March 02, 2022

The Spirit-Led Leader
I realized early on in ministry that I was not smart enough to be the Holy Spirit. The best I can do is to help people listen to what God is doing in their life and then to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to see God’s agenda become a reality.

Written By Robert E Logan

Christian Coaching Pioneer, Strategic Ministry Catalyst, Resource Developer, Empowering Consultant : Logan Leadership

The Coach’s Role

When we are discipling people, I’ve found that almost everybody knows at least one area where they need to grow. We all recognize the need—we just need the support and encouragement to get there. So why should I tell people where God wants them to grow? They can listen to the Holy Spirit for themselves. My role is to help them listen to the Spirit, to ask them good questions that point them toward God and what he may have for them. Even if people don’t know fully where they need to grow, they usually know something and can start there.

A coach’s role is to discover what God is already doing in your client as nurture it.

Listening to the Spirit

It was a life-changing, paradigm-shifting moment for me when I truly recognized the role of the Spirit in our lives. It has profound implications for how we listen to God and others, how we trust God and others, and how we see our own role. The best leaders in ministry today don’t lead from a place of self, but by listening to the voice and direction of God.

Consider: Do you really believe that the Holy Spirit can speak to people? To you? To others? Regardless of our different theologies, we can all agree that the Spirit communicates with everyone, although we may differ on how exactly he does that. All believers have the capacity to hear from God. If that’s true, it changes everything.

Spirit-led leader listening to the Holy Spirit

Following Jesus’ Example

The world sees as leaders those who are full of confidence in themselves, who know the right answers, who always know what to do in every situation. Jesus’ view—and the example he sets—of leadership is much different. He models a leadership that relies heavily on God the Father and the Holy Spirit. We see him praying for his disciples, discerning who to invest in, and figuring out where to go next. “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19). It’s a posture of humility.

Powerful Leadership

Our being in cooperation with what God is doing in the lives of other people is what can truly make our leadership powerful—not our own skills or insights. As Henry Blackaby has written, “Find out where God is working and join him there.”

Take this approach even in your strategic planning: staying connected to Jesus, listening for the voice of the Spirit, discerning our next step, then looking around and listening again. We might be able to see clearly the end goal where we need to go, but we often need to hear from God step by step how to get there. Do this together with others on our team, listening to God together.

Spirit-led Leadership Simplified

Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit in all aspects of life: how he wants you to grow next, who he wants you to invest in, where he wants you to focus your energy. And trust that God is working in others too. Help them learn to listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit. This mutual leaning on the Spirit should be the default posture for our leadership, our discipling relationships, the way we are helping others develop, and our own personal life.

If it is not, we become the branch that is no longer connected to the vine, believing we can lead with no nutrients and no energy source. As Jesus said, “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4).

Note: A version of this entry first appeared on Christianity Today.

Not sure where your place is in ministry? Start here.

 What do you uniquely bring to the table? It might be different than it was a few years ago.

Considering a new ministry opportunity?

How many times have you heard leaders share that they are considering a “new ministry” opportunity? How to help with discernment surrounding transitions.

6 Steps to Responsible Money Management

Money is a touchy subject. But dreams need to be financed so it’s a topic that comes up regularly in coaching conversations. Here’s how to help your client’s align their finances with their goals.

Drop the tasks that are holding you back

Are you feeling like your wheels are spinning but you’re not going anywhere? It sure is hard to stay motivated when you aren’t seeing results. It’s time to examine and drop the tasks that are holding you back. 

6 reasons coaching is the best investment

Things are different now—and that make coaching more important than ever. Here are a few reasons why coaching may be your best investment in 2023. 

Sharpen Your Coaching Skills in 2023

If the last few years have taught you anything, it’s that adaptation is necessary and good. Finding the best ways to support people and teams in their personal and ministry development is an ongoing, life-long process. 

Are you running out of time?

You have so much you want to do but where can you find the time? Here are six things you can do to find the time to accomplish what you really want to do.

5 Principles for Empowered Small Groups

Are you struggling to find the right small group curriculum? There are a lot of great programs out there and you may have even tried some but if they just aren’t fitting your context or meeting your needs—what do you do then?

Coaching spiritual growth

There are ministries and even bible studies filled with Christians who can’t answer the question, “What is God doing in your life?” How can you help them jumpstart into renewed spiritual growth?

Coaching Groups that Grow Disciples

You see the same people at church doing the same things over and over again. They are faithful but they aren’t really becoming more like Jesus. How can you as a coach help Christians break out of a spiritual growth plateau?