The Elder Etherington

Last night the congregation of Lakeland Evangelical Free Church affirmed me as an elder. It is really humbling to me. The group of men who lead our church are godly and wise and I feel like I should just sit silently in their presence and learn. That isn’t what they’ve called me to do but these are some really great men! I feel kind of small but it isn’t me and my natural abilities that fit me for this calling, it is Jesus work in me. Here’s something from Oswald Sanders’ Spiritual Leadership:

Spiritual leadership blends natural and spiritual qualities. Yet even the natural qualities are supernatural gifts, since all good things from from God. Take personality, for instance. [Field Marshall] Montgomery said that “the degree of influence will depenon the personality, the ‘incandescence’ of which he is capable, the flame which burns within, the magnetism which will draw the hearts of others toward him.” Both natural and spiritual qualities reach their greatest effectiveness when employed in the service of God and for His glory.

Yet spiritual leadership transcends the power of personality and all other natural gifts. The personality of the spiritual leader influences others because it is irradiated, penetrated, and empowered by the Spirit, the Spirit’s power flows through him to others.

Spiritual leadership requires superior spiritual power, which can never be generated by the self. There is no such thing as a self-made spiritual leader. A true leader influences others spiritually only because the Spirit works in and through him to a greater degree than in those he leads.

Sobering. Humbling. Empowering.

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