Sermon Illustrations


J. Oswald Sanders in his classic “Spiritual Leadership” believes that leaders are both born and made. “While conversion does not normally make leaders of people who would never become such otherwise, Church history teaches that in the hour of full surrender the Holy Spirit sometimes releases gifts and qualities that have long remained latent and dormant. It is the prerogative of the Spirit to bestow spiritual gifts which greatly enhances the leadership potential of the recipient” (page 21).

But then Sanders make this comment which comes closer to my thinking: “Spiritual leadership and authority cannot be explained solely on the grounds of natural ability is strikingly exemplified in the life of St. Francis of Assisi. On one occasion Brother Masseo, looking earnestly at Francis, began to say: ‘Why thee? Why thee?’ He repeated it again and again as if to mock him.

‘What are you saying?’ cried Francis at last.

‘I am saying that everybody follows thee, everyone desires to see thee, hear thee, obey thee, and yet for all that, thou art neither beautiful, nor learned, nor of noble family. Whence comes it that it should be thee whom the world desires to follow?’

When Francis heard these words, he was filled with joy, raised his eyes to heaven and, after remaining a long time absorbed in contemplation, knelt praising and blessing God with extraordinary fervor. Then he turned to Brother Masseo:

‘Thou wishes to know? It is because the eyes of the Most High have willed it so. He continually watches the good and the wicked, and as His most holy eyes have not found among sinners any smaller man, nor any more insufficient and sinful, therefore He has chosen me to accomplish the marvelous work which God hath undertaken; He chose me because He could find none more worthless, and He wished to confound the nobility and grandeur, the strength, the beauty and the learning of this world’” (page 23).

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media

Will You Stand
PowerPoint Template
Who Is Your Teacher
PowerPoint Template
Vision Leadership
PowerPoint Template