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Good spiritual leaders grow in Christ

GREEN LAKE, Wis.(BP)–“To be a spiritual leader you don’t have to run out and buy all the leadership books at Barnes and Noble, but you must be a spirit-filled person,” Neil Knierim told participants in a conference at Green Lake Conference Center, Green Lake, Wis.

Knierim, manager of the LeaderCare section at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, led a session, “Becoming a Spiritual Leader: What are the Characteristics and Qualities?” during the Kingdom@Work Church Leadership Development event, June 25-29.

Knierim listed traits the non-spiritual world says leaders must have: produce tangible results, influence others, be vision setters and have charisma, power and a dominating personality.

“All too often we try to re-create the success of other people,” Knierim said. “But, even though they are spiritual leaders, what they do won’t mean anything [for us] if we aren’t spirit filled.”

He listed 14 qualities of a spiritual leader. They included:

–Discipline in spiritual life and physical life.

–Vision to see the things that only God can help him see.

–Wisdom that comes from God.

–Decision making ability that doesn’t sit around and wait on a consensus.

–Courage to make the hard choices.

–Humility in understanding who he is and where he is in God’s plan.

–Holy anger at the right things.

–Patience to wait on God.

–Friendship that shows in a love for people.

–Tact that tempers everything with kindness.

–Inspirational power that lets him move people.

–Executive abilities that allow him to be a capable administrator.

–Listening skills that let him learn from others.

–Good communication skills that let him tell others what they need to hear.

Knierim said that too often jealousy is a problem for people in church leadership positions, and that doesn’t speak well for spiritual leadership.

“If we’re both pastors and you baptize 100 people and I baptize one, what I have to remember is not that you baptized so many more people than I did, but that 101 people got baptized,” he said. “That’s great! If the Kingdom is the issue, then we aren’t in competition.”

Tom Gillespie, pastor of First Baptist Church, Clio, Mich., said his church is making training spiritual leaders a priority.

“We’ve just finished a leadership course at our church and, as a direct result of that, we have 12 people who have come to this conference. They have been challenged and they want to grow and stretch,” he said.

Knierim said, “Spiritual leaders will look at other people and say, ‘I’m not only interested in what you can do for our church, but also in how I can help you grow in your relationship with Christ.”

Kingdom@Work attracted almost 500 people from 16 states and was sponsored by LifeWay Church Resources, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources.

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  • Polly House