Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders is a classic book, one of the greatest leadership books in print today. It’s depth and breadth of biblical wisdom and practical application are unmatched in a single volume. What follows is the second installment of a two part post sharing 40 of the book’s best quotes. You can find part 1 here. I’m not giving page numbers because there should be no cheating to look these up in context. Just read the whole book. You won’t regret it.
21. The person who is impatient with weakness will be ineffective in his leadership. The evidence of our strength lies not in in the distance that separates us from the other runners but in our closure with them, our slower pace for their sakes, our helping them pick up and cross the line.
22. Leaders must draw the best out of people, and friendship does that far better than prolonged argument or mere logic.
23. When people who lack spiritual fitness are elected to leadership, He quietly withdraws and leaves them to implement their own policies according to their own standards, but without His aid. The inevitable result is an unspiritual administration.
24. Christians everywhere have undiscovered and unused spiritual gifts. The leader must help bring those gifts into the service of the kingdom, to develop them, to marshal their power. Spirituality alone does not make a leader; natural gifts and those given by God must be there too.
25. People who are skeptical of prayer’s validity and power are usually those who do not practice it seriously or fail to obey when God reveals His will. We cannot learn about praying except by praying. No philosophy has ever taught a soul to pray. The intellectual problems associated with prayer are met in the joy of answered prayer and closer fellowship to God.
26. As Jesus dealt with sin’s cause rather than effect, so the spiritual leader should adopt the same method in prayer.
27. A leader will seldom say “I don’t have time.” Such an excuse is usually the refuge of a small-minded and inefficient person.
28. Spiritual leaders of every generation will have a consuming passion to know the Word of God through diligent study and the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
29. If a man is known by the company he keeps, so also his character is revealed in the books he reads.
30. Leaders should always cut a channel between reading and speaking and writing, so that others derive benefit, pleasure, and inspiration.
31. Resist the idea of “leadership from the rear.” True leadership is always out front.
32. Achievement is bought on the time-payment plan, with a new installment required every day.
33. The true leader is concerned primarily with the welfare of others, not with his own comfort or prestige.
34. More failures come from an excess of caution than from bold experiments with new ideas.
35. A true leader steps forward in order to face baffling circumstances and complex problems.
36. Successful leaders have learned that no failure is final, whether his own failure or someone else’s. No one is perfect, and we cannot be right all the time. Failures and even feelings of inadequacy can provoke humility and serve to remind a leader who is really in charge.
37. There is no virtue in doing more than our fair share of the work.
38. Indeed, no man, however gifted and devoted is indispensable to the work of the kingdom.
39. Only one leader holds office forever, no successor is needed for Him.
40. Willingness to concede error and to defer to the judgment of one’s peers increases one’s influence rather than diminishes it.