Summary: The spiritual gift of leadership is one of the gifts of Romans 12.
10 27 13 “Diligent Leadership”
Romans 12:8c: “He who leads, with diligence.”
We have been looking at the spiritual gifts of the Body of Christ in Romans 12: prophecy (speaking God’s Word to others), serving (all kinds of special works to others), teaching the Word to others, encouragement (lifting up and comforting others with Christ), giving (excelling in parting with what God has given you to help others in Christ’s name), and today we look at the gift of “leadership”
“S. I. McMillen, in his book "None of These Diseases," tells a story of a young woman who wanted to go to college, but her heart sank when she read the question on the application blank that asked, "Are you a leader?" Being both honest and conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned the application, expecting the worst. To her surprise, she received this letter from the college: "Dear Applicant: A study of the application forms reveals that this year our college will have 1,452 new leaders. We are accepting you because we feel it is imperative that they (the 1,452 new leaders) have at least one follower."
Our verse is Romans 12:8c: “He who leads, with diligence;” There are two important words in our verse: “proistemi” (leads) and spoudç” (with diligence), and they have some similarities in meaning, so took the commonalities in both words and blended them together: “proistemi en spoudç” means “one who is set over others to lead, protect, govern and guard with careful diligence and attention.” Part of the Body receives the Spiritual Gift of Leadership.
The Spiritual Gift of Leadership
Five of the other times that the word for “LEAD” is used, is in connection with Elders and deacons. In the framework of the church these spiritual gifts mostly refer to their roles within the Local Body of Christ. In the context of the Local Church, leaders are to attend to their callings with constant diligence in their work, which is to primarily watch over the flock of God and stand ready to sacrifice personal comfort to look after needs of this Body. They are shepherds who follow the example of the Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus.
1 Timothy 3: 4,5 refers to the calling of elders: “He must be one who manages (proistemi) his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (that’s his calling, his function) 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage (proistemi) his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?” Two chapters later, in 1 Timothy 5:17 we hear: “The elders who rule well (proistemi) are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”
The role of Deacons is mentioned in1Timothy 3:12-15: “Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers (Leaders and governors- proistemi) of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus… 15 I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”
As we have seen in Romans 12, spiritual gifts are from the Holy Spirit and Leaders are not self-appointed; They are called, set aside and equipped by God to serve the Body of Christ. Their gift of leadership is recognized by the local body, in the same way that all of the Spiritual Gifts are recognized by the Body. People do not self-appoint Gifts from God.
And secondly, Leaders are actually slaves to service. Paul was clear about his own calling, as were many other disciples: They are bound to serve God out of gratitude by serving in the Church, the family of God, in a similar fashion to Godly fathers managing and leading their own families. They are bond-servants to the Lord Jesus because He paid the price for them with His own blood. They are bound to serve Him and lead for Him.
Some in the local body of Christ are called to lead with diligence as an example to all. (Romans 12:10-11) “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor ; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Diligent leaders in the Body of Christ are earnest and devoted to their Spirit-given callings and gifts. The Love of God saves us and empowers us to serve!
The Spiritual Gift of Leadership defines Diligence
The Spiritual Gift of Leadership actually defines Diligence. I am not going to mention the verses that would describe diligence, but rather describe some of the characteristics. The Spiritual Gift of Leadership shows itself, not in being delinquent, but in being timely and reliable; Diligence is responsible. It’s appropriate because it is Holy Spirit led and produced. It demonstrates a degree of spiritual maturity and it will persevere and not give up.