seen by some as proof that his action was not a case of uncontrolled anger. Deuteronomy 10:1-5 records Moses’ trip to the mountain the second time when God wrote on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which he had broken, and told him to put the new tablets in the ark.
Whichever is the correct position on Moses’ anger as regards the broken tablets, his anger earlier in Egypt which made him kill an Egyptian and bury him in the sand, thinking nobody would know, could hardly be justified even when he was fighting injustice. It is more of uncontrolled anger than anything else. When Pharaoh heard about it, he sought to kill Moses, but he fled to the land of Midian (Exodus 2:11-15).
Also, uncontrolled anger eventually prevented him from entering the Promised Land. In anger, at the Israelites, he disobeyed God’s instructions to talk to the rock to give the people water. Instead, he struck the rock and called the Israelites rebels. “So Moses did as he was told. He took the staff from the place where it was kept before the LORD. Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. ‘Listen, you rebels!’ he shouted. ‘Must we bring you water from this rock?’ Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So all the people and their livestock drank their fill” (Numbers 20:9-11NLT).
Yes, water came out from the rock, despite the disobedience of Moses and Aaron, and the people and their livestock drank their fill, however, God wasn’t happy with Moses and Aaron. “But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!’” (Numbers 20:12 NLT). Moses’ ministry of forty years was terminated.
A leader must always control his anger. He must not allow his emotions to get the better part of him. He must not allow the people to provoke him to sin.
“Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV). He must allow the Holy Spirit to control his anger! In so doing, he will not sin.
The Book of Proverbs contains some thought-provoking verses about anger, and every leader should read and reflect on them often regularly. For instance, Proverbs 14:29 says, “Those who control their anger have great understanding; those with a hasty temper will make mistakes” (NLT). Proverbs 19:11 says, “People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs” (NLT). Also, Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool gives full vent to anger, but a wise person quietly holds it back” (NLT). A leader who doesn’t control his emotions, his emotions will, eventually, control him.
Part of controlling one’s emotion is controlling one’s tongue. A leader must be able to bridle his tongue. James 3:2 says, “We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way” (NLT). A leader may be provoked, but he must be careful not to utter statements that are destructive or unhelpful.
A leader’s speech should always be with grace. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6 NKJV). He must not destroy the people by the words of his mouth. The followers cannot rise above the leader’s speech. His speech should build confidence and self-worth in his followers; it should motivate them, and not demotivate them.
10. A leader must walk in love. Romans 13:10 says, “Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God’s requirements” (NLT). Love is the fulfillment of the law.
A leader must love people, especially his followers. Love is the greatest! “There are three things that will endure — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinhians 13:13 NLT). The Master, Jesus, showed us this example in His ministry both in His actions and His teachings. John 13:1 says, “Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He now showed the disciples the full extent of his love” (NLT). Did you see that? He showed them the extent of His love for them.
One significant thing he did on that occasion was that he washed their feet – a job meant for the lowliest person in a family in Bible times. He concluded by teaching them an important lesson: “And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. How true it is that a servant is not greater than the master. Nor are messengers more important than the one who sends them. You know these things — now do them! That is the path of blessing” (John 13:14-17 NLT). Jesus didn’t just talk about love; He demonstrated it.
He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11 NKJV). That was love in action. God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to die for humanity (John 3:16). And Jesus consummated that love. He submitted Himself to the will of God and died on the cross. “Nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:43 NKJV).
Leaders should be rooted in God’s love (Eph 3:17). They should also show that same love to their followers and others including those who hate them or are opposed to them. “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48 NLT). Luke 6:27-31 and 35-36 say a similar thing.
Beyond loving your neighbours as yourself, and loving your enemies, Jesus issued what he called a new commandment: “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35 NLT). This, certainly, is a higher standard set for love. I believe this will allow no excuse for those who don’t love themselves, and therefore, don’t love others! They must love others as Jesus loved them. John 15:12 says, “I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you” (NLT). Leaders and every Christian must aspire to this high standard set by Jesus, and recorded only by the apostle of love, John.
Leaders must love. People should be more important to a leader than programmes and projects! The followers shouldn’t be in doubt that their leaders love them.
There are leaders who love their assignment but don’t love the people. Such leaders only use people as disposable items; they use people to achieve their goals. They’re not committed to anyone, and not interested in their development. Jesus didn’t give us that kind of example. Jesus invested so much in his disciples so much that after He had ascended to heaven, His indelible impact on them was visible to outsiders. Acts 4:13-14 says, “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men who had had no special training. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus” (NLT).
Peter and John, who had been arrested and brought before the Council, dazed the members by their defence. Jesus made them fishers of men; He didn’t exploit them to fulfill His dream. They worked with Him, but He was also making them fulfill their own destinies. A leader does not really love God if he doesn’t love people, both insiders and outsiders.
Don’t be a leader who loves the crowd but doesn’t care for the individual. In the real sense, he doesn’t love the crowd; he is only using them to boost his ego. “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 John 4:20-21 NKJV).
There are leaders who don’t walk relate in love to their colleagues – other leaders. God called other leaders because He knows that no single leader, with all his subordinates and followers, can do everything. Therefore, leaders should avoid being unnecessarily confrontational or controversial in their relationship with other leaders. Leaders should pursue peace without being compromised. “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Romans 14:19 NKJV).
11. A leader must live by faith and walk in grace. The Bible says the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17, Hebrews 10:38). Habakkuk 2:4 says a similar thing: “But the just shall live by his faith.” A spiritual leader is not to live by his spiritual gifts, but by his faith. Therefore, he must develop his faith in God. Jesus, more than once, rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith and emphasized to them the need to cultivate their faith. “Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith’” (Matthew 8:24-26 NKJV). In Luke’s account, Jesus replied to the disciples, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25 NKJV).
When the disciples were reasoning among themselves that it was because they had not brought any bread that Jesus warned them against the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, Jesus said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?” (Matthew 16:8 NKJV) Jesus, thereafter, rebuked the tempest, and there was a great calm. When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out a demon from a child, he answered, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:20-21 NKJV).
On another occasion, the disciples were surprised at how the fig tree withered soon after Jesus had cursed it, and asked how that was possible. Jesus replied them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:21-22 NKJV).
Jesus also rebuked Peter for lack of faith. Stretching his hand to catch Peter, who was drowning on the sea, Jesus said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31 NKJV). The disciples were leaders in training. Therefore, Jesus drummed into their ears the importance of faith.
They must live by faith. Every leader should live by faith, and walk in the grace that God has given him. Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor 15:10 NKJV). Walk, conscious of the saving grace that brought you into the Kingdom, and walk in the grace of God, which is with you.
12. A leader must be interested in the welfare and success of his followers and their families. Jesus was not less concerned about the health of Peter’s mother-in-law than Peter was. Maybe Peter told him about it and Jesus decided to go to Peter’s house to minister to her. But here is what the Bible records: “When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was in bed with a high fever. But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him” (Matthew 8:14-15 NLT).
The sickness of Peter’s mother-in-law could be a distraction to Peter. Jesus, a great leader, empathized with him and rolled away the burden in his heart. Jesus didn’t say nothing concerned Him about Peter’s mother-in-law, because Peter, and not the woman, was His disciple! That would be a selfish thought, and a good leader does not think like that.
Paul also demonstrated this leadership quality so much in his letters to the churches. He communicated his love and concern to them. In 2 Corinthians 11:28, he speaks of his deep concern for all the churches daily.
Epaphroditus was Paul’s fellow worker sent to him by the Philippians church. He, however, took ill while he was with Paul. The way Paul communicated his recovery to the church at Philippi demonstrated his leadership quality. He showed his deep concern for this fellow soldier of Christ. Paul said, “For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow” (Philippians 2:27 NKJV). Did you see that?
Bad leaders only care about themselves and their immediate family. They don’t care about the welfare of their followers. If they can’t get what they used to get from a certain follower, because of a certain challenge such as health, family, career, etc. he is facing, they’ll simply replace him. Such leaders don’t really value people; they are users of men. They have a horrible reputation, and they don’t last.
In Matthew 8, that centurion demonstrated that he was a good leader. His servant had served him, and he knew it was time to serve him back. He came to Jesus to request that Jesus would speak one word and heal his servant. Jesus healed him. “The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that same hour” (Matthew 8:8-13 NKJV).
This centurion was concerned about the wellbeing of his servant. Some masters are very wicked. They’ll do nothing to help their sick servants or workers to recover. But this centurion was a good leader. A leader should be there for his followers when they need him.
A leader should desire the progress of his followers; he should pray that they will be more successful than him. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12 NKJV).
13. A leader must be hospitable and connect with his followers. The Bible says, an elder or pastor “must enjoy having guests in his home” (Titus 1:8 NLT). That is, he must be hospitable. 1 Peter 3:2 and Titus 1:8 also require hospitality from a bishop/overseer/pastor/elder.
Because many people flock around a leader, he needs to be hospitable. 1 Peter 4:9 says, “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” (NKJV). The NLT renders it thus: “Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”
Nehemiah fed 150 leaders and officials everyday at his table from his personal purse (Nehemiah 5:17). That was super generosity! He was providing each day one ox, six fat sheep, and a large number of domestic fowl and every ten days a large supply of different kinds of wine. Nehemiah was entitled to the Governor’s food allowance but he refused to claim it because things were already difficult for the people, and he didn’t want to put more burden on them.
Even during the period of famine, Elisha still showed hospitality to the sons of prophets, who were meeting in his house; he fed them (2 Kings 4:38-41).
A leader must not be someone that people get close to and are badly received, thereby going away with a negative opinion of him. One of the qualifications for a bishop, elder, or pastor is that he must be hospitable (1Timothy 3:2). A leader must not be estranged from his followers; he must stay connected to them. Effective communication plays a key role in achieving this. “Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds” (Proverbs 27:23 NLT).
14. A leader must stay in his call and give his followers opportunities to fulfill God’s call upon their lives under him. He should not be selfish with the vision God has given him and despise the call of God upon the lives of his followers. No destiny or call is superior to the other; they are only different. God has different work to do and He gave us different gifts to accomplish His task. “God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you. Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given glory in everything through Jesus Christ. All glory and power belong to him forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:10-11 NLT).
Paul understood that his call wasn’t superior to that of others but only different. Hence, he referred to other ministers as fellow servants, workers, labourers, or soldiers. Some of his fellow laborers or soldiers were Timothy (1 Thessalonians 3:2), Titus (2 Corinthians 8:23), Mark, Aristarchus, Demas (before deserting Paul) and Luke (Philemon 24), Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus (Philemon 1-2), Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, Justus, Epaphras, Luke and Demas (this was before deserting Paul as earlier stated) (Colossians 4:7-14), and Priscilla and Aquila (Romans 16:3). The list is inexhaustive. Paul recognized the gift of God in every believer and encouraged them to use it.
Paul allowed Timothy, his son in the ministry, to fulfill the call of God upon his life; he could send him on a missionary assignment alone. Of course, he had proven his character. Leaders must first prove people’s character before giving them certain ministry opportunities. This is very important. 1 Timothy 3:10 says before people are appointed as deacons, they should be given other responsibilities in the church as a test of their character and ability
Timothy had a proven character. Paul said of Timothy: “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me” (Philippians 2:21-23 NKJV).
Paul also trusted another son in the ministry, Titus, enough to leave him in Crete at a time to carry out a certain ministry there. “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you” (Titus 1:5 NKJV). I acknowledge that some people may abuse the opportunity you give them and sometimes betray you. Leave them to God. No matter the precaution you take, you can’t rule that out. Even Jesus was denied and betrayed. But remember that whatever a man sows that he shall reap (Galatians 6:7).
15. A leader should live a holy life and be incorruptible. Leviticus 19:2 says, “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy” (NKJV). A leader must live a life free from habitual sin – open or secret. A leader who persists in sin, especially secret sin, can be sure that one day his sin will find him out (Numbers 32:23). Proverbs 12:19 says, “Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed” (NLT).
No Christian, leader or follower, has achieved sinless perfection but every child of God should, taking advantage of the grace of God, strive towards victory over sin. “If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts” (1 John 1:8-10 NLT).
If a leader sins, he should repent immediately and ask for God’s forgiveness. Whoever covers his sin shall not prosper. “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13 NKJV).
A leader must be morally upright, not corrupt. “A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it” (Proverbs 29:4 NLT). A leader should maintain financial integrity and shun covetousness. “A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, but he who hates covetousness will prolong his days” (Proverbs 28:16 NKJV).
In the Bible, one of the qualifications for appointment as a bishop or deacon is that such should not be greedy for money (1 Tim 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7). Elders, serving as overseers, are to serve, not by compulsion, but willingly, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly (1 Peter 5:2).
A leader must be sincere, respectful, and promote truth. In addition, he should not neglect mercy. “Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne” (Proverbs 20:28 NKJV). Therefore, a leader must be true to God, himself, and the people he is leading.
16. A leader must be self-sacrificing and not be a burden to his followers. A leader’s priority should not be what he can get from his followers but what he can give to them.
In church leadership, God doesn’t want believers to be coerced to give to His causes or to support a Christian leader. It is true the Bible says, “Those who are taught the word of God should help their teachers by paying them” (Galatians 6:6 NLT). It is equally true that “Just as farm workers who plow fields and thresh the grain expect a share of the harvest, Christian workers should be paid by those they serve” (1 Corinthians 9:10 NLT).
However, believers should not be forced to give or be manipulated to give to meet the needs of the church or her leaders. Christians should not give under duress. God wants cheerful givers who are giving voluntarily, having been taught and understood the principle of sowing and reaping – a Spirit-filled church that is also generous. “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NKJV).
No spiritual leader should be a burden to the church. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, said, “Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that our expenses would not be a burden to anyone there as we preached God’s Good News among you” (1 Thessalonians 2:9-10 NLT).
He repeated this in 2 Thessalonians 3:8, saying that he did not eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked hard, day and night, that he might not be a burden to any of them. Paul demonstrated exemplary leadership by denying himself the right to collect salaries from the churches. He chose to work as a tent-maker to provide for himself.
This is still the right way to go for a spiritual leader, particularly if the congregation is still a small congregation so that he doesn’t become a financial burden to them or expose himself to unnecessary hardship because of the inability of the church to adequately provide for him. “Better is he who is lightly esteemed but works for his own support than he who assumes honour for himself and lacks bread” (Proverbs 12:9 Amplified Bible).
This option doesn’t negate faith in God for supply. Neither should it be a disincentive to Christians, who are financially supporting ministers of the gospel, especially those whose time is fully engaged in the vineyard of God.
It may be necessary to point out that it wasn’t that Paul didn’t receive any financial support from churches at all, and therefore supported himself throughout his ministry. No. Paul actually referred to the support he received from some churches.
For example, he mentioned the giving by the Philippians. In fact, while he was in Thessalonica, he received financial support from the Philippians. “As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. What I want is for you to receive a well-earned reward because of your kindness. At the moment I have all I need — more than I need! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable to God and pleases him” (Philippians 4:15-18 NLT).
In verses 15-16, Paul, who was in prison, took time to acknowledge their generosity to him in the past. They gave to him while he was with them and sent financial help to him in Thessalonica after he had left Macedonia. No other church did that for him. The same church sent financial help to Paul when he was in the prison in Rome, as of the time he was writing. Paul noted the generosity of this church.
Writing earlier to the Corinthians, Paul also spoke about the generosity of the Macedonian churches (which included the churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea), who sent gifts to minister to the needs of the impoverished saints in Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:1-5). He wrote to the Corinthians to motivate them towards giving. The Corinthian church excelled in everything – faith, gifted speakers, knowledge, enthusiasm, and love for ministers – but needed to excel also in the gracious ministry of giving.
Earlier, while on missionary work in Corinth, Paul had worked, apparently to support himself. Acts 18:3 says, “So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers” (NKJV). Paul’s philosophy was not to depend solely on the support of the church or be a burden to them. However, he didn’t reject financial support if it was offered to him.
Writing as a Roman prisoner, Paul, acknowledging the generous gift of the Philippians, said, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. But even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty” (Philippians 4:11-14 NLT). Did you notice in this scripture that Paul, even as a prisoner, didn’t come across as a freeloader, someone who exploits the generosity of others?
Let us hear what the Master, Jesus Christ, said. While sending out the seventy disciples, Jesus told them not to reject the hospitality of their hosts. “Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide you. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay” (Luke 10:7 NLT).
A leader should be self-sacrificing. Rather than Paul demanding his rights as an apostle, he gave them up so that the gospel of Jesus would be advanced. He inconvenienced himself. He was more concerned about the will of God being done than his comfort. Hear what he said: “This is my answer to those who question my authority as an apostle. Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? Don’t we have the right to bring a Christian wife along with us as the other disciples and the Lord’s brothers and Peter do? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves? What soldier has to pay his own expenses? And have you ever heard of a farmer who harvests his crop and doesn’t have the right to eat some of it? What shepherd takes care of a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? And this isn’t merely human opinion. Doesn’t God’s law say the same thing? For the law of Moses says, ‘Do not keep an ox from eating as it treads out the grain.’ Do you suppose God was thinking only about oxen when he said this? Wasn’t he also speaking to us?” (1 Corinthians 9:3-10 NLT)
16. A leader must be accountable. Without accountability, a leader stands the risk of self-destruction. A leader must not become a law to himself. A leader should be accountable to God, superior leadership, and to his followers including leaders under him. He should, in fact, in his own interest, have peers or friends that he can be accountable to.
Unfortunately, there are leaders who are not accountable to God, their followers, or anyone else. They cannot tolerate friends who’re bold to tell him the truth; their only friends are those who always sing their praises. This is dangerous.
Jethro was Moses’ father-in-law but also his former employer before God called him and sent him back to Egypt to lead the Israelites out of slavery. When Jethro went to visit Moses and returned Moses’ wife and two sons to him, Moses gave him a report of what God had done for the Israelites. “And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and how the LORD had delivered them” (Exodus 18:8 NKJV).
Though Jethro didn’t give Moses the assignment he was doing, he considered it proper to give him a report considering the relationship between them. After all, before he went to obey God’s call, he informed him. “So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, ‘Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.’ And Jethro said to Moses, ‘Go in peace’” (Exodus 4:18 NKJV).
In Mark 6:30, the disciples of Jesus gave to him an account of what they had done during their ministry tour and what they had taught.
In the world today, there is a peer review in leadership, academic, medicine, law, science, etc. which is a way of having a more impartial evaluation of other people’s performance by others in the same field.
A leader who is not accountable to anyone is dangerous to himself and to those following him, even to society.
17. A leader needs the wisdom of God to excel. The Bible talks about the wisdom of God but also talks about “the wisdom of this world” (1 Corinthians 1:20, 3:19) which is also called “human wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:4), “the wisdom of men” (1 Corinthians 2:5), “the wisdom of this age” (1 Corinthians 2:6), and “man’s wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:13).
The wisdom of God is most essential for Christian leaders whether in ecclesiastical work or elsewhere. The Bible records that Jesus, the Son of God, increased in wisdom (Luke 2:52). Deuteronomy 34:9 says, “Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses” (NKJV). “Without wise leadership, a nation falls…” (Proverbs 11:14 NLT).
Godly wisdom in leadership is very important. That was what Solomon was wise enough to request from God, and He granted him (1 Kings 3). This is also available today to anyone who acknowledges his inadequacy and asks God for it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:4-8 NKJV).
Conclusion: I believe that you’ve learnt something from this message that will enhance our leadership. Spurgeon said, “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.” I expect that you’ll apply the knowledge you have received and you’ll become an effective leader, as a Christian, whether in God’s vineyard or anywhere else you find yourself.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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