If you read through the book of Acts, you will see how vital it is for the mission of the church to have Spirit-filled leaders. But most of us doubt we can lead like Peter, John, Stephen and Philip. We don’t see “signs and wonders” happening around us like they did around them. But there’s more to the Spirit’s empowering presence than what we commonly identify as “spectacular.” In fact, these three marks go against much of what we’ve come to expect from leaders.
1. They deal with conflict directly
If ever there was a sign that the Spirit resides within us, it is this. For many of us, our natural tendency is to avoid conflict. Some of us even try to hide behind phrases that sound spiritual, “Oh, well, I’m just showing them grace” or “We’re a loving community.” But that’s not from the Spirit. It’s not kindness, it’s cowardice. Spirit-filled leaders confront. They do it in love. They’re not jerks about it. They’re not trying to prove a point, but they tell the truth.
2. They apply God’s truth specifically
You know you are talking to a Spirit-filled leader because they point you to the Bible when you need direction and clarity. Spirit-filled leaders don’t just rely on their own experience. They always test their intuitions against Scripture. Spirit-filled leaders say, “My authority doesn’t come from my experience, my authority comes from God through Scripture.” They don’t just consider what’s practical, expedient, or even popular when making decisions.
3. They share leaders generously
If the church is going to multiply, leaders need to multiply. If you are a Spirit-filled leader, you’re going to influence people. You’re going to attract followers. People will come to you to learn and grow. But at some point, they need to leave. They need to lead somewhere else. Are you going to encourage that process or resist it? Most of us resist it because we get wrapped up in what God is doing “right here” and don’t consider what He wants to do “over there.”
If you’re a follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit wants you to become a leader. The good news is He stands by ready to empower you in every situation. He wants to fill you with courage, wisdom, and generosity just like he did with Peter, John, Stephen, and Philip. Submit to His leadership and see what happens!