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Providing Proper Spiritual Covering

 

Many seeking leadership positions do not realize the heavy responsibility which comes with it (James 3:1).  It is equally true that man seekers are not qualified to assume it because of emotional, chronological and/or spiritual immaturity.  Motivation for desiring leadership roles is crucially important.  Anything less than a pure desire to help bring the body of Christ into maturity (Ephesians 4:13) by being used of God to provide spiritual assistance to babes is a wrong one.

Assuming a leadership position before God has worked such a maturity in one’s spirit is doomed to failure.  The assumption that one can learn what is necessary and grow to maturity by taking the responsibilities of the position is fallacious.  While it is true that some growth comes this way, the damage that novices do through immature leadership in the process can be serious.

When a person has been chosen and assigned by God to be a leader, he immediately becomes an example to whom people will look.  Charisma will cause followers to emulate him, embrace his theology and teachings.  Behavior must be above reproach–both in ministering and outside the church; in business dealings and home life.  The eyes of the congregation focus constantly upon him, expecting him to perform his role as a man of God should.  Such heavy responsibility is not to be taken lightly and obviously one must be groomed and prepared by the Lord for the job to earn the respect of those he leads.

To think that one can be placed in a position of authority and yet lead a double life is an indication that the maturity necessary to assume the responsibilities of leadership is not present.  Although the path is rough, for those willing to be shaped and formed into God’s leader it brings great reward.

Being a leader under God’s commission of authority brings with it a spiritual covering by God upon that person, and he in turn provides a covering to his flock.  This is a spiritual phenomena, an anointing of God which is seen and felt in the spirit realm.  It affords special protection against Satanic attack to those who are in submission to his authority.

Many attacks of the enemy aimed at the flock will be absorbed entirely or weakened because of the covering of the leader.  This emphasizes the absolute necessity to pray for the leader.  By so doing one’s own covering is strengthened and reinforced.  Those who rebel and leave the covering of a godly authority because of stubbornness and willfulness, will find themselves open to much demonic attack.  It is also true that if the commissioned leader steps from under the Lord’s covering, the entire body may be exposed to attack.

Spiritual warfare is no game, nor are attacks from Satan and his demons.  If a man is not commissioned of God, but merely appointed by men, they will not have this covering of God to give to his flock.  The covering by God upon the leader for the flock is not limited to the times the congregation meets together.  He is their spiritual covering 24 hours a day, and as such must be on guard that his own spirit remains right before the Lord.

Any openings he himself gives the devil to enter his life will be felt by those he is charged to protect.  The more dependent a person is on him for spiritual protection, the harder that one will be hit by the enemy through such openings.  Obviously the younger and immature will suffer most.

If God’s chosen leader of a group becomes careless in his Christian walk so as to open his flock to attack, those who depend on his covering may be forced to seek adequate protection elsewhere.  If the leader repeatedly fails his flock the Lord often transfers them to a new leader.

Some may feel that such a responsibility is unfair to the leader, who has human faults and failings.  If demanding such a close, careful walk with God seems too much to ask, all that is demonstrated is an inability to assume such a responsibility, and a lack of understanding of what such a commission from God entails.

Keeping a right spirit before God is of prime importance, as is a right spirit toward each and every member of the congregation.  Each person must be viewed in the spirit and not in the flesh, a difficult feat.  Faith and the ability to love even the most unlovable is critical in a leader.  Like Jesus they must be able to lift the most dreadful of sinners out of their sins.

If a pastor holds something in his heart against someone it will be noted in the spirit realm.  In extreme cases, when a leader constantly entertains wrong thoughts toward someone, they may be crippled by self-condemnation.

To many, their pastor, as God’s representative, symbolizes God’s feelings towards them.  If they find themselves under the authority of a pastor with a condemning, judgmental attitude, it is easy to become discouraged and even walk away from the Lord entirely.

The shepherding movement in some of today’s churches falls far short of actually providing spiritual covering to the flock.  Too often it is composed of immature men with ambitions to attain position and exert authority over those assigned to them, but who lack the seasoning and love necessary to provide spiritual protection and leadership.

In a ministry where much time is spent demanding submission of the people to them, an unhealthy dependency upon leaders instead of God will be created.  Often they replace the Lord in the eyes of those they “shepherd” by urging or requiring the people to seek a “Word of God” for their lives.  This type of?leadership does not encourage looking to the Lord.  5

The following is an excerpt from “God’s Plan for Leadership, Booklet #14″ by Pastor Win Worley. Copyright © 1983 by Win Worley, Revised © 1993. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including storage and retrieval system, without securing permission in writing from the publisher, WRW Publications, PO Box 852626, Mesquite, TX 75185.

If you’d like to obtain your own copy of not only this, but other materials authored by Win Worley, please contact WRW Publications at www.wrwpublications.com

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