From the Editor
One of the most important aspects of developing leaders cannot be programmed: How do you develop leaders spiritually? How do you help people grow in their awe of God and love for people?
Oswald Chambers once explained that the way we grow in holiness is to be around people more holy than ourselves. We hear their stray comments and absorb their judgment of what's important. We listen to their prayers and find that God is bigger than we'd thought.
That's the reason few seminars help with developing spiritual leaders: the process can be aided but not rushed. It requires holy people, and time. No one has yet found a shortcut to the process: (a) live a godly life and (b) let potential leaders rub shoulders with you.
I believe most pastors do this instinctively and well. But maybe they don't give themselves enough credit for it, for the process often seems haphazard. Developing a leader spiritually may happen in a brief, unplanned hallway conversation. A prayer over the phone. The simple thank-you, the short note. In such daily things, leaders' spirits are grown.
During college, I worked as an intern on a church staff. The pastor needed to drive seventy-five miles to a metropolitan hospital to visit a church member; he took me along. As we rolled through central Maryland, I confessed something bothering me: "A good friend of mine just turned away from the Lord."
Terry said simply, "In the Christian life, you're going to see a lot of people come and go, Kevin."
He said it matter-of-factly, with a quiet resolve underneath. I sensed he had determined to follow Christ no matter who abandoned the faith. That taught me I could handle this loss and press on. That's an essential lesson for any spiritual leader (2 Tim. 4:10), yet it hadn't come on a chalkboard.
At Leadership, someone who develops spiritual leaders well is Harold Myra, our founding publisher. Though president of Christianity Today International, Harold has a touch of shyness common to writers, and he's not afraid to answer a question, "I don't know."
Without trying to, Harold has taught me and others the importance of prayer. A mutual friend told me, "I used to come in early, around 7 o'clock in the morning, and Harold's car would already be in the lot. As I'd pass his office and glimpse through his office door, he'd be praying. That taught me something. I pray more for our work now."
Or I think of ways my current pastor has developed me spiritually. Several years ago, he used to gather a group of leaders for training and prayer. The training sessions were interesting, but I remember most the Saturday he said, "I believe that during this time of prayer, we should all prostrate ourselves before the Lord." People looked around, nervous. I had never prayed in this position (though clearly a biblical one) before.
But we gradually spread out across the sanctuary, laid on our faces, and prayed. My muscles became stiff, but my spirit became soft, and I learned something ...