I served as a Lead Pastor for well over two decades. In order to be the best I could be with the gifts I had been given, I relentlessly pursued outside activities and experiences that would sharpen my skills, from graduate school to continuing education, leadership conferences and seminars, I worked hard to achieve effective and transformative pastoral leadership.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul writes to a young, aspiring, and impressionable pastor named Timothy, and says these words:
"...I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction...keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:1-2, 5 (NIV)).
Good, great, got it, done! Who doesn’t want to follow Paul’s admonition? Who doesn’t want to be exceptional in what they do? As busy leaders, it would be easy to use a check list: today I study, on Sunday I teach, then I counsel, officiate at weddings and funerals, lead meetings with staff and elders, and on and on. Paul was one of the most motivating and inspiring leaders of all time. He was a theologian, author, public speaker, missionary, and apologist. Paul knew who he was, whose he was, and he had a purpose.
Paul’s extraordinary ministry however, was not through his heritage, education, or ambitions. He was passionate about being internally focused on his relationship with God. He knew and understood that leadership is an inside job, meaning the fruit of our leadership is in direct correlation to the condition of our inner person.
Inspired by the ministry of Paul, here are three keys for effective, spiritually charged leadership: