I was on my way to the airport recently when the pastor who was driving me began to ask some serious questions. I was tired. It was the end of two weeks of ministry. And, I was facing two full days of airport layovers and flights. However, his questions were important and I worked hard to stay focused and answer them as best I could.
He asked me what his focus should be with his leaders. I had spent half a day with them earlier and had been asked to speak on “Intimacy with God.” It had been a powerful morning session of worship, teaching, and prophetic ministry. Then a few hours of fellowship over a late restaurant lunch. So, I had some idea of who the leaders were and where they were at spiritually. My answer: That there was a need to work on character.
Often we have the gifts of the Spirit flowing, we have decent teachings, we have great worship, and the numbers attending can be substantial and enough to have a dynamic movement and growth. However, all believers, especially leaders, need to focus on their character.
The base of character in one’s life is the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23. So, we need to focus on the fruit of the Spirit and see these aspects of one’s character grow and mature.
However, we also need to focus on a number of other “character traits” as seen in daily life… an examination of which would help him, as the senior leader, know the nature of the character of each of his leaders…
1> Fruitfulness – Does the person, by their lifestyle and testimony, see people come to Christ on a regular basis.
2> Faith – What is the person believing for. What are they believing God for that is impossible if God does not move on their behalf. Matthew 10:29 speaks of personal faith and applying one’s faith towards something.
3> Faithful – Is the person faithful to the call as a disciple and to the ministry they are fulfilling. Most importantly, are they faithful in their attendance at the local church where they are leaders.
4> Finances – Paul tells Timothy to pick men who are of good reputation inside and outside the local church. If a leader is not handling their finances correctly and has a bad reputation with local businesses and banks then this is a clear character issue as they are living beyond their means. The leaders, as with all true disciples, should also be tithing to the local church and giving over and above the tithe.
5> Friends – Who are their friends? Bad company corrupts good morals the Book of Proverbs states. So, to know what a person is like you should see who they consider as friends and who they hang out with when they have down time.
6> Fun – What does the person do for fun? How a person entertains themselves in their off time speaks loudly to their character.
7> Family – Are there good relationships within the family? Do they have a decent relationship with their family members – children, wife, and other relatives? If those closest to you do not love and respect you then there is an issue.
These are all additions to the first mentioned character issue – the fruit of the Spirit.
So, I examine or look for these 8 things when determining character. This is especially true regarding someone you are thinking of placing into leadership. However, all believers should focus on character issues. We become so focused on skills, abilities, giftings, and callings that we often fail to focus on those things which are more basic and seriously foundational.
More on my ride to the airport tomorrow….