In one of the spiritual gifts lists, Romans 12:8, the apostle Paul essentially says, "If you have the spiritual gift of leadership, lead with it, and lead with all diligence." I've come up with a partial list of what spiritually gifted leaders do if they develop and use their leadership gifts.
1. Leaders cast a God-honoring vision.
Spiritually gifted leaders live in such a way that God invariably ignites within their hearts a compelling idea, a heartfelt yearning for some part of God's kingdom to advance. They start thinking about it, dreaming about it, and praying about it. Pretty soon, they start talking about it. They have lunch with someone and say, "Could you imagine what this part of the kingdom would be like if ?"
I took the board of directors at Willow Creek to some inner-city ministries that we're funding and providing volunteer help for. We were in an empty warehouse; it must have been 95 degrees. The humidity was incredible. But the person leading this ministry stood and said, "Imagine that corner of this warehouse filled with electrical supplies. A skilled worker from a church could stop here, pick up all the supplies he or she needs, then go over to the home of someone in need and fix the wiring.
"Imagine pallets stacked high with drywall compound. Whenever there are walls to be patched in the home of someone who can't afford to fix them, a volunteer could stop here to pick up the drywall and then go fix the holes.
"Imagine a pallet over there stacked high with blankets. In the winter, when the heat in people's apartments doesn't work, we could pass out blankets."
I was reaching for my wallet! That is vision casting.
If you have the gift of leadership, God ignites in your heart a vision. You cannot not talk about it.
There is so much power released when leaders start casting a godly vision. It draws people out of the woodwork. It gets bored spectators out onto the playing field.
2. Leaders gather and align people for the achievement of the vision.
Spiritually gifted leaders have that God-given capacity to attract, challenge, and persuade people. Then they assist them in finding their niche in the achievement of the vision.
Spiritually gifted leaders are almost shameless in the boldness with which they approach people. They can't understand why anyone isn't already on board with them. People catch their enthusiasm.
Next, the leader says, "I'm going to find a role that fits who you are. You're going to grow and develop as an individual while all of us grow together in the achievement of the vision. This is a win-win deal."
Leaders are not users of people. Leaders are those who cast a vision until they find those who want to join with that vision. Then the leader commits to developing that person while together they achieve their dream. That kind of synergy and unity and teamwork is powerful.
3. Leaders can motivate their co-workers.
Motivation makes work fun. It can make thankless tasks exciting. It can make beaten-down people feel renewed and rejuvenated. People with the spiritual gift of leadership have a God-given ability to know what to say and how to inspire different people.
I had an eighth-grade basketball coach who knew how to inspire me. I went to North Christian Grade School; on the other side of town was South Christian Grade School. We wanted to beat the stuffing out of those Christians on the other side of town.
I was just a little guy; my trunks came up to my armpits. In an important game, we were behind by a few points. As we players were walking back on the court after a timeout, the coach encouraged us, "Okay, let's go get 'em."