Spiritual Leadership Book

The pastoral staff is on a journey to read 1 book a month together and then share the 2 most personal takeaways from the book that we read. 

This month’s book is Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. This book has been around many years but this is my first time reading it. It is chalked full of leadership principles that are Scripturally based. I loved it and will be reading this book again. It had many principles that were thought provoking and challenging. 

Quick Hitters

In this section of the book review, I will point out some sections of the book that I especially liked and will try to use in my own life, character, and/or ministry.

1. “In the same way, appointing leaders with a secular or materialistic outlook prevents the Holy Spirit from making spiritual progress in that place.”

“[S]piritual leadership transcends the power of personality and all other natural gifts. The personality of the spiritual leader influences others because it is penetrated, saturated, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.”

Many leaders confidently lead from their own ideas and direction. The trait that makes spiritual leadership different than leadership is the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. When our churches and organizations are lead by secular leadership and business principles instead of the Holy Spirit their will be no discipleship and no blessing from the Lord. The Church is to be the influencer for society instead of society being the influencer for the Church. When we are led by the Spirit we will see results in this world and the next. When we are led by our flesh and our own strength we end up sabotaging the very people we are leading. There are costly repercussions for leading without the guidance and presence of the Holy Spirit. 

2. “They were not leaders because of brilliancy of thought, because they were exhaustless in resources, because of their magnificent culture or native endowment, but because, by the power of prayer, they could command the power of God.”

This idea of the power of prayer takes the pressure off the leader. One doesn’t need to have all the skills or knowledge. They need the discipline of prayer and their dedication to communion with God. Oswald talks a lot about people are moved by God through prayer by the leader. Sometimes we forget how important prayer is for leadership and success in life and ministry. 

Spiritual Leadership is very challenging to your soul and as a leader. It is a foundational leadership that should be read by all. We need this type of leadership back in the Church and in the world. 

Read the rest of the book for yourself. There is much more to learn and only a limited amount of time.

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