Spiritual leadership is not won nor established by promotion, but by many prayers, tears and confessions of sin and heart-searchings and humblings before God, and self-surrender and a courageous sacrifice of every idol and a bold and deathless, and uncompromising and uncomplaining embrace of the Cross and an eternal, unfaltering looking unto Jesus crucified. It is not gained by seeking great things for our selves (Jer. 45:5), but rather, like Paul, by counting those things that were gain, loss for Christ. Hear him: "What things were gain to me those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ. (Phil. 3:7, 8.)
That is a great price, but it must be unflinchingly paid by him who would be not merely a nominal, but a real spiritual leader of men -- a leader whose power is recognized by three worlds and felt in heaven, earth and hell. Moses gained this spiritual leadership among Pharaoh's palace halls and Sinai's solitudes and fastnesses, when he "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt."
Spiritual leaders are not made by man, nor any combination of men. Neither conferences, nor synods, nor councils can make them, but only God.
Spiritual power is the outcome of spiritual life, and all life, from that of the moss and lichen on the wall to that of the archangel before the Throne, is from God. Therefore let those who aspire to this leadership pay the price, and seek it from God....
Neither conferences, nor synods, nor councils, nor commanders, can make a man acceptable to the people, however long his service and varied his experience, if he has lost the spirit of prayer and faith and fiery-hearted love, and the sweet simplicity and trustfulness and self-sacrifice of his youth, and is now living on past victories and revelations and blessings. But fresh anointings of the Spirit and present-day experiences will make him acceptable, though his eye be dim and, his back bent, and his voice husky with age (The Soul-Winner's Secret, chapter 5).
Samuel Logan Brengle was an officer in The Salvation Army who became known worldwide as that movement's "apostle of holiness." He was uniquely effective as a preacher and advocate of spiritual passion and purity. His books--Helps to Holiness, Heart Talks on Holiness, When the Holy Ghost is Come, The Soul-Winner’s Secret, Resurrection Life and Power, The Way of Holiness, The Guest of the Soul, Ancient Prophets and Modern Problems, and Love-Slaves--have influenced millions of people, including me. Here is what this spiritual greatheart wrote on the subject of spiritual leadership: