“I believe that the great tragedy of the church in our time has been its failure to recognize the importance of the spiritual gift of leadership. It appears to me that only a fraction of pastors worldwide are exercising the spiritual gift of leadership, organizing the church around it, and deploying church members through it. The results, in terms of church growth and worldwide spiritual impact, are staggering.
We must understand what it means to the kingdom when leadership gifts are not exercised. Hebrews 13:17 reminds church leaders that we “must give an account” for what we do with our leadership gifts. Obviously there are negative consequences when any spiritual gift is neglected. Why, then, were those with the leadership gift singled out in this passage? I believe it’s because the consequences of neglecting the leadership gift are so far-reaching. When those of us with leadership gifts fail to lead effectively, the entire local church is affected, not to mention the unchurched people in our communities.
The church must come to grips with the fact that the gift of leadership is the catalytic gift that energizes, directs, and empowers all the other gifts. People with the spiritual gift of leadership are called to nurture an environment where teachers can teach and shepherds can shepherd and administrators can administer. Without it, the other gifts languish, the church becomes inwardly focused and impotent, and unbelievers end up with a one-way, nonstop ticket to the abyss. That’s why I underscore again what Paul so passionately said to leaders, “If you have the leadership gift. . . LEAD!”
– Bill Hybels, Courageous Leadership