The Making of a Leader

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22 September 2015

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Leadership is a virtue that comes with different obligations in life. Leading any organisation that comprises of people with different believes is not an easy task, therefore it calls for extra life experiences both positive and negative challenge will mould one to be that “Perfect” leader living by the doctrine of that respective social leading forum. What does it take for one to be a good leader in whatever category of leadership he/she has decided to take part in leading? Different scholars have different approaches of answering the above mentioned questions. Some would go a notch higher and use some statistical performance of the already existing leaders in the various scopes of life to make conclusion on the criterion of selecting the best/perfect leader1.

Being a spiritual leader can prove to be different from other aspects since there are lots of dynamics that are involved. “Leadership is a dynamic process in which man or woman with God-given influences a specific group of God’s people towards His purpose for the group.”2 Effectively ministering spiritually need to flow out of one’s being it should not look like it is being forced from within that leader. To become a leader that you are deemed to be by virtue of your training in the leadership journey you ought to be serious about the co-values of leadership as outlined by the book3.

“Leaders, or those emerging as leaders, need a road map to point out where God will lead them as He develops their gifts. Each journey is unique, but a map helps a person organize what is happening as God works, anticipate the future, understand the past, and respond to God’s leading”4 the book the making of a leader points out the expected protocol that one is bound to have gone through to reach self-actualization in leadership.

Developing as leader in the light of God needs a clean life full of illustrative deeds, showing that you as leader you receive direction to lead from God. Accessing your inner-life development is paramount. You as a leader you need to do some cross-checking of your faith to come with a clear direction in Christ as a spiritual leader you are deemed to be. With inner-life development, integrity check is vital, one has to occasionally be submissive to God’s test in evaluating their performance as a leaders. Temptations are available to test the leader’s conviction a leader, especially a spiritual leader should not be afraid of temptations as they make the leader strong in faith and also prove that God is the one giving them a sense of direction in the role they are performing5.

Maturity in the ministry requires a spiritual leader to developed undoubted faithfulness in their leadership obligations. It is through faith that God uses to measure maturity ministry. Briefly a leader should be prepared to navigate through some stages in the process of maturing in the ministry as illustrated; in the inception stage a leader is bound to be faced with challenges as they enter the ministry. Secondly, development of skills and receiving of spiritual gifts enhances the leader’s effectiveness. Through training process the spiritual leader will learn methods of relating with those he/she is supposed to lead in the future or they are leading currently, in simple understanding this will be referred to as relational learning. By “discernment”6 God is able to present virtues that pleases Him in leadership that the leader who is in making can emulate to become the leader that God wants them to be.


        I did not know that being a spiritual leader could be challenging just like being a political leader. All along I have known that a spiritual leader would be having the best moments in leading the believers, challenges are found across any field of leadership. After admission in college, immediately I decided to join a club. Since I was a believer I decided to join the Christian Union (CU). My desire to show interests to the rest of the members how eager I was ready to be given an opportunity to lead was evident to the rest of the club members, unfortunately, the period of choosing new leading team was already over, the only option remaining was to hold on till the next period of choosing leaders.

It was the following year that I managed to be chosen as the ministry coordinator in our CU club. I was eager to show my prowess and prove that indeed I was the best spiritual leader to whom the best spiritual leaders should have originated from (emulated). Not until we planned to go out for a community outreach in the neighbouring community. The main reason was to clean up garbage within the local town. The group meet early as usual, and all gathered at the agreed place. The worst time of my spiritual leader came at that point when one of our team mate used a vulgar language when I asked her to help carry a fellow brother lift a garbage contain “I did not come here to carry garbage containers, think before you talk!” These words pierced me, but since I was a leader I could not reduce myself to argue with her I did by example, carrying the garbage container. After some time elapsed she realized her mistake and came to apologize.


        Generally Dr J. Robert Clinton in his book has done marvellously in trying to give out a clear direction that spiritual leaders and the ministry leaders need to follow to be successful in the endeavours. Clinton has bravely broken down all the possible stages that a leader in making should be keen of when in the line of executing responsibilities pertaining to their calling. Despite all the attempts that Clinton made to bring out this steps of leader development (making) there are some few aspects that were not clarified in the text.

The highlighted stages of the making of a leader fail to pick out when someone would really feel that they are working out that calling from God to execute His responsibilities bestowed to them. The current society that we are living in we have seen cases of young children who have risen to be potential ministry leaders, they have lead these ministries to achieving various objectives as pertained to the glory of God. As proved in the text, some of those being trained to become Ministry leaders have ended up giving up on the way due to the rigorous processes involved and the heavy commitments involved in the entire period7.

An assumption from the text is that only few people are liable in becoming leaders in the ministry. Clinton has placed this book in the context which the reader would easily make a decision of not taking the initiative to spend their time to learning spiritual/ministry leadership despite of their desire. This is evident from the perspective of time taken for the course completion that is becoming a spiritual/ministry leader.

Action plan

        “The Making of a Leader” book has instilled some leadership qualities that I would greatly mind to implement in my life as a leader in my future endeavours. Since the book illustrates well all the expectations that one as a leader need to emulated so that one can turn out to be the great leader in his/her leadership context may it be in the field of politics or spiritual leadership positions. In whatever leadership capacity, one should understand that there stages that one is likely to follow to become successful in their leading position. A good leader is seen by the quality of leadership that they depict within their capacity.

Leading in the limelight of God is the most important thing one has to consider. God offers on with the opportunity to develop their skills through presenting them with the necessary challenges of hardening their faith in Him and also humility. These aspects can only be evident in a leader who constantly seeks guidance from God to lead in every capacity. A well trained leader understands what is expected of her/him from the group that he/she is supposed to lead.

Guidance has been greatly highlighted in the book as a process of seeking direction in your leading positions. It has been mentioned that one cannot weak up one night and become that “perfect” leader they want to be, rather they must be ready to be subjected to various periods of trainings involving different challenges. Through the clear guidance of God one should not be afraid to take the leading position. To make my leadership practical and worth emulating by others, I have to let God be the source of my spiritual guidance and also seek some guidance from my spiritual leaders from various leading positions in the ministry. Through, constant consultations, I will be able to deliver well to my group that I will be ministering8.

Learning how to solve conflict within your ministry members is a vital aspect that a spiritual leader need to have. According to Clinton “conflict management skills are especially in the middle and the later ministry development. Other skills on which God concentrates in training stage comprises of word skills, Bible study methods and Bible communication skills” coupled with the above mentioned aspects of leadership one is bound to realize their spiritual gifts and then use them appropriately. My target is to become a successful ministry leader, within the limelight of proper conflict management. People more than two have different ideologies, coming up with a common decision there is supposed to be a strong leader who will control the other members. I need to learn the various spiritual conflict management skills that exist and also realize my other spiritual gift to incorporate them in leading the group members of the ministry.

As a way of motivating my ministry group members, it will be my personal obligation to seek clear direction from God. Through challenges that my team will be faced with, as a way of testing our faith and patience in letting the will of God to reign, seeking direction is of utmost importance. My group may tend to lose faith as they might be going through the challenges of faith strengthening, my duty as their leader will be to seek the intervention from God to give us the grace to go through the challenges without sliding back. When a leader is strong, this also motivates the people that he/she is leading. Therefore, I will be constantly seeking that grace to keep us going. In summary we are bound to be patient in learning to become the leaders that God wants us to be, though the process may be rigorous.


Abramson, Mark A. Leaders. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.

Barreto, Eric D. Reading Theologically: Foundations for Learning. P. 102

Clinton, J. Robert. The Making of a Leader. Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 1988. P. 12

Ibd, p. 22-35

Ibd, p. 52-63

Ibd, p. 95

Smith, Huston, and Phil Cousineau. And Live Rejoicing: Chapters from a Charmed Life : Personal Encounters with Spiritual Mavericks, Remarkable Seekers, and the World’s Great Religious Leaders. Novato, Calif.: New World Library, 2012.

Goldman, Elizabeth. Believers: Spiritual Leaders of the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. P. 332


Abramson, Mark A. Leaders. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.

Barreto, Eric D. Reading Theologically: Foundations for Learning.

Clinton, J. Robert. The Making of a Leader. Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 1988.

Farley, Rick. God’s Standard-Bearer the True Meaasure of a Leader. Shippensburg: Destiny Image, 2011.

Goldman, Elizabeth. Believers: Spiritual Leaders of the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Smith, Huston, and Phil Cousineau. And Live Rejoicing: Chapters from a Charmed Life : Personal Encounters with Spiritual Mavericks, Remarkable Seekers, and the World’s Great Religious Leaders. Novato, Calif.: New World Library, 2012.

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"The Making of a Leader" StudyScroll, Sep 22, 2015.

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