Spurgeon on Leadership (7): Nine Lessons on Courage

1. A true leader is willing to stand by the courage of his convictions. When it came to leadership issues related to sin and righteousness, Spurgeon yielded no ground whatsoever. If he encountered error, he would confront it. “We must not allow sin to go unrebuked. Yield in all things personal, but be firm where truth and holiness are concerned.”

2. People are inspired when their leaders show the willingness to risk everything for their beliefs. Billy Graham testified, “Courage is conta­gious.” The congregation at the Metropolitan Tabernacle was bolstered by the courageous stands that their pastor took in his advocacy of biblical truth and the gospel.

3. A leader is resolute when it comes to matters of spirituality and Christian conduct. Because he was confident in his doctrinal beliefs and firmly grounded in the Scriptures, Spurgeon was willing to stand alone if necessary when it came to the cause of truth and righteousness.

4. A leader must seek the wisdom and discernment that comes from God in confronting error. A leader faces many challenges to his beliefs along the way and must discover for which ones he is willing to fight. Spurgeon wrote, “Learn always to discriminate between things that dif­fer; . . . Learn to judge between truth and counterfeits, and you will not be led astray!”

5. Principled confidence comes to the leader who is well grounded in his theological beliefs. Spurgeon’s system of belief was based on evan­gelical Calvinism, which he modified only to the extent that he was able to make a broader appeal in the presentation of the gospel.

6. Complacency cannot be condoned when it comes to a leader’s theo­logical knowledge. Spurgeon believed that many errors could be avoided if one became competent and equipped in his or her theology. “Be well instructed in theology, and do not regard those who rail at it because they are ignorant of it.”

7. The Christian leader must be firmly resolute in his commitment to the full redemptive revelation of God through the Holy Scriptures. “You must preach the whole of the gospel. The omission of a doctrine, or an ordinance, or a precept, may prove highly injurious.”

8. Standing for righteousness is a necessary validation of the effec­tiveness of one’s ministry. Spurgeon wrote, “Stand fast in the faith once for all delivered to the saints, and let no man spoil you by philoso­phy and vain deceit.”

It takes great strength to face strongholds in opposition to the work of Christ. Spurgeon believed that men who are prepared spiritually and operate out of firm convictions might not always win the day, but they will ultimately win the war.

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