Brothers, Pray For Us

When Moses died, God chose Joshua with a clear mandate to lead Israel to their promised possession. It is true Moses prayed for a successor (Numbers 27:15-17), but the choice was ultimately God’s.

Moses presents us with practical leadership lessons. When given the opportunity to make a name for himself, he chose God’s purpose rather than pursue a personal agenda to build an empire for himself.

His passion was single — to honour God in leading Israel out (from slavery) so he might bring them in (to make them a people of His choosing).

Brothers, pray for us

Spiritual leadership is delicate. The expectation on the leader is huge. That’s why Paul pleaded — Brothers, pray for us — 1 Thessalonians 5:25. How we ought to heed the counsel with more seriousness.

Spiritual leadership, specifically in the body of Christ, is a calling, not a vocation. Not everyone is called to lead God’s people or occupy a ministerial office — Ephesians 4:11-13.

Charles Spurgeon said:

It would have been a fearful thing for me to have occupied the watchman’s place without having received the watchman’s commission.”

It’s dangerous to take on a ministerial office without a clear call from God. Indeed, it ought to be a fearful thing to assume such office without first hearing God speak to you directly.

Over the years, I’ve seen people ‘called’ into ministry simply as a response to a church need for expansion and on the basis of their perceived spiritual resumé. This is an unhealthy approach to ministry, for the leader and the people.

This is why it is undeniably important to pray consistently for those in the office of pastoring and leading the body of Christ. If those speaking into your life are not meant to be there, we have a problem.

Don’t build personal empire

The true mark of spiritual leadership is not the length of days in office (positional leadership) but the fulfilment of God’s purpose for your calling.

Moses wasn’t interested in holding on to his leadership role longer than was appointed him.

Spiritual leaders are not called to build personal empires. This is clearly outside of God’s will. Rather, focus on God’s assignment in building lives in godliness, for God’s glory, not so you could pat yourself on the back.

To stay humble and guard their souls, leaders must actively build a culture that leads the focus away from them to Christ — Hebrews 12:2. Click To Tweet

It’s not about you

If we distort God’s idea and plan for spiritual leadership, abuse becomes inevitable. We must strive to uphold the integrity of the gospel, not just with our messages, but more importantly our lives.

The church must guard against the practice of ascribing infallibility to leaders. This ‘superman’ mentality is robbing believers of their spiritual growth as heirs of God’s inheritance and is unsafe for the soul of the leader himself.

Here lies the problem with this ideology — firstly, the led will master (and often magnify) the virtues and errors of the leader.

Secondly, Christ will no longer remain the sole standard of faith but Christ PLUS the words, attitude, lifestyle and actions of the leader. When Christ stops being enough for you, you become an idolater.

We must honour and cherish our spiritual leaders but never attribute God's glory to them, elevate them above measure or ascribe to them the role of the Holy Spirit. Click To Tweet

Does this in anyway take away from the fundamental necessity of receiving teaching or being under spiritual authority? Absolutely not! That remains indispensable. But I fear we sometime miss the balance of scriptures.

If God has called you into a leadership office, lead in a way that points men to Christ and empowers them to live out the Christian life in every sphere of life.

This is servant leadership and it’s certainly not about you.

Can I plead with you to pray for your spiritual leaders today, in light of the huge responsibility and pressure on them, that they lead God’s flock aright and in a God-centred way? God bless you.

Photo credit by Jack Sharp on Unsplash.

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

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