C. H. Spurgeon and Leadership

imagesNot to long ago I read a book called C.H. Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership by Steve Miller. I enjoy biographies and I enjoy selective biographies that focus on a particular topic like leadership.

Spurgeon was a British pastor in the 19th century and was known as the “Prince of Preachers.” He pastored the New Park Street Chapel in London for 38 years. It is estimated that Spurgeon preached to over 10 million people in his lifetime. Here is an outtake from the book on the role of prayer in Spurgeon’s life.

As a busy minister, Charles Haddon Spurgeon cherished the rare opportunities that allowed him time to visit with close friends. On one such occasion, when Dr. Theodore Cuyler of Brooklyn came to England, Spurgeon invited him for a walk through the woods-another pastime Spurgeon loved yet seldom had time for. During the walk, Spurgeon surprised his guest with a rather unexpected comment. Their conversation must have been lighthearted and even mirthful, for suddenly Spurgeon stopped and said, “Come, Theodore, let us thank God for laughter.” Later, when Dr. Cuyler spoke of this particular visit, he said, “That was how he lived. From jest to a prayer meant with him the breadth of a straw.” That incident is but one of many that demonstrates Spurgeon’s spontaneity when it came to prayer. What stood out above all in Spurgeon’s life as a minister-even more than his extraordinary giftedness for preaching-was his diligence in prayer. Not only was he faithful in the practice of prayer, he also bathed all of life in prayer. In the introduction to C.H. Spurgeon’s Prayers, Dinsdale T. Young observes that ‘”prayer was the instinct of his soul, and the atmosphere of his life.”

Leadership and the role of prayer-here is a life worth emulating and considering. You too might enjoy this book.

Here are some other quotes by Spurgeon related to leadership (outside of the work by Miller):

The true shepherd spirit is an amalgam of many precious graces. He is hot with zeal, but he is not fiery with passion. He is gentle, and yet he rules his class. He is loving, but he does not wink at sin. He has power over the lambs, but he is not domineering or sharp. He has cheerfulness, but not levity; freedom, but not license; solemnity, but not gloom.

Many a man can bear affliction, but few men can endure prosperity; and I have 
marked it, and you must have marked it too, that the most perilous thing in all the 
world is to step suddenly from obscurity to power. 

Here is a good searching question for a man to ask himself as he reviews his past 
life:—Have I written in the snow? Will my life-work endure the lapse of years and the 
fret of change? Has there been anything immortal in it, which will survive the 
speedy wreck of all sublunary things? The boys inscribe their names in capitals in the 
snow, and in the morning’s thaw the writing disappears; will it be so with my work, 
or will the characters which I have carved outlast the brazen tablets of history? 
Have I written in the snow?

Whatever a man depends upon, whatever rules his mind, whatever governs his 
affections, whatever is the chief object of his delight, is his god.

Other Resources on Spurgeon:

The Life and Ministry of Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon’s Life Changing Prayers


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