Reluctant Leaders

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15 January, 2023




Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit. Matthew 15:14

The true and safe leader is likely to be the one who has no desire to lead but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Spirit and the press of the external situation. Such were Moses, David and the Old Testament prophets; and I think there was hardly a great Christian leader from Paul to this present day but was drafted by the Holy Spirit for the task and commissioned by the Lord of the Church to fill a position he had little natural heart for.

I believe that it might be accepted as a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader. The Church of the Firstborn is no place for the demagogue or the petty religious dictator.

The true leader will have no wish to lord it over God’s heritage, but will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing and altogether as ready to follow as to lead when the Spirit makes it plain to him that a wiser and more gifted man than himself has appeared.

It is undoubtedly true, as I have said so often, that the church is languishing not for leaders but for the right kind of leaders; for the wrong kind is worse than none at all. Better to stand still than to follow a blind man over a precipice. History will show that the church has prospered most when blessed with strong leaders and suffered the greatest decline when her leaders were weak and time serving.

The sheep rarely go much farther than the Shepherd.

That is why unqualified democracy is not good for a church unless every voting member is full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. To put the work of the church in the hands of the group is to exchange one leader for many; and if the group is composed of carnal professors it is to exchange one weak leader for a number of bad ones. One hundred blind men cannot see any better than one.


It is one thing to discern and obey God's will for yourself. It is quite another to have the responsibility of leading large numbers of people. Who would ever desire such a heavy load? Sometimes it is those who are not gifted by the Spirit or closely following the Lord themselves. God-gifted leaders are often reluctant to lead.


Father, give us leaders gifted by You and filled with Your Spirit. Then give us the good sense to recognize and follow them as they follow You.