Samuel Brengle (1860–1936) served for many years within the leadership of the Salvation Army. While I don’t entirely endorse his theology, I deeply appreciate his insightful (and challenging) thoughts on spiritual leadership:
“[Spiritual leadership] is not won by promotion, but by many prayers and tears. It is attained by confession of sin, and much heart-searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice of every idol, a bold uncomplaining embrace of the cross, and by an eternal, unfaltering looking unto Jesus crucified. It is not gained by seeking great things for ourselves, but like Paul, by counting those things that are gain to us as loss for Christ. This is a great price, but it must be paid by the leader who would not be merely a nominal but a real spiritual leader of men, a leader whose power is recognized and felt in heaven, on earth, and in hell.”*
May God raise up a generation of unusual leaders who fit the profile that Brengle has described. I humbly pray that God would make me such a man as I daily aspire to die to self and live for Christ. May He humble me by growing my hatred for sin and my hunger for holiness. May I taste no greater satisfaction than my Savior!
*Samuel Brengle, The Soul-Winner’s Secret, as quoted by J. Oswald Sanders in Spiritual Leadership, 11.