Dr. Stephen Phinney
OCCUPATIONAL GIFTS | LEADERSHIP
Many have leaders who they call “great.” Maybe it’s a pastor, politician, famous ministry developer, life coach, or someone they know personally, like a boss, ministry teacher, or a friend. Four out of ten people you meet daily are involved in leadership in one capacity or another—a mother, father, pastor, or corporate leader. However, simply having the responsibility of a leader doesn’t necessarily make a person an effective leader, let alone a person having the spiritual gift of leadership.
Can you imagine the cost Israel would have undertaken if Nehemiah had wavered in his leadership? The price tag would be that Jerusalem would not have been prepared for the arrival of the King of kings.
While leadership is a gift from the Lord, all leaders need to learn the ideal model. With a little study, humility, and hard work, all those in a leadership role can learn to lead effectively.
LEADERS EXPECT PERFORMANCE
Even though indwelt believers are not to emphasize “performance,” the responsibility of carrying out the leadership tasks assigned to each is imperative—gifted or not. Quality leadership starts with quality submission. Meaning: any assigned tasks delegated to you by an authority figure, you must consider a top priority and complete it as your primary objective—remembering, if an authority figure assigns you a task, you are a part of their leadership team. All leaders should be under authority themselves, guided and directed by the original mandate given by the highest authority. Not only are all leaders under the authority of their supervisor, who permits them to take on a task, but more significantly, the leader is under the orders of God the Father.
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (Romans 13:1).
God is the origin of original power and the Supreme Source of earthly established authoritative positions. It is His job to delegate authority and tasks to whomsoever He determines and wills. Ironically, the earthly governors themselves may not be of God or indwelt by His Son in most cases, so this is where our greatest leadership challenge lies—at the feet of all forms of government.
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. (1 Peter 2:18)
FLOW OF AUTHORITATIVE ORDERS
In God’s structure and system of functioning authority from Heaven downward, we see in the diagram that God is at the top; He is the one who delivers the orders; He gives them to Jesus Christ, and since Jesus is 100% obedient to His Father’s plans and requests, He passes them down to Holy Spirit. If we are truly indwelt believers in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us, so the third element of these orders is manifested in the minds of true indwelt believers. We can be guaranteed that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit will be 100% responsible for carrying out God the Father’s mandates and orders. The question then becomes, what happens when indwelt believers do not listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit to carry out the plans of God the Father?
On the right side of the diagram, you see the original structure of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but if the indwelt believer rebels or pulls away from this structure, there will be no rebuilding going on in the sphere God has you influencing. This is a complex idea to many people, but it is very simple. Those of us under authority, which is everyone, should carry out the orders given to us without hesitation.
CARRYING OUT YOUR ORDERS
As Nehemiah understood, forming a quality group of leaders, who answer to him, must start with those willing to carry out their leader’s decisions. He knew it was imperative for the Lord’s success. It is a method ordained by God. In the Biblical model, any hesitation could be a loophole for the enemy to get into God’s business again, causing the entire plan to be challenged. God knows a healthy environment for rebuilding and protection would be anarchy resulting in a chaotic attempt to fulfill God’s mandate if any was rebelling.
In traditional ancient times, God, in His Godological manner, appointed leaders willing to be used for His Divine purposes. God has been doing this since the days of Noah, Moses, Joshua, the Hebrew judges, and the civil societies He established under each one. In all cases, exemplified by our Lord, we find His method of rebuilding the Hebrew community and those grafted into the Hebrew community by assigning tasks to willing followers.
God has used this method to keep His Supreme Power in play throughout the centuries. Therefore, you will discover a Biblical leader’s constant skill of analyzing the performance of his workers. Authentic leaders that identify where their workers are and activate the need for planning where they must go – are demonstrating the leadership of Jesus. Biblical leaders explored the weaker side of their workers to empower them as workers of excellence. Most leaders understand that knowing where you need further development will enhance your skill level and assist in achieving the authority’s objective. However, we live in times of hypersensitive workers – individuals offended by their work being analyzed and directed by an authoritative leader, which produces a ‘woke’ church.
18 LEADERSHIP QUALITIES
You will see what I consider to be the “bull eyes” of a skillful leader in the following list.
Biblical leaders know that God establishes all forms of authority for His Divine purposes. They understand that quality leadership starts with quality submission.
When assigning tasks by his authority, he considers the skills of those who work for him.
A quality leader will not doubt themselves or their abilities to succeed in Christ.
Leaders expect nothing less than top-notch results from themselves and their workers.
Leadership always works harder than the work expected from their people.
When a worker is upset, leaders refuse to allow emotion to dominate over leadership. Why? Because they know the real battle is with their enemy.
When circumstances change, because a quality leader has planned ahead, they know “what to do.” In Nehemiah’s story, he divided the men into two groups. One half with their swords drawn and the other half with a brick in their hands.
True leadership does not allow personal feelings to get in the way of performance. Neither authentic Biblical leaders nor God allows personal “feelings” to get in the way of the task.
Quality leaders are highly motivated because they know they have what it takes in Christ to be successful. In a Biblical model, the power of God’s anointing is upon all His leaders.
They know that time spent worrying about their team is time wasted.
Leaders of quality refuse to get upset and worry in the workplace. They remain focused on the orders that were delivered to them.
Proactive leaders train and equip workers on how to accomplish a task.
When working with a team, leaders encourage everyone to work toward the same overall objective delegated to them by their governing authority.
Rarely will a quality leader “make an exception(s) to the rule” unless their supervisor or authority clears it. They understand it is more profitable to be an enforcer than a collaborator. In war, collaboration kills the soldiers.
Leaders take great delight in planning for the future.
Quality leaders embrace criticism as a tool for growth.
Leaders take time to learn from workers – in the task, work environment, and personal concerns. They know this advances their leadership skills.
Leaders are optimistic about the Life of Christ in their workers, assisting them in completing the task-at-hand with quality and excellence. They know that all unsaved workers become candidates for salvation by modeling quality leadership. They see setbacks as temporary. Problems are spiritual opportunities.