Three Tests for Every Spiritual Leader

It is hard to lead people toward God. There are decisions that must be made. Sometimes hard things must be spoken into the lives of individual Christians and to your community of faith. You will not please everyone. Some will even attack you personally. I have been yelled at, cussed out, and had my integrity attacked by some in my flock. Leadership does not always make you popular.

Sometimes you will want to quit. You will be tired, discouraged, and even a little afraid at times. You will not always see eye-to-eye with the other spiritual leaders in your church. You will study, pray, and wrestle with decisions. So how does a leader know he is right? How do you keep on when it is difficult? Or how do you know when the right thing to do is resign or move on?

Over the years, I have discovered three tests that have enabled me to be confident in the direction I am going as an elder. In fact, these are the only tests I use to evaluate my decisions and my course of action. Maybe they will help you also.

  1. I have to look myself in the mirror.
  2. I have to look my wife in the eyes.
  3. I will have to look my God in the face someday.

That’s it for me. My three tests for whether or not I am doing the right thing as a spiritual leader for my family and for my church.

My mirror.

My wife’s eyes.

My God’s face.

Steve loves to tell the story of Jesus. He is the Director of Ministry for Hope for Life, a Herald of Truth Ministry, and serves as an elder at the Southern Hills church of Christ in Abilene, TX. He is a popular speaker for Lectureships, seminars, and retreats, and his latest book is “Can I Tell You a Story?” He and his wife Marsha have two children and five grandchildren.

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Author:  Publish Date: May 5, 2017

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The CHARIS website hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. In partnership with the ACU Library and the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), the website is supported and led by the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The Center’s mission is to renew Christian spirituality through engagement of Christian heritage, at Abilene Christian University and beyond. The views expressed on the CHARIS website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU. Questions or comments about the CHARIS website can be directed to charis @

2017-18 CHARIS Editorial Board:
Dr. Carisse Berryhill
Dr. Jason Fikes
Karissa Herchenroeder
Mac Ice
Chai Green
Tammy Marcelain
Molly Scherer
Dr. John Weaver

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