Spurgeon on Leadership (8): Nine Lessons on Commitment and the Family

1. The leader who prioritizes a commitment to his family honors the God whom he serves. Spurgeon gave great attention and devotion to his family, as evidenced by their testimonies in his Autobiography. His wife and sons grew to love and serve the Lord under his influence.

2. A godly heritage is great gain for the Christian leader. Spurgeon was blessed to have been born into and reared by a family that instilled in him Christian virtues and a love for the things of God.

3. A leader who shares his leadership with family can receive a tre­mendous blessing. Spurgeon’s brother James became an integral part of his ministry as an associate pastor, relieving his brother of many of the pastoral burdens that could be safely entrusted to him.

4. Christian pastors who partner with their spouses can enjoy ministry opportunities together. Spurgeon’s wife Susannah, although unwell for much of her adult life, initiated ministries that gave her much personal fulfillment and complemented the pastoral ministry of her husband.

5. A Christian leader seeks to mentor his children in the faith. Spurgeon savored every opportunity to influence his sons for good, as is evident in an excerpt from a letter to Charles: “I am full of hope about you…. I believe you love the Lord, and that is the main thing; the next is, stick to it…. The times are so pushing that you must put out all your energies; and, above all, you must be careful, and very persevering; and then, with God’s blessing, you will soon take a position to which your father and mother can point with pleasure.”

6. A leader should be the same person at home that he is with the public. “It is not sufficient for us to maintain our public reputation among our fellow-creatures, for our God … notices our coldness in the closet of communion, and he perceives our faults and failures in the family.”

7. The leader should set the example of devotion and prayer in the home. “He prays as a husband and as a father; he strives to make his family devotions a model for his flock…”

8. Christian leaders should seek to lead their children to faith in Christ. “If we do not try our best to bring our children to Christ, there is another who will do his worst to drag them down to hell.”

9. A leader’s fatherly influence extends beyond his home to those under his leadership. “Be to your people like a father among his chil­dren . . . that you may be the means of blessing to them, and at the same time meet the evil of disintegration.”