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Called not Driven (Leadership)

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WORD OUTREACH BIBLE SCHOOLThe Making of a Christian Leader

Dr. Earnestine Lawrence, Instructor


Called, Not Driven

In his book Transforming Leadership, Leighton Ford writes, “Genuine leaders operate out of a sense of calling, not a sense of drivenness.”2 He adds, “The writer George MacDonald has said somewhere that real Christian leaders are people who are moved at God’s pace and in God’s time to God’s place, not because they fancy themselves there, but because they are drawn.”3

The call of God to a place of leadership may come in a variety of ways:

•     When alone with God in a time of prayer.

•     When hearing an appeal for volunteers who will serve others and sensing an inward drawing to answer the appeal.

•     When one is burdened with the hopeless plight of the world’s unevangelized population and there arises a sense of call to proclaim the gospel.

•     When one is spoken to by an elder in the faith who senses the hand of God upon him or her for leadership.

In whatever manner one may receive his or her call, true spiritual leaders do not serve out of a sense of compulsion or a sense of being driven. Rather, they are drawn to lead by God’s Spirit. In God’s timing they are brought into the leadership He has chosen for them.


Response to the Call

It is helpful to observe the responses of some of those whom God called to spiritual leadership in both the Old and New Testaments. The following verses will reveal some responses. Read each passage and record each individual’s response to God’s call.

Abraham’s response—Genesis 12:1–5:

Isaiah’s response—Isaiah 6:8, 9:

Moses’ response—Exodus 3:1–11, 13; 4:1, 13, 18:

Saul of Tarsus’s response—Acts 9:1–20:

Having observed the responses of Abraham, Isaiah, Moses, and Saul of Tarsus to the call of God, write down the following:

Ways in which their responses differ. Ways in which their responses were similar.

If willingness and obedience are requisite traits for spiritual leadership, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the greatest response) how would you rate Abraham__, Moses__, Isaiah __, and Saul of Tarsus__?



[1]Hayford, Jack W. ; Rosenberger, Herman: Appointed to Leadership : God's Principles for Spiritual Leaders. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1994 (Spirit-Filled Life Kingdom Dynamics Study Guides)

The High Standard for Leadership

“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1).

In this verse James lets those in places of spiritual leadership know that they will be held accountable for exemplifying Jesus Christ in their personal lives as well as their ministry duties. Spiritual leaders are judged first of all by what they exemplify in character. They are judged by what they are, first, and then by what they do. It has to do with the condition of a leader’s heart and spirit more than with the person’s achievements.

If you were asked to name seven qualifications for Christian leadership, what qualifications would your list include? Give a reason why you listed each.


Openness to Wise Counsel

Solomon saw the value of wise counsel when he wrote, “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Prov. 15:22).

One of the causes for failure in leadership is the unwillingness to be open to wise counsel. Costly mistakes can be avoided when one will seek the advice of experienced, successful leaders.

Openness to wise counsel will lead to accountability. Persons in places of leadership must be accountable to others. Pastors are accountable to church boards, their congregations, and ecclesiastical overseers. They do not operate independently. Those in places of spiritual leadership should learn to be team players as well as leaders. Regularly scheduled meetings, retreats, and training sessions provide opportunities for members of the leadership team to receive wise counsel and to be accountable to one another.


Moses Receives Counsel

An example of a great spiritual leader who is open to wise counsel is found in Exodus 18. Read the entire chapter and then answer the following questions.

How would you describe the relationship between Moses and his father-in-law, Jethro?

What were the qualities Jethro possessed that would give him the right to offer counsel to Moses?

What is the value of open-minded dialogue in counsel?

Describe Moses’ response to wise counsel, how he personally benefited by it, and how the people benefited.

What negative results might have happened had not Moses been open to receive his father-in-law’s wise counsel?





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