Think of someone who you would describe as a leader. Right away, you’re going to think of all the people you know who are “leadership types.” You know, the corporate heads and movers and shakers. The fact is, just because you’re a mover and a shaker, and you have all sorts of abilities to really get direction and go with it, doesn’t mean that you’re someone through whom the spirit of God can give direction to the church.
I don’t think you “have” the gift of leadership. It could be a manifestation through you, but if we have the attitude that you “have” the gift of leadership, then what does this look like?
Leadership Types Vs. Abilities
When scripture talks about qualifications for an elder, nowhere does it say, “You need to be a good leader.” By the way, leadership means to pilot a ship – to give it direction. That’s the dynamic we want to see work.
Some of the last people that I’d ever want as an elder, are people who are big movers and shakers who aren’t submitted to God.
I would rather have someone who doesn’t have a high school education or much life experience but has a heart for God and is fully surrendered to Him, because that’s the person through whom direction can be brought to the church. That’s the gift.
There are people who have abilities in leadership and consistently show an ability to lead people. When they present themselves to God completely, as a living sacrifice, God takes everything they are and everything they have, and He manifests to the church through their talents, graces, and gifts. The gift is ours – it doesn’t belong to them.
If leadership is something that’s just given to “leadership types,” what does a church do that only has a handful of people? Think about that: if the only way that Jesus can give direction to the church is through leadership types, we’re in bad shape!
But I hear Jesus saying:
“I’m going to build my church, and the gates of hell won’t prevail. And the way I’m going to do it is to give her grace in the ways she needs to minister.”
It’s Not About the Gift – It’s About Surrender
Jesus is capable of ministering through people who are surrendered to Him. He gives them the direction they need, when they need it, and they might be leadership types, but they might not. When they’re surrendered, He’ll use them, but if they aren’t, it’s not going to stop Him from giving direction to the church because he’s still going to find a way to minister by grace through people to you.
I want to make a radical statement that will get your attention. I don’t think we need to spend any time – not a nickel’s worth of time – trying to discover our gift.
That statement may go against everything you’ve ever read or heard! But your gift, when you’re surrendered fully to the spirit of God, is the fact that God will take all your talents and abilities, and all the weird parts of your personality, and by his grace will manifest his power through you to others.
That’s the gift, and he’ll do it in a variety of ways, at a variety of times, in a variety of lives. The gift is ours – it doesn’t belong to me and it doesn’t belong to you. You’re a channel through which the spirit of God manifests Himself – you just have to be fully surrendered to Him.