A Pentecostal leader must take time to understand his or her spiritual gifts, personality, and strengths, making self-evaluation a priority. This self-discovery does not mean that the leader is no longer relying on the Holy Spirit. Actually, the Apostle Paul encouraged leaders to examine themselves. Paul instructed the believers in Corinth to practice self-examination before they took communion. They were to examine their lives for any wrongful sin. Paul told the Roman believers, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3) Leaders must look at themselves with sober, honest judgment and learn to understand the type of leaders they are. Every leader is unique and has an individual personality. Paul exhorts, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:4-8)
A Pentecostal leader must understand what gifts and strengths he or she has, and then rely on the Holy Spirit to help exercise those gifts diligently and cheerfully. One question the leader needs to raise is, “Are there any ministries that I am presently involved in that I am not gifted in?”
I enjoy watching the television show, “American Idol.” Thousands of contestants enroll for this talent search, believing they are the next “American Idol,” when in reality they lack musical ability. Some go away angry and upset after the judges have given constructive criticism, trying to let them know that they cannot sing. Similarly, a Pentecostal leader must look at what the Apostle Paul was saying, and if their gift is not prophesying, then they should not prophesy. If not serving, they should not serve. If a leader cannot teach, then they should not teach. Rather, they should discover their gifts and function in them with all of their heart, mind, and strength.
Leaders who have great strengths also have great weaknesses. Periodically believers receive aid from the Holy Spirit to compensate for their faults. Many times Christians may not know what to pray, and yet the Holy Spirit intercedes for them. Scripture does not say exactly how and when the Holy Spirit intercedes, but Romans 8:26 states, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” I am thankful for the many times when I did not know how to pray or how to lead, but I could pray in my heavenly tongue. Within minutes, I would have the answer as to how to move forward.
Pentecostals are often characterized for the vocal gifts of the Spirit, which includes speaking in tongues, interpretation, and prophecy. Many think that the Holy Spirit only uses these gifts during a church worship gathering. R. L. Brandt wrote a book in the late 1980s entitled, Gifts for the Marketplace. His book challenged leaders to understand how the gifts of the Holy Spirit have their place in the market place and not only for corporate gatherings. The Church needs to rediscover how to operate in spiritual gifts in the market place as it moves ahead on this divine mission.
I want to encourage you to make every effort toward self-leadership. Self-leadership begins with understanding the kind of leader God has made you to be. You are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
What steps are you taking for self-leadership?
Have you taken a personality profile test? If so what did you learn about yourself?
Have you taken a spiritual gifts and strengths test? If so what did you learn about yourself?
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