Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spiritual Leadership - J Oswald Sanders

I have to agree with Charles Colson’s review that this is indeed “the best book on Christian leadership that I’ve read”. I have found the book refreshing yet challenging, pushing me to pause, face critical truths, reflect, pray and deal with issues which is vital at the dawn of full time spiritual leadership season of my life. Thumbs up for this book!

Having worked in with the corporate for 10 years, leadership is not an issue

or something new .. I have to agree with Oswald that there is a significant difference between spiritual leadership and any other leaders. Spiritual leaders has to do with the entire being of a person - from the mental, emotions right to the spiritual. Effective spiritual leadership happens when the "personality of the spiritual leader is penetrated, saturated and empowered by the Holy Spirit." Only when the

leader gives control of his life to the Spirit, he Spirit's power flows though him to others.

Sanders laid the fundamental rule of the game for spiritual leadership which is totally the reverse of the secular leadership – humble or servant leadership coupled with the cup of suffering and the by superior spiritual power that can never be generated by self. This poses fresh challenge to because I realize that many times I may be willing drink the humble cup of suffering but grudgingly. This is a reminder that my body and my life must continue to bear the marks of the Cross. Sanders says “no cross, no leadership”. The cost of leadership is indeed real, the road ahead is not an easy road – loneliness, fatigue, criticism or may I add non supportive or ungrateful people, rejection, pressure and perplexity and my sacrifice is also a cost to other is already part and will continue to be part of my journey. It is out of my brokeness and sufferings that His power and glory will be manifested, lives being touched and transformed – this is my satisfaction of life – for I am ready to be poured out like a drink offering.

My only survival tool in this leadership is to draw supernatural strength from my Boss, who is my only Source. Clearly, this is anti-secular method. The world leadership is about control and power over situation and people. But, here, promotion comes from the Lord, the authority if the anointing that God pours to us when we draw from Him. If I am unable and unwilling to play game according to this rule, I may need to step out of this game before I am “forfeited”. The truth of the matter is, I cannot fake spiritual leadership. It has to do not only with my God given talents and capabilities but the gifts but the condition of my inner soul and journey with God. Without the breath or presence of God, my gifts and capabilities are like dust and dead.

“Before we can conquer the world, we must first conquer the self” gets to the core of me because it’s the raw truth. I am an enemy to myself - the threat to my journey, ministry and leadership is actually my own self. I must and hope I can continually pray “God, harden me against myself” so that I can echo Paul that it’s no longer I that live but Christ that lives in and through me.

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