Spiritual leadership is the ability to understand God’s purpose for your life, and taking the initiative to guide others into following in the same footsteps that will bring glory and honour to God’s name.
Living an exemplary life according to God’s teachings can be a distressing experience especially for youths in higher institutions.
There are several stories of youths who led a holy life at home but experienced complete transformation after gaining admission into a higher institution. Though, this may not necessarily be as a result of weak Christian structures such as Bible study groups and student Bible clubs.
There are tons of factors that may bring about this change, which may include peer pressure, wanting to belong with the crowd and other distractions that come with the freedom in universities and colleges.
Even in the midst of the believers, these social vices may be evident, and one may begin to wonder if these members are just there in order not to be counted among those who have “fallen from the right path.”
In truth, these youths may have lost sight of the path that God has placed for them.
Helping them to find where God wants them to be and using the teachings and instructions in his holy book to guide them is known as spiritual leadership.
But what are the qualities of a spiritual leader? How can you improve your spiritual leadership skills? And are you the right person to lead them along this path of self-rediscovery?
If you have these questions in your mind, then this article is for you. Continue reading to know all about spiritual leadership and how you can help these students become spiritual leaders.
Anyone can become a spiritual leader, but not all church and youth fellowship leaders are spiritual leaders. Here are some of the things one must do to be able to be a spiritual leader after the mind of God.
Jesus as a leader
The first thing a spiritual leader should do is to make Jesus Christ his/her role model. if you aspire to be one, then turn to the scriptures and study the ways of Jesus Christ. To help you in this, here are the following steps to consider based on his teachings and lessons.
True leaders surrender outcomes to God
By surrendering outcomes to God, true spiritual leaders submit the results of situations and circumstances to his providential wisdom and care.
Our modern cultures and beliefs tell us always to take charge, be in control, fight to get ahead and push to get what we want. But that’s not the case with Jesus’ methods.
Jesus shows us that a leader should be gentle and humble in heart. (Matthew 11:25-30).
Repeatedly, Jesus said, “I only do what I see the Father doing” (John 5:19). Jesus’ priority was maintaining his intimacy with God, and he kept submitting himself to the will of the Father whenever he had the chance.
Maintaining a steady connection through prayers
Throughout his life on earth, there was never a moment where Jesus didn’t seize the opportunity to pray to the Father. You should be prepared to abruptly break into prayers, in order to stay in line with the will of the Father and the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 11:25).
Never being in a hurry
Another lesson that can be learned from Jesus’ leadership method is the calm nature with which he handled things. Our modern society teaches us to hurry to get more done, or hurry to get to our destination. But when we hurry, we tend to lose touch with the Father and forget to care for the people around us. Up until his crucifixion, Jesus wasn’t in a hurry to do anything. This is evident in many accounts.
During the account of the marriage feast, Jesus didn’t hurry to show his powers when confronted with the issue of wine shortage, when he made mention that “my hour has not come” (John 2:4).
Even on his road to crucifixion, he wasn’t in a hurry to get it over with as it wasn’t in line with the plans of the Father.
When he picked up the towel to wash the disciples’ feet during the last supper, he wasn’t fulfilling a religious obligation – Jesus took out time to care for his disciples, even though he had a massive undertaking in front of him.
This unhurried gesture shows how Jesus lived his whole life on earth. Never being in an hurry helped him stay in line with God’s will and gave him time to also care for those around him.
How to help students become spiritual leaders
It is a known fact that the best form of teaching is by the examples you give. The most effective ways to help students become better spiritual leaders is by living an exemplary life that is worthy of emulation. Here are a few characteristics you should have to help lead people into becoming spiritual leaders.
Lead them into their own encounters with God
Jesus never switched modes to introduce the reality of God to his disciples. Wherever he was or whatever he was doing, Jesus’ interaction with the Father was so natural that others had to follow his footsteps.
Whether you’re at home, in class, a conference, or a Bible fellowship, maintaining the same interactions with God can help those around you to discover their own connection to Him in their daily lives.
Lead them to find their own identity and purpose
One great sign of a spiritual leader is generosity and the drive to see others grow.
A true spiritual leader genuinely wants those around him to fully discover who they were created to become.
By taking advantage of school issues and personal life development strategies, you can help them overcome different obstacles on their way and discover their own identity.
Spiritual leaders lead others into transformation
When your main aim is spiritual growth and health, productivity will always be a natural outcome. People are at their best when they work out of identity.
While guiding them into becoming spiritual leaders, you can help them discover their own transformation. Passion is the driving force of spiritual leadership, and this passion can push them from production to transformational impact.
Ability to impact their atmosphere
While we don’t have the power to stop a thunderstorm or slow a hurricane with our words, a spiritual leader should be able to change the temperature of a room, relationship or interaction.
Whenever you sense tension, fear or doubt in the minds of your fellow students, you should be able to transform these bad vibes immediately and restore vision, hope and vitality.
You should be able to fill them with joy, hope, happiness, patience, and gentleness, even while speaking hard things.
Help them see old things in new perspectives
Many people aren’t held down by their own circumstances, but by their perspectives and paradigms. The word “repent” means “to think in a different way or to think differently.” Changing patterns of thinking always precedes meaningful change.
Teaching people to become spiritual leaders doesn’t have to be complicated. By changing your own lifestyle, those looking up to you will also change.
Although, this may not take immediate effect, and you will surely experience situations where your faith and beliefs will be put to the test. How you handle such cases will go a long way in strengthening your spirituality and influence those around you.
Spiritual leaders influence more than they direct, and they inspire more than they instruct. You should recognize that you’re serving Someone bigger than yourself and your own objectives.
Remember always to pray to the Father, and seek guidance by reading the scriptures.