12. Leadership: Leading People to the Kingdom of God Part 2

The Holy Spirit at work




Our minds are changed by God’s Spirit

 Our view of the world determines how we approach life.  It determines our values.  We ask, what does the world think of us?  For many, their lives shaped by the world around, the latest trends, attitudes and philosophy mold their thinking.  When we know Christ, we are set apart from the world. We are called to change the world, not to be changed by it.


1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:1-2


The battle takes place in the mind, the world tries to mold the believer’s way of thinking into a fallen mindset. The Spirit of God counters this through the renewing of the mind, transforming us.  The transformation takes place in the way we think, we are no longer to think the way the world wants, but the way God wants. 

         Two words used here in the Greek, give a fuller meaning to this verse, the first word is   metamorfovw Metamorphoo, translated transform, meaning changing form.  Scripture commands the believer to have a metamorphous. This is accomplished through an event which takes place in the mind.  The word renew comes from the Greek word, ajnakaivnwsiß Anakainosis which combines two words, ana meaning “again or back” and kainosis, meaning “new”.  The transformation takes place, when the mind is restored by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.

         We become living sacrifice, by subjecting our desires and flesh to the will of God, by letting the Holy Spirit rein in our lives.  Through the Spirit of God, we have the ability of making choices, subduing our flesh and thinking.  When this happens, we allow the Holy Spirit to take control; He begins to lead our life in the direction, where we can serve the Kingdom of God.

         The Holy Spirit calls every believer to position of leadership; we are called to lead those without Christ into eternity.  The greater our submission to the Holy Spirit, the more powerful our call, as God takes control of our life, advancing His Kingdom. 

         Scripture is filled with examples of leadership, how God takes ordinary men, and transforms them into leaders of his people.  From the fall, God has sought leaders for His people, to lead and encourage them, is there any reason God has not appointed you?  Are you willing to lead people into the Kingdom of God? 

 Leadership Principles from Gideon

          Gideon sets a good example for us, how the Holy Spirit causes us to be the spiritual leaders God wants.  Gideon lived at the time of the Judges.  This is a four-hundred year period in the nation, prior to the time of Davidic Kingdom, when the tribes of Jacob, had been led into the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua.   The time period of the Judges was 1400 to 1050 B.C. From Joshua to Saul, with Samuel being the last judge.

1. When times are tough God sends leaders

          Gideon lived at a fearful time in Israel’s history, the nation had been disobedient, and did evil in the eyes of the Lord so God allowed its enemies to have control over the nation.  Over and over again in Judges we see a disobedient people delivered to their enemies because they rejected God’s leadership.  God then responds to their cries by sending judges. These judges would lead the nation, delivering them from oppression. 


1 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, 2 and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains.  Judges 6:1-2

                  As leaders we have to be willing to lead people from a place of spiritual darkness or mediocrity to a higher level.  We do this by demonstrating our own life, casting a vision to those who God has placed in our life.  However, we need to understand its not about us, but the Holy Spirit in us, using us to lead His people into greater fellowship with Him.

 2.  God’s does not call leaders based on their ability but their availability


         Israel was being judged because they did evil, God allowed their enemies to have victory over the nation. They became servants to their sin; they were forced to live in hiding as a result of their life choices.  God responded to their cry, he chose Gideon not because he was from the most powerful family or tribe, but because he was from the weakest.  Through Gideon, God could get the glory for the victory as opposed to Gideon’s credentials.  Notice Gideon’s response, he felt completely out of place and inadequate for the job of leading the nation. Because he was humble in his own eyes.


15 So he said to Him, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house."  Judges 6:15

                  Even though Gideon lacked the credentials, God gave him the abilities he needed to accomplish the job required.  Gideon saw himself as least, but God saw him as a mighty man of valor.  God hailed him, “you might man of valor!”   God knew what the man Gideon could accomplish, when he allowed the Holy Spirit to take charge. 

11 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!"   Judges 6:11-12  

This applies to every believer, when we think we are able in “our own power”, we are least able, we are depending on our own ability.  To Gideon it was very clear, he was not capable of doing what God wanted, he however did not reject the idea, he just knew he was not able.  This is why God could use him, because he did not depend on his ability, but on what God could accomplish through him.  Over and over again we see this principle in scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments, God uses very unlikely people to accomplish his work.  Just imagine these headlines!


§  Noah a father with three boys rescues humanity!

§  Fatherless Abram becomes the father of many nations after his 90-year old wife gives birth!

§  Joseph, imprisoned Jewish slave becomes prime-minister of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh!

§  Rahab, the Canaanite becomes great-great grandmother to the Messiah!

§  David the boy sheep herder slays the greatest warrior of all time, Goliath !

§  Daniel the Jewish hostage becomes prime minister of Babylon! 

God’s leaders (us) need to really learn to comprehend what it means, when the Lord uses us.  Its never about us, we should not try to see it from our ability or lack of ability, but from God’s ability.  Like the leaders of note who were before us, we need to learn to make our life available, lets stand back and watch the Lord transform us.  

3.  The Holy Spirit is the force within that transforms us to leaders 

         Leadership comes to those who allow the Holy Spirit to take charge in their life. This principle is demonstrated in the life of Gideon.  Gideon obeyed the Lord, who called him to pull down the idols of Baal, as a result the nations gathered against him, now when all hope seemed lost, the Spirit of the Lord descends on Gideon.  From this point on, Gideon is successful because the Spirit is now working through him; he is pushed forward as the leader, calling the nation for war against Israel’s enemies.


33 Then all the Midianites and Amalekites, the people of the East, gathered together; and they crossed over and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him.  Judges 6:33-34 

This principle also applies to us, when we become living sacrifices (Romans 12:2), we allow the Holy Spirit to take charge of our life.  We have a metamorphosis, we are transformed.   We then become available for the Lord’s service; the Holy Spirit then turns us into leaders, to be used for the Lord’s work. We begin to advance the Kingdom of God, leading souls into eternity.  Samson killed the lion only after the Spirit of the Lord gave him the power. Saul became King only when the Spirit came upon him, then he could lead the nation. 

And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.  Judges 14:6 

6 "Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.  I Samuel 10:6

 4. God does not need large numbers but chooses faithful leaders 

Another principle demonstrated in the story of Gideon is God’s desire to diminish man’s power and glory, that we see the source of victory.  In Gideon’s situation, 120,000 people from the East had gathered against Israel, Gideon had only called 32,000 people; the odds did not look good for Gideon and Israel. For every Israelite there were almost 4 opposing fighters.  God did not like the odds either, he thought there were too many Israelites, he did not need that many.  So he told Gideon to dismiss anybody who was afraid, twenty-two thousand left, leaving only ten thousand to fight 120,000.  Now the odds were 10 men for every Israelite.  God still did not like the odds, there were still too many Israelites.  A further reduction reduced the size of Israel’s army to 300- men to oppose the 120,000 from the east, the odds were 400 to 1. 

Now God would get the glory in any victory, because it seemed nearly impossible for such a small force to even be a factor.   The enemy ended up panicking and killing each other, when Gideon attacked at night with trumpets and torches.  The point in the battle was God received the glory for Gideon’s leadership, God through Gideon demonstrated he will use what is despised and weak to accomplish His will even when the odds are impossible.

God’s message is the same to us, as it was to Gideon and Zerubbabel when the Jews retuned from Babylonian captivity.   

So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts. 7 'Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of "Grace, grace to it!" Zechariah 4:6-7 

Everyone who wants to be used by the Lord can take this to heart, God is still using Gideons.  Everyday God is using people who seem unusable by the world’s standards to do work, spreading the Gospel, advancing the Kingdom of God.   This includes us if we are willing to be part of the team, to bring the Gospel to the lost.

God gave Gideon the task of defeating Midian, which was oppressing His people.  Gideon, became the agency which the Spirit of the Lord, used to lead the 300 who defeated the much larger force.  Gideon vision was transferred to his people.

When we have a vision of spiritual leadership, given to us by the Lord, we can pray to complete the task, not based on our 

Getting the vision of your leadership 

How does God want to use you to lead others?  Ask Him, where he wants to use you.  Find out where you can be used, ask the pastors of your church.  Ask your friends, get input from others and pray, ask the Lord to show you where you can lead?  Get a vision for your purpose!  A prayer along these lines might help. 

Lord, I make myself available to you for service.  Where can I be used to advance your kingdom?  Lord I might lack abilities to do you work, but I know you can provide any of the tools I need.  Help me to know the vision you have for me.

I want to lead people to accomplish your will, use me to reach people who do not know you.  Lord please give me the confidence I need to be your leader.  Give me a love for people, let me see the reality of eternity and help me to act.  Give me an urgency to be used by you. In Jesus name I pray... 

Once you know the direction the Lord is leading you, prepare yourself for service.  Many times God allows our sincerity to be tested, so we know (for our selves how real the desire is), sometimes people.

Here are some suggestions, where leadership is needed today.





 Finding people who are new Christians and helping them become established in the faith through personal one on one study.  Using your experience and knowledge to answer questions about the




Use your abilities to teach others about the Word of God. 

Youth Ministry


Get involved in leading youth, volunteer to teach a class, be part of the



Make friends with people, neighbors, co-workers, whoever the Lord puts in your life establish friendships, leading people to Kingdom of God


Whatever vision we receive, we can take the principles of human relations established in the book,

How to Win Friends and Influence People as way building the people God has placed in our life.


Part I

1.  If you are going to find faults.......Begin with praise and honest appreciation

2.  To criticize and not be hated for it..... Call attention to people’s mistake indirectly.

3.  Talk about your own mistakes first.... before criticizing the other person


Part II

 4.  No one likes to take orders...ask questions instead of giving direct orders

          Growing up as a child most people have received orders, from their parents, family members, coaches and school teachers.  However when you grow up, giving someone on a peer level an order creates an immediate hostile environment.  The person receiving the orders is immediately taken to time in their life, when they were the child, receiving orders from a parent.

         Depending a situation, especially if a person is peer, asking questions instead of giving orders is a more effective way  of leading people to action.  Even in situations, where an order might not be in question, a tremendous amount of good-will can be generated by helping the other person make the decision, rather then being ordered.

  5.  Let the other person save face


         Try to imagine yourself in an embarrassing situation?  How does it feel to be embarrassed, with the spotlight turned on?  When we let others save face, we are protecting them from an embracement.  A leader does not only think of their situation, they try to imagine the perception of those they are leading.  By letting the other person “Save face”, you are absorbing the emotional trauma.  Simple things, such as if a person are late to a meeting, not taking notice of their late entry.  Being generous with your authority, fosters confidence and goes a long way in developing those who the Lord wants you to lead. 

         Quoting from How to Win Friends and Influence People, French author and aviation pioneer said the following, 

“I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What makes matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.”[1]  

6.  How to spur people on to success...Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement 

         All of us want to be significant, we want to count, its part of nature.  When we recognize people and their accomplishments, we are saying “you matter”, you count.  Life can be hard and merciless, when we recognize accomplishments of others; it can be like a cup of cold water in a hot dusty desert.  

         How to Win Friends and Influence People describes the life transforming effects praise can have on a weary soul, who is disheartened in life.


“Many years ago a boy of ten was working in a factory in Naples.  He longed to be a singer, but his first teacher discouraged him.  “You can’t sing,” he said, “You haven’t any voice at all.  It sounds like the wind in the shutters.”

            But his mother,  a poor peasant woman, put her arms about him and praised him and told him she knew he could sing, she could already see an improvement, and she went barefoot in order to save money to pay for his music lessons.  That peasant mother’s praise and encouragement changed that boy’s life.  His name was Enrico Caruso, and he became the greatest and most famous opera singer of his age.[2] 

         Enrico Caruso’s mother believed in her son’s abilities, she praised him. Her praise gave him the strength to continue.  Life can often be a defeating force for many, by praising people we can encourage them to continue.  Being a follower of Christ in a fallen world, can at times seem impossible, so many potential attacks can  dishearten a struggling Christian. 

         Another example of how praise can bring encouragement, in How to Make Friends and Influence People, is a famous author most of us know.   

        In the early nineteenth century, a young man in London aspired to be writer. But everything seemed to against him.  He had never been able to attend school more that four years.  His father had been flung in jail because he couldn’t pay his debts, and this young man often knew the pangs of hunger.  Finally, he got a job pasting labels on bottles of blacking in a rat-infested warehouse, and he slept at night in a dismal attic room with two other boys—guttersnipes from he slums of London.  he had so little confidence in his ability to write that he sneaked out and mailed his first manuscript in the dead of night o nobody would laugh at him.  Story after story was refused.  Finally the great day came when one was accepted.  True, he wasn’t paid a shilling for it, but one editor praised him.  One editor had given him recognition.  He was so thrilled that he wandered aimlessly around the streets with tears rolling down his cheeks.

        The praise, the recognition, the he received through getting one story in print, changed his whole life, for if it hadn’t been for that encouragement, he might have spent his entire life working in rat-infested factories.  You may have heard of that boy.  His name was Charles Dickens[3].


[1] How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie , Pg. 226,

[2] ibid pg. 228

[3] ibid pg. 228,229