Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Spiritual Leadership ( 4 ) by J.Oswald Sanders

“The frontiers of the kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution,” said Mrs. H. W. K. Mowll.“How does he face impossible situations?”
was one of John R. Mott’s tests for men of leadership caliber: It was his practice
to encourage leaders to deal with impossible tasks rather than with easy ones,
because that would draw out their powers, teach them their dependence on others,
and drive them to God. “I long since ceased to occupy myself with minor things that
can be done by others,” he said. A true leader is at his best in baffling circumstances.The bracing lesson is that God delights to shut people up to Himself and then, in response to their trust, display His power and grace in doing
the impossible.
One definition of leadership is the ability to recognize the special abilities and
limitations of others, combined with the capacity to fit each one into the job
where he will do his best. He who is successful in getting things done through
others is exercising the highest type of leadership.The man in a place of
leadership who fails to delegate is constantly enmeshed in a morass of secondary
detail that not only overburdens him but deflects him from his primary
responsibilities. He also fails to release the leadership potential of those under
him. To insist on doing things oneself because it will be done better is not only a
short-sighted policy but may be evidence of an unwarranted conceit. The leader
who is meticulous in observing priorities adds immeasurably to his own
effectiveness. Once delegation has been effected, he should manifest the utmost
confidence in his colleagues.

It was said of Dr. A. B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance,
that he trusted those in charge of the different institutions, and then left them
free to exercise their own gifts. If they did not succeed, then he felt it was a
reflection on his own leadership, for it was he who selected them for that position.
Subordinates should be utterly sure of their leader’s support in any action they
feel called upon to take, no matter what the result, so long as they have acted
within their terms of reference. This presupposes that areas of responsibility have
been clearly defined and committed to writing so that no misunderstanding can
occur. Many unhappy situations have arisen through failure to do this.
The fact is that no man, however gifted and devoted, is indispensable to the work
of the kingdom. The most gifted leader has limitations that become apparent
only after the complementary gifts of his successor cause the work to develop
along lines for which the former leader was unfitted. It is often discovered that
one who has been in a subordinate position develops totally unsuspected qualities
when the weight of responsibility is thrown upon him.To tell a man he is called to be a leader is the best way of ensuring his spiritual ruin, since in the Christian world ambition is more deadly than any other sin, and, if yielded to, makes a man unprofitable in the ministry. The need is not so much for leaders as for saints and servants, and unless this fact is held steadily in the foreground, the whole idea of leadership training becomes dangerous. Altogether apart from the merits of his movement, Frank Buchman, founder of Moral Rearmament, displayed a real flair for leadership. It was his claim that if he did not train others to do what he had been doing better than he did it, he would have failed.It remains to be said that the training of leaders cannot be done by employing the techniques of mass production. It will require patient and careful instruction and prayerful and personal guidance of the individual over a considerable period. “Disciples are not manufactured wholesale. They are produced one by one, because someone has taken the pains to discipline, to instruct and enlighten, to nurture and train one that is younger.”

When God wants to drill a man
And thrill a man
And skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses
And with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out—
God knows what He’s about!

No comments: