At times these posts on spiritual leadership qualities have been challenging because they are, in effect, what is the calling of anyone who follows Jesus (i.e., humility, courage, discipline). The qualities of integrity and sincerity is another one of those qualities that should be evident in a Christ-follower. Without integrity and sincerity, in what measure can we rightly say we follow Jesus? It is important, however, that while these qualities should be evinced in all disciples of Jesus, it is in the leader that they ought be pronounced.
As pertains to leadership, I have often bought into the Serpent’s lie that tries to convince me that revealing weakness will cause people to doubt my ability to lead. That is, if people know that I fail, then they won’t want to follow. This would be true if you were seeking to build a kingdom around you and your ability.
As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus, however, we are ministers of a Gospel that saves not just imperfect people, but those who are self0righteous and licentious. Even so now, though declared righteous before God’s tribunal upon Christ’s perfect obedience, I am still being renovated in the inner man. I still have selfishness and pride and impatience and one-upsmanship that not only lingers in my soul, but rages to take me over. Yes, this Gospel is greater even than this work in progress.
I have just finished Paul Tripp’s Dangerous Calling and am convinced, now more than ever, the need for integrity and transparency for the leader is great. Those who follow me must not expect a perfect man. For there is only one Perfect Man. Too many times, in an effort to cloak our inadequacies, leaders have pretended to have it all together (marriage, parenting, devotional life). . .as a result, they do not lean on the provision of their brothers and sisters. They isolate themselves and their island gets flooded with sin and condemnation and the little kingdom is drowned.
May spiritual leaders know that they are called to admit their faults and point to the One who gives them hope that, though not yet saved from our selfishness, in Christ we await a Day when we all be set free! We point toward a Leader who, though in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be used for his advantage (Phil 2.5-7).