Why You Don’t Need the Holy Spirit to Lead

Great leaders come and go. They inspire us to be better than ourselves. They encourage us to press through even when the going gets tough. But what truly makes a successful leader?


As a pastor, I often am confronted with choices. Do I go this direction, or that direction? Which way should I take those I’m leading? The hard reality, knowing you’ve made the right choice.

In 2012, I made the difficult decision to shut down our youth group ministry at Life Church. It was one of the hardest choices I have had to make as a leader.

I knew there were kids coming up in the fall, but I had no one to take over that summer. I barely had kids over the course of the previous year.

Fast forward six months, two ladies in our congregation asked if they could begin a Sunday School program for our teems. Today, we have a thriving youth ministry on both Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.

So I began asking myself, do you need the Holy Spirit to be an effective leader? I realized that you don’t need the Holy Spirit to lead. So, I wrote down some reasons why you don’t need the Holy Spirit to be a leader.

  • God has given us the power to make decisions on a daily basis (ie. Free-Will).
  • We can collaberate with a team to visualize our end result.
  • We have our goals in mind and follow through.
  • We lead by following our initial gut reaction.
  • Once we see a possitive end result, we then give God praise.

I understand leading this way. It’s easy. It doesn’t take a whole lot of thought–especially if you’re a natural leader–because if you’re good at what we do, you trust that the right decision has been made.

However, there’s a problem with this logic. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great leaders who did not know the Lord. But when we begin taking out the role of the Holy Spirit in our leadership, we find our effectiveness only goes so far.

I want to give you 4 reasons we desperatelly need the Holy Spirit guiding our leadership.

1. We can’t lead God’s people alone. Think about it. How many times did you see Jesus acting on his own authority? Look again… you don’t. Jesus said, I only do what I see my father in heaven doing…”

This is where we take a back-seat and allow God to take the wheel of our lives. The more we trust God is leading us in the right direction, the more our followers will see his leading through the choices we make.

2. He’s our team leader. It’s easy for leaders to have the mindset that the buck stops with us. I know I have made that mistake. I remember getting upset at one of our sound techs for failing to follow through. Instead I should have asked the Lord for guidence and for my team member’s input to solve the issue.

When we begin realizing that the Holy Spirit is our helper and guide, we’ll find when it’s time to step it up and lead, the conditions will be ripe with opportunity.

3. Allow his input to your life goals. I’m a big fan of setting life goals. I often take the time to write down my goals for the coming year. In-fact, I’m alrady thinking about what 2016 has in-store for me.

But goal setting is more than a set-it and leave-it. We need to be on our knees in prayer, asking of the Lord for his guidence in our planning sessions. Make him a part of the process, and you’ll be amazed at where he’ll take you if you only allow him the room.

4. Praise him always! Praise does not come naturally for me. I sit and stir about something that’s really not that important. But when I find something worthy of praise, I get up and praise.

Here’s my question… Should allow the failures or wins in our leadership dictate how we praise?

  • Praise in the good times.
  • Praise in the rough times.
  • Praise in the mornings.
  • Praise in the evenings.
  • Praise in the victories.
  • Prase in the failures.

If that’s all you do, then you’re setting yourself up for success in the future. Success is not by seeing tangible results, success is seeing God work in someone’s heart and seeing them serve the King by using their gifts. That’s why we praise through every area of our leadership.

Question: What are you doing to allow the Holy Spirit more room in your leadership? Share your thoughts below on Facebook or Twitter.


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