Photo by raymond revaldi on Unsplash.

A godly leader is one that rallies others to work for the agenda of God, said Pastor Daniel Foo at this year’s LoveSingapore Pastors’ Summit, a four-day conference that brought almost 800 participants from 110 churches and 46 Christian organisations together. 

“You can only give what you have … this means leaders have to spend a lot of time on spiritual formation.”

Being attuned to the Father in order to glean wisdom from Him is vital. Overseers are responsible for their flock (Acts 20:28).

“If you are not spiritual, it means you are worldly,” he said. “It means you have wisdom that comes from the earth, which is natural and potentially demonic (James 3:15).”

“Ninety-five per cent of problems in the church have got nothing to do with God or the devil,” Pastor Foo pointed out. Instead, it has to do with leaders acting out of the corrupted natural man.

“This means we have to spend a lot of time on spiritual formation,” he said.

During his presentation, the senior pastor of Bethesda (Bedok-Tampines) Church gave several tips on what it takes to be a captain in God’s kingdom:

1. Pay close attention to yourself

A one-hour message on the pulpit often makes the speaker seem “strong, articulate, talented, anointed, wise and gifted”, Pastor Foo said.

Daniel Foo BBTC LoveSingapore Summit

Senior Pastor of Bethesda (Bedok-Tampines) Church Daniel Foo speaking on the topic of leadership at the 2019 LoveSingapore Summit. Photo from LoveSingapore’s Facebook page.

But underlying the confidence is a set of unseen traits that demonstrates utter reliance on the Giver.

Paul instructed Timothy to pay close attention to his disposition because others are looking to leaders as models (1 Timothy 4:16).

Total brokenness, obedience, humility, increasing Christlikeness, teachability, a deep prayer life, signs of blood, sweat and tears, and a regular intake of milk, bread and meat (1 Peter 2:2, John 6:35, Hebrews 5:14).

These are characteristics that take an infinitely long time to nurture, and develop only if we “keep watch” over ourselves (Acts 20:28).

Paul also instructed Timothy to pay close attention to his disposition because others are looking to him as a model (1 Timothy 4:16).

“You can only give what you have,” Pastor Foo said.

2. Leave your baggage behind 

Hebrews 12:1 implores Christians to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” because we are surrounded by witnesses.

Leaders need to “learn to heal ourselves” as soon as possible, said Pastor Foo.

“We hurt others to the degree of our our own unhealed brokenness,” he said.

Fortunately, the Lord has given us the means to soothe away the wounds, offences and unmet expectations (1 John 1:7).

3. Reflect on your purpose

Purpose and grace are two sides of the same coin, according to 2 Timothy 1:9.

“We hurt others to the degree of our our own unhealed brokenness.”

Our purpose must be biblical and God-ordained, otherwise the grace of God might not appear, and leaders will struggle in their current position.

Once leaders are sure of their purpose, they must produce results (Matthew 25:14-30) by relying on the one true power source (Deuteronomy 8:18).

4. Have the right posture

An elder must always be learning (Proverbs 4:23, Proverbs 9:9-10), said Pastor Foo.

“The day you stop learning is the day you backslide.”

Having the right posture also means accepting leaders of all ages into the fold, while the forerunners should plan for succession up to the “third, fourth and fifth generation”, he said.

Pastor Foo added: “Leadership is about the “tri-generational God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

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