Understanding Church Leadership 12

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 By Pastor Raphael Adegoke 

6Woe to you, O land whose king is a youth, and whose princes feast in the morning. 17Blessed are you, O land whose king is a son of nobles, and whose princes feast at the proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness. (Eccl 10: 16-17)

It is always a good thing to know and serve the Lord. May the joy of serving Him be our lot in the name of Jesus! Last Tuesday, we considered awareness as one of the attributes of a servant-leader and its place in servant-leadership, but today, we shall be considering persuasion which is another attribute every servant-leader must possess.

In understanding how persuasion works in our servant-leadership in the Lord, there is a need for us to flash back and reflect on the differences between secular leadership and spiritual leadership discussed earlier in the series. This is needed because secular definitions of words and the principles behind words often differ from the biblical or spiritual definitions of words and the principles behind them.

Secularly, persuasion is a literary technique that writers use to present their ideas through reason and logic, in order to influence the audience. It is an art of effective speaking and writing in which writers make their opinions believable to the audience through logic, by invoking emotions, and by proving their own credibility. This is not the case when it comes to spiritual leadership.

Spiritually, persuasion is a spiritual act of divinely inspiring a people to believe and agree with the programme of God for them and follow through to a spiritually acceptable conclusion. This is where many leaders in the Church actually get it wrong. We often believe in our ability to “sweet talk” people into doing things they would not naturally do. This is nothing, but the practice of witchcraft or charismatic seduction. If we will be sincere to ourselves, there is no form of worldly persuasion being applied in the Church that would not lead to sin. It is either a leader lies or hypes his Words.  “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to control his whole body. 3When we put bits into the mouths of the horses to make them obey us, we can guide the whole animal”(James :2-3)

True leaders who have mastered the act of spiritual persuasion allow the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to firstly work on the people’s hearts to make sure it is free of ulterior motives and then allow Him work through their mouth. These leaders try as much as possible as not to hype or add to anything, but will rather make it pure and free of earthly emotions as much as possible. They say it from a pure conscience while they allow the Holy Spirit carry out the work of convictions in the hearts of the people so that whatever conclusion arrived at will be that which is acceptable and hallowed by God.

Leaders that have mastered the art of spiritual persuasion don’t look at the results they generate in the short run, but in the long run. Spiritual persuasion may not generate quick results like that of secular persuasion, but it will surely generate divinely acceptable, lasting and enduring results. Such results also attract eternal rewards. Meanwhile, any form of secular persuasion presented as spiritual persuasion attracts divine punishment and will ultimately lead to forfeiture of eternal rewards. So, this is a clarion call for leaders to go back to true spiritual persuasion.

Pastor Raphael Adegoke is a Pastor in Christ Apostolic Church (Nigeria & Overseas) and a Lecturer in Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary.

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