4 Priorities for a Spiritual Leader

I recently attended a conference for a portion of our staff that serve in the cities of America.  We are currently reorienting our vision around city transformation.  It was a rich time of honest interaction about change and our need to be better mobilizers of what God has called us to do.  In the midst of our time together one of my mentors and friends, David English, shared some very insightful priorities for every person attempting to successfully engage in the mission.  I thought they were quite profound and wanted to share them with you.

1. My character is more important than my competency.  I have commented on this principle many times.  Character is tantamount, no matter what our culture says.  We can tend to place greater emphasis on leadership competencies than on our integrity.  But competency will never cover for bad character.

2. My godliness is more important than my giftedness.  I am always concerned when I see young leaders rise in prominence based largely on their giftedness.  Usually this valued giftedness revolves around gifted communication-either of the vision or of the Scriptures.  But when this giftedness is not enveloped in a growing godliness it could set up for great fall of pride.

3. Who I am in Christ is more important than any scope of ministry I may have been given, any position I may have attained, or any task that I may perform.  Ultimately our true identity is in Christ.  It is so easy to base our identity on our scope of ministry, our title or position, or the monumental task before us.  But these are impostors and serve us poorly as building blocks of identity.  God is responsible for the breadth of our ministries.  We must see ourselves as recipients and transmitters of the grace of Christ.  Nothing more, nothing less.

4. Who I am is more important than what I do.  Being over doing is a cornerstone to making it to the finish line.  I have been thinking about this a lot lately and I have decided it is very hard to finish well as a leader for the cause of Christ.  It is easy to list those who have not.  It takes great determination and a view of self that realizes the importance of being over doing.

What are your thoughts on these four principles?  What else seems important to you as a leadership priority?

David has written much on the stages of a man’s life.  His insights are life changing.  If you would like to know more here is a web link.

8 replies
  1. Bob Ehle
    Bob Ehle says:

    Thanks for these insights Gary (and David). Being on staff for more than 45 years (and in business for a time before that), we’ve often heard that Being is more important than Doing. In fact, it has almost become intuitive knowledge. But knowledge alone doesn’t produce (oops! there’s that ‘doing’ thing again) the Being. Being can be modeled by others, and is helpful. We need each other in so many ways. But I’m convinced that Being starts with a heart attitude of obedience to the Greatest Commandment – to love God with all one’s heart, soul mind and strength. Personal confession: it was years after coming on staff (and hearing Dr. Bright all through those years warning us not to lose our first love) before I really learned to begin loving Him as commanded. (That’s I story I won’t go into here.
    “Being” continues with personal time alone with God (not at all to the exclusion ‘being’ in community). My habit of having a daily “quiet time” goes back even to my teenage years, but was often sporadic…though never dropped completely. Fast forward a number of decades. Two years ago almost to the day I decided to devote the time that I had been waking up at night and finding it difficult to go back to sleep to use that as my “Time Out With God.” While I, again, had journaled sporadically, I began taking a verse or two that was included in one or the other of the two devotionals I was using and reflect on what God might be saying to me. As of today, I have filled seven small spiral notebooks and started on the eighth. This is not a credit to me; it is an evidence of God’s grace — and patience —in continuing to draw me into deeper relationship with Him.

    So again, thanks for succinctly (something I obviously have yet to learn) reminding us of what is of the most eternal significance in our walk with the Lord.

    • Gary Runn
      Gary Runn says:

      Thanks Bob so much for your comments on this post. I think your experience is quite common and my hope is that your comments here will resonate with many and pull them in to the grace of the gospel.

  2. garywp
    garywp says:

    WKU Cru-thanks for the link. Exciting to see you guys getting started for the fall. Great post for your Cru movement on your site. Blessings to you!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] home.  The first was a blog post shared by a CRU staff member.  You can see the original post here, but I’ll give you the main points: 1.  My character is more important than […]

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