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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dear Hannah: Spiritual Leadership


Dear Hannah,

We grow by caring for people and things.

Reading J. Oswald Sanders’ book Spiritual Leadership has helped me grow as a husband, father, and man.

Wisdom Earned Through Lessons Learned …

1.     Spritual Leadership Defined. Spiritual leadership is the process of serving, influencing, teaching, and learning from others – with God’s principles as the standard.

2.     Success & Failure. God uses each success and failure to humble, teach and strengthen us.

3.     Leadership Qualities (Chapter 8).

I use several mnemonic devices to help remember these principles. Here is the first …

"Leaders 'WISHeDD' (Wisdom, Integrity, Sincerity, Humility, Discipline / Decision Making) for Courage and Vision."

4.     More Leadership Qualities (Chapter 9).

"Leaders do not ‘WHIF’ (Writing, Humor, Inspiration, Friendship) at the PLATE (Patience, Listening, Anger, Tact, Execution)."

5.     Anger Is A Leadership Quality? Anger (an intense emotional response) has been a prevalent (and counterproductive) part of my life. I now accept it as a leadership quality.

See, prayer (intimate conversations with God) is an essential leadership quality. Prayer can be hindered by sin.

If we are so angry that we cannot pray, then we are too angry – and on the threshold of sin.

God tells us to be angry, but to not sin in our anger (Eph 4:26).

A wise man knows his limitations. Recognized anger is a limitation that can help us stay on a healthy leadership path.

6.     Time Management (Chapter 12).

“Every moment matters
You had better realize
Then you can quickly respond
To opportunities you recognize.”

·         Power is work done efficiently - that is, with wise and skillful use of RICE (Resources, Interests, Communication, and Expertise).
·         God grants power to His efficient problem solvers.

7.     Leaders are Readers (Chapter 13).

·         Mature reading challenges us with new (and old, unanswered) questions (rather than confirming that we already knew the answer).
·         Reading biographies provides wisdom and inspiration from someone's life and ministry.
·         Bacon's rule - read to weigh and consider.

8.     Improving Leadership (Chapter 14).

"Improve, Inspire, ‘GRASPP’ (and inspect) what you expect ..."

·         Group Morale (maintaining teamwork & camaraderie)
·         Relationships (unity and cohesiveness)
·         Administration (improving the ministry)
·         Spiritual Tone (spiritual health and maturity)
·         Problem Solving (corrective action)
·         Planning (establishing courses of action).

9.     Counting Leadership Costs (Chapter 15).

"SeLF-CROP (Self-Sacrifice, Loneliness, Fatigue, Criticism, Rejection, cost to Others, Pressure) leadership costs by counting them."

10.  Leadership Responsibilities (Chapter 16).

"A leader DIGS (Applied Discipline, Initiation, Guidance, Service) their responsibilities."

11.  Leadership Tests (Chapter 17).

"Don't be Jealous - leaders earn their FICA (Failure, Impossible Situations, Compromise, Ambition) score through testing!"

12.  The Art of Delegation (Chapter 18).

Getting work done through others is the highest form of leadership.

13.  Replacing Leaders (Chapter 19).

·         All leaders are replaceable.
·         All leaders have strengths and weaknesses that begat opportunities and threats (SWOT).
·         A leader's departure provides both threats (fear, regression) and opportunities (courage, advancement).
·         Leadership success requires opportunities to fail!

14.  Reproducing Leaders (Chapter 20).

·         All leaders grow by caring for things and people.
·         Spiritual Maturity > Age
·         Purposeful leaders want to serve. Ambitious leaders want to be served.

15.  Leadership Perils (Chapter 21).

"Jealous feelings ‘PPIIPEEDD’ (Pride, Popularity, Infallibility, Indispensability, Prophet or leader, Egotism, Elation and Depression, and Disqualification) through a leader's heart invite peril."

a.     JEALOUSY seeks to deny or destroy the work of others (page 155).
b.    Christ, rather than the leader, should be the object of a ministry’s POPULARITY (page 156).
c.     Nobody is perfect. The leader must maintain a teachable spirit (INDISPENSABILITY).
d.    INFALLIBILITY is a blinding illusion.
e.     It is more important to be a PROPHET of God than a leader of men (page 159). The prophet replies upon God’s wisdom and power.
f.     EGOTISM is a self-centered orientation (page 154). Leaders should not become too confident or "self-made" (page 156).
g.    Excess in joy (ELATION) or sorrow (DEPRESSION) is unhealthy for the spiritual leader (page 157).
h.     Self-control is the key to preventing DISQUALIFICATION in ministry (page 160).



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