What Kind of Leader Are You?

UBF loves to raise leaders. I love to raise leaders. Do you love to raise leaders? We show our love for raising leaders by using phrases like “discipleship (leadership) training,” “leader’s meeting,” “fellowship leader’s meeting,” “elder’s meeting,” “staff meeting,” “raise 12 disciples and 12 Marys,” “raise an Abraham of faith,” which are all apt descriptions that show how much we value leadership and raising leaders. Some may have heard statements like “One Moses is worth more than 100,000 Israelite foot soldiers.” I loved the statement, because I love being a leader, believing that in His Sovereignty God called me to serve Him and His church.

I am reading “Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer,” by J. Oswald Sanders, a book John Armstrong has used to teach a seminary class on leadership at Wheaton College. Chuck Colson says, “This is the best book on Christian leadership I’ve read.” There are countless excellent quotes on leadership in the book. But this is not a book review. It is a series of 22 + 5 excellent questions to honestly assess your own leadership potential, as well as the leadership potential of others. In other words, “What kind of a leader are you?” Be ready to be humbled!

  1. How do you identify and deal with bad habits? To lead others, you must master your appetites.
  1. How well do you maintain self-control when things go wrong? The leader who loses control under adversity forfeits respect and influence. A leader must be calm in crisis and resilient in disappointment.
  1. To what degree do you think independently? A leader must use the best ideas of others to make decisions. A leader cannot wait for others to make up his or her mind.
  1. How well can you handle criticism? When have you profited from it? The humble person can learn from petty criticism, even malicious criticism.
  1. Can you turn disappointment into creative new opportunity? What three actions could you take facing any disappointment?
  1. Do you readily gain the cooperation of others and win their respect and confidence? Genuine leadership doesn’t have to manipulate or pressure others.
  1. Can you exert discipline without making a power play? Are your corrections or rebukes clear without being destructive? True leadership is an internal quality of the spirit and needs no show of external force.
  1. In what situations have you been a peacemaker? A leader must be able to reconcile with opponents and make peace where arguments have created hostility.
  1. Do people trust you with difficult and delicate matters? Your answer should include examples.
  1. Can you induce people to do happily some legitimate thing that they would not normally wish to do? Leaders know how to make others feel valued.
  1. Can you accept opposition to your viewpoint or decision without taking offense? Leaders always face opposition.
  1. Can you make and keep friends? Your circle of loyal friends is an index of your leadership potential.
  1. Do you depend on the praise of others to keep you going? Can you hold steady in the face of disapproval and even temporary loss of confidence?
  1. Are you at ease in the presence of strangers? Do you get nervous in the office of your superior? A leader knows how to exercise and accept authority.
  1. Are people who report to you generally at ease? A leader should be sympathetic and friendly.
  1. Are you interested in people? All types? All races? No prejudice?
  1. Are you tactful? Can you anticipate how your words will affect a person? Genuine leaders think before speaking.
  1. Is your will strong and steady? Leaders cannot vacillate, cannot drift with the wind. Leaders know there’s a difference between conviction and stubbornness.
  1. Can you forgive? Or do you nurse resentments and harbor ill-feelings toward those who have injured you?
  1. Are you reasonably optimistic? Pessimism and leadership do not mix. Leaders are positively visionary.
  1. Have you identified a master passion such as that of Paul, who said, “This one thing I do!” Such singleness of motive will focus your energies and powers on the desired objective. Leaders need a strong focus.
  1. How do you respond to new responsibility?

How we handle relationships tells a lot about our potential for leadership. These tests are suggested:

  • Do other people’s failures annoy or challenge you?
  • Do you “use” people, or cultivate people?
  • Do you direct people, or develop people?
  • Do you criticize or encourage?
  • Do you shun or seek the person with a special need or problem?

These questions are quite humbling and challenging. I particularly like 7, 6, 11, 4, 12, 21, 13, 8, 19, 18, 15. God bless you to be a leader after God’s own heart.


  1. A well written blog on what Gospel-Centered Leaders (GCL) looks like: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2012/07/23/what-does-gospel-centered-leadership-look-like/ Sorry for just loving numbered LISTS.

    1) They Love The Gospel.
    2) They Invite Critique.
    3) They Are Bold and Humble.
    4) They Bear More Affliction Than They Give Out.
    5) They Have No Game-Face
    6) Wisest Fool In The Room.
    7) Takes Blame and Gives Credit.

  2. princess_joy

    Question 19 pierce my heart..I’m a type of person who is really hard to forgive others..How am I to forgive them if they hurt me??

    God is always telling me everyday about forgiveness, but I am still Stiff-necked from it.

    How can I become a good leader if I do not how to forgive others?

    A Good Leader knows how to forgive just like what Jesus has done for me everyday..Jesus is a good and perfect Leader..No one could climbed up into His level..but He loves us..He has the heart who is willing to go down just to reach us and put beside Him. He forgives us many times more than we think of Him.

    GOD bless ^_^

  3. Thanks for sharing, https://www.facebook.com/valerieawid. Forgiving someone who has hurt, wounded, used, abused, taken advantage of you is surely one of the most traumatic things for any human being to experience.

    Sometimes even when looking at Jesus dying for me, the strength to forgive the offender is weak and lacking and reluctant. That’s why I always need Jesus.

    Watch or download “Amish Grace” from You tube if you have not seen this very moving story of forgiveness.

    “Forgiving love is a possibility only for those who know that they are not good, who feel themselves in need of divine mercy…and know that the differences between the good man and the bad man are insignificant in (God’s) sight.” Reinhold Niebuhr, An Interpretation of Christian Ethics

    “Forgiveness places us on a boundary between enmity and friendship, between exclusion and embrace. It tears down the wall of hostility that wrongdoing erects, but it doesn’t take us into the territory of friendship. Often, that’s all we can muster the strength to do, and all that offenders will allow us.” Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace

  4. erica_sioson

    question no. 13.
    I cant deny that most of the times, (no not most of the times )i think all of the times praises of others pushed me to continue what im doing.but when disapproval comes,its very hard for me to take it as a challenge and show them that i can do what they think i cant ‘coz disapproval of others degrades me leading me to stop.GOD knows everytime i feel this way im trying a lot of times to make it as a challenge and prove myself and continue to do things i need to do as a leader but its very very hard.as in HARD.taking that I cannot please everybody.and how can i lead if myself,needs to be lead also?(1)and on more thing,how can I be a good leader if Im always hesitated to answer or push things i believe?but good thing, whenever i encounter things like this I am asking for His guidance and I know that no matter how many disapproval or negative comments i am about to hear or face there is still someone who knows the whole thing before i speak, even before i think about it. someone who is always ready to listen to my point of view.and it is HIM.

  5. 11. Can you accept opposition to your viewpoint or decision without taking offense?
    For me, most of the time, we always have different ideas to usually conflicts to others and honestly I’m the type of person that always wants my ideas to be implemented and whenever there is an opposition or others have there own idea, I always make an argument and try to look every point of view of my idea and his/her idea. If possible, I usually combine our ideas and try to ask them what is the best thing to add. Last June 7, we IGNITERS had our team building in Axcel Sia’s House. We have an activity that discuss about being a team for this coming semester, how to share our ideas, how to communicate, how to listen to others and we find out our strength and weaknesses.

    One of our activity tackle about sharing ideas, we should always share our thoughts in order to improve our team and try to share the conflicts that possible to happen.

  6. Joshelle Cresciah

    Question 12
    To make friends is what I really love to do but the problem with me is that when I want to know someone, I don’t have the guts to talk with him/her directly or even ask his/her name. I want others to approach me first. It’s not that I’m SNOBBISH but I’m just SHY. That’s the number one problem I am praying for to be changed. But once a person become my friend, really close friend, I will never make him/her feel alone and I will love him/her. I can keep friends for a long time. Once my friends had an argument, I’m the one making moves to make them be settled again. It’s not that I want to interfere in their lives and problems but I just want everything to be OKAY. For me, FRIENDS are friends and once God gave you one, take care of them.
    And now, I learned that one can be a good leader if you know how to keep and take care of your friends and most of all, bring them CLOSER TO GOD. :))

  7. TimothyMayers

    -Is your will strong and steady?


    This Question Took me so seriously …

    I’m a person who Stand and always Depend on my”SELF” ….
    Im a person that hold’s on, on every descisions that i’ve make.
    I took a lot of expectation about myself that I can Stand firm in my own ways….. But i was Really wrong…..

    I’ve realized that:
    I can compare ”ME MYSELF and I” to a Dried Seed on the land…
    wherever the wind blows it goes…

    But something happen…

    Then the Lord our GOD picked up that Seed. He fills that seed by his unfailing LOVE and GRACE and help it to grow,to have roots,
    and most of all He teach that seed to become Strong and to Stand up before Him.

    and from now on that seed grow and GOD named him Timothy Mayers…:))

    I’ve realize that im nothing before GOD.
    It is GOD who make me/us strong and always there for us keeping and Holding us,that’s why I’m Standing right now. He is my true Solid foundation that I have. and from now on I know that i’ve Standing in the right Foundation which is Jesus Christ. And I MUST STAND FIRM trough Him wherever the wind BLOWS!

    He is the true leader before me that always telling me:

    For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. -1 Corinthians 3:11

    GODbless! :)

    -Pedro Luis ”Timothy” Mayers

  8. Thanks, Pedro, Joshelle, MJ, Erika, Princess, for sharing!

    Let me answer Question 1. I ask my wife and my kids. Often they tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So I need to brace myself before I ask my wife after preaching, “How was my sermon?” She can be quite brutal! Thank God.

    I also tell the men in our ministry at West Loop based on Heb 3:13 that “I am accountable to you. You have a duty and obligation to God to speak up and tell me/address things that I have said, decided or done that you perceive to be unsatisfactory or not right. If you don’t tell me, then you either do not love me, or you are a wimp.”

  9. Faith Pie Charisse

    3. To what degree do you think independently?

    This is one my biggest problem, ever since. I’m really having a hard time making a decision on my own. I had to seek a lot of opinions from here and there. After weighing them, only 10% of my decision, I could say is my part. I’m not doing it so that in the end I can look for someone else to blame. It’s just that, I always thought of other’s decisions are better than mine. A lot of times it does happen to me. And before I am used to that my parents were the ones making the decisions for me.
    But now, little by little I’m trying to improve that part of me. Since I already knew that there is GOD who will whisper to me the answer in every decision that I’m going to make. I found to whom I can offer my decisions, thinking that I won’t regret them for sure.
    Therefore,a leader must be full of wisdom, in order to make a quick but precise decision and also must take responsibility of the outcome.

    Ranafaye “Faith” Charisse Liwanag

  10. Question #13
    Do you depend on the praise of others to keep you going?
    Most of the time I depend on them, because it keeps me feel better, Gives more Courage, Confidence and Appreciate the support around me. But one I thing that I realized that what if God give me a situation that no one is praising from what good things that I going to do? It will be the same? I think it’s going to be different. It reflects me that not all people around me is always their to comfort, to teach, to guide and to tell me that you are right or wrong from what actions suppose that I intend, But God Does. He taught me that I should always be depend on him that yet no matter what, God is in control. As long as God is your center of attention, you’re in the right track that even when you feel that is no one’s around you, still God is their, and Through God you can find so many ways that can be a source of joy in your heart. Like for instance, before in my college days… onetime, God gave me a struggle that I thought I couldn’t bear. At that time, most of whom that I thought actually my friends are get lost, but only a few real friends support me from what situation that I’m facing off. Eventually I surpassed it, because I have faith on God, I believe in Him that he can help me whatever struggles that I’m facing even right now. God is my real friend and also my Father. I learned that I shouldn’t be too dependable in my friends, that not all the time they are their for me, But I should depend on our Heavenly Father who never Fail nor give up on us. One thing that God wants me to learn is to focus on him, trust, love and have faith on him and he will do the rest. I have a problem at that time, but God provided all that I need. And by God’s grace I passed from his Challenge and I learned.

    Can you hold steady in the face of disapproval and even temporary loss of confidence?
    Sometimes when someone criticize me or in the time of something disapproval, most of the time I’ll never take it negatively, rather, I’ll take it as a constructive criticism. When it comes to my confidence, I’m struggling about this because I grew up that most people around me don’t have trust or don’t believe from what I can do, but everything’s change when God touched my life. I figure it out that all of us is a sinner, there’s nothing to shame of. We’re all the same. Ones in our life, who does not commit sin? Anyone does. Romans 8:31 says “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”. God leads us to what direction we are suppose to be, just give him our full trust and be confident from whatever we do, as long this is for the glory of God.