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Summary: The Holy Spirit furnishes leaders with problem-solving abilities without bogging them down in daily palavers. "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. We will give our attention to prayer and the

How the Holy Spirit Develops You Into a Leader (Acts 6:2-8)

The Spirit of God led the disciples to avoid getting bogged down in micro-management when they were led to say, "It is not wise for us to devote our energies to waiting on tables, but we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word."

Illustration: Again and again we hear of groups who claim to be doing things in God’s name yet don’t seem to be truly serving Him. For instance, we see cults rising up--groups that are headed by a leader with personal magnetism, who draws people to himself with promises, claiming to have special knowledge from God.

To avoid being carried away by this kind of person, it might be helpful to look closely at the suggestions of Watchman Nee, a Chinese Christian writer. He said God will bless:

1. what He initiates

2. what depends on Him for its success

3. what is done according to His Word

4. what is done for His glory

The work of Paul and Barnabas in their first missionary journey met those guidelines. As we read Acts 13, we see that God initiated it (v.2), the people depended on God (v.3), it was done according to the Word of God (v.5), and God received the glory (v.12).

Whenever we wonder whether some work we hear about is done with God’s blessing, we need to apply this four-step test. It’s the best way to make sure things are done God’s way, not man’s. --JDB

They truly lead who lead by love

And humbly serve the Lord;

Their lives will bear the Spirit’s fruit

And magnify His Word. --DJD

The only leader worth following is the leader who is following Christ. (Our Daily Bread)

1. The Holy Spirit develops genuine trust and obedience in leaders without turning them into unthinking puppets. Paul wrote, "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." (I Cor. 4:2) Ask the Lord to help you grow in greater trust and obedience to the Lord without becoming a mere figurehead.

2. The Holy Spirit builds leaders up in their knowledge, wisdom and understanding without making them arrogant. David wrote, "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way." (Psa. 25:9) Ask the Lord to help you grow in knowledge, wisdom and understanding without become prideful.

3. The Holy Spirit gives leaders courage to make difficult decisions without becoming dictatorial. God told Joshua, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Josh 1:9) Ask the Lord to help you grow in your courage without becoming dictatorial, demanding or autocratic.

4. The Holy Spirit supplies leaders with discipline to accomplish organizational goals without becoming insensitive to people’s needs. Paul wrote, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." (2 Tim. 1:7) Ask God for the discipline to see your goals through to the end without becoming insensitive, callous or indifferent to people’s needs.

5. The Holy Spirit furnishes leaders with problem-solving abilities without bogging them down in daily palavers. Dr. Luke wrote, "The Grecian Jews complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked... So the twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word." (Acts 6:2-4) Ask the Lord to give you special problem-solving abilities without getting bogged down in lower priority ministries.

6. The Holy Spirit assists leaders in raising the funds needed for their ministries without allowing them to become greedy. Paul wrote, "My God will supply all you need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:19) Ask the Lord to help you raise the funds you need for your organization without falling into the temptation of loving money.

7. The Holy Spirit creates in leaders communication skills to teach their people God’s truth without becoming Pharisaical. Jesus said, "The Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13) Ask the Lord to give you special communicational skills to teach your people God’s truth without becoming like the Pharisees who emphasized law more than grace or love.

8. The Holy Spirit grants decisiveness to leaders without allowing them to become too rigid. Many leaders vacillate in their decisions according to the popular opinions of the day. Jesus endured great opposition yet it was said of Him, "As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem." (Luke 9:51) Ask the Lord to help you not waver in your decisions or stance for God’s truth while remaining flexible, adaptable, and compassionate to the concerns of your people.

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