By Carmen Kampman
I searched high and low in my book collections to find a book that was specifically focused on the Holy Spirit and leadership. Embarrassingly, I found none. (If you know of one, please comment below.)
It is not to say that no authors touch on the topic in Christian leadership books, I am merely pointing out that I could not find a book that’s single focus was on how the Holy Spirit and leadership were linked.
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. (Luke 4:1a)
When Jesus arose from the waters of baptism he was not full of himself, he was full of the Holy Spirit. And from the murky waters of the Jordan River, to the Spirit leading him into the wilderness where he was tested for 40 days, to his return to Galilee, we find our Saviour “filled with the Holy Spirit’s power.” (Luke 4:14).
From that moment forward, Jesus was filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
As leaders, we are often told that we need to “lead like Jesus,” we need “to behave like Jesus.” But here is a sobering truth: If you do not have and are not filled with the Holy Spirit’s power you cannot, you will not, give leadership like Jesus did.
Here are two critical areas in my life where leading with the Holy Spirit matters.
1. Communication in Leadership
Leadership is about influencing people and some, like Jenni Catron, would say that “leadership rises and falls on communication.” Leaders need to know how to speak with people in a variety of contexts and in a variety of ways. Sometimes conversations are one-on-one; other times they are in larger groups.
Learning to communicate well has been one of my steepest learning curves. Why? Because I am a developer personality. A mover. A gap seer and closer. A driver towards excellence and positive outcomes. And I am a quick processor.
Imagine my shock when I realized the world is not all like me! That not everyone processes in exactly the same way I do!
To affect positive change, Spirit-led, Spirit-empowered communication matters and almost daily, I find myself asking the Holy Spirit to help me in communicating as a leader. In this area of my life, answered prayers abound.
For the last number of years, the Holy Spirit has been showing me how others are wired, how others need to be engaged in conversation and choices, how others need time and the ways in which they need information presented to them.
2. Leading as a Parent
My husband, Albert, and I have been married for over 26 years, and we have six children. Each of our children are image-bearers of God in unique ways and God has entrusted the responsibility of leadership in their lives to Albert and I. (Yes, there are times I have seriously questioned God’s judgement in that!)
I am an extreme extrovert and one of our children is an extreme introvert. There was a season in parenting where I felt completely defeated and lacking in wisdom and tools for how to lead (be the parent) in this relationship where we had very different personalities.
What did I do? I asked the Holy Spirit to empower me, for wisdom to flow through me, and for the Holy Spirit to shape me as a mom and a leader.
What came as a result of that prayer was this: Creative ways to communicate and having meaningful conversation with my daughter, the realization that she needed a space to call her own and to retreat to (we created this together), and the ability for me to model a Spirit-empowered way of leading in my own home.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, help me to understand that I lead with you, not apart from you. Fill me afresh today. Empower me today to lead like Jesus. Amen.
Question: In what ways has the Holy Spirit helped you in leadership? You can leave a comment by clicking here.