By Katie Pearson
“Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” 2 Timothy 1:13-14
Love for those we mentor is not just felt; it is lived. Leading with love is not natural; it is supernatural and only possible because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Our mentor relationships must always flow from the love that we receive daily from our close connection with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Without God’s help, we will lead from our brokenness and humanity. Striving in our own strength results in spiritual lethargy and physical burnout.
How can we continue to receive the love that is required to fulfill our leadership callings? We stay intentionally and unswervingly connected to its source. We spend as much time reading our Bibles for our own growth as we spend preparing to teach. We pray with fewer requests and more questions to receive wisdom and discernment. We surround ourselves with a mature and trustworthy group of spiritual friends and leaders who have authority and permission to speak truth into our lives. We can add many other disciplines to the essentials, but the point is that it requires time and effort to maintain a robust faith, supported by a pure heart and the mind of Christ.
Leaders in the faith cannot and should not spend all their time serving, despite the many external pressures that often accompany ministry and family life. While it’s important to add time with the Lord, it’s equally important to avoid worldly practices and temptations. This isn’t to say that we don’t participate in society and have friends and activities that extend beyond our Christian circles. As leaders, God can use our testimony to shine light on those watching from the outside. This is yet another reason to invest in cultivating spiritual disciplines infused with the light of Christ and protected from distractions like “vain discussion” (1 Timothy 1:6) or “foolish, ignorant controversies” (2 Timothy 2:23).
Instead, be steeped in God’s love so you can be a servant leader and light bearer in your circles of influence.
Reflection: What distracts you from spending time with God? Which of the three disciplines above (personal time in the Word, prayer, spiritual community) are you lacking? Make a commitment today to return to your first love—in heart, soul, mind, and strength. Ask God to make you a vessel of heavenly light wherever he leads you. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian small group Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!
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