Spirit-Led, Relational Leadership
At the Local Leaders’ Conferences this year we considered how good leadership is relational leadership.
In fact, good leadership thrives on good relationships; relationships in which the fruit of the Spirit is growing and maturing.
From Galatians 5:13-26 we noticed the following four truths about the fruit of the Spirit:
Relational not Individual
Or, to put it another way, is horizontal not vertical.
The message of Galatians is that a right theology of justification by faith will be seen in loving relationships among God’s people. The fruit of justification is “faith expressing itself in love” (Galatians 5:6).
The fruit of the Spirit only operates in the context of relationships. The fruit does not exist in isolation from other believers. Each aspect of the fruit is about how we relate to each other.
Supernatural not Natural
The devil can counterfeit spiritual gifts, but he cannot duplicate the fruit of the Spirit.
The internal irreconcilable conflict between our flesh and the Spirit is evidence of our being justified through faith (Galatians 3:2). Any evidence of the Spirit’s beautiful fruit in our lives is a miracle of grace.
Singular not Plural
“The fruit of the Spirit is” – not “are”.
It is not a case of “pick and mix” the ones we like best. Each aspect of the fruit is an essential part of the package. Each is an outworking of true love for others.
If they were to be listed in a column and added up like an arithmetical sum, the answer would be the perfect character of our Lord Jesus.
Essential not Optional
No one can be an effective pastor-teacher without a Spirit-given gift to teach and preach God’s Word.
Neither can anyone be an effective pastor-teacher without the fruit of the Spirit; fruit that should shape every relationship, interaction and decision.
All of which is why, according to Galatians 5, we need to live by the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, and keep in step with the Spirit.
There are only two ways to live and, therefore, only two ways to lead: either in step with the flesh or in step with the Spirit. Leading in step with the flesh is easy - it is doing what comes naturally and causing great harm. Leading by the Spirit calls for active dependence and produces good fruit.
A series of short video-based studies on how each aspect of the fruit of the Spirit relates to leadership in the local church have been prepared for use by local leadership teams to help you discuss and explore more.