Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Whitefield and Pastoral Leadership

In his biography of George Whitefield (Volume II page 155), Arnold Dallimore gives us some insight into George Whitefield as a leader.  

...Whitefield did exercise an effective leadership of this movement.  It was not, however, a leadership by domination and the giving of commands; rather it was one of affection and example.  Most of the exhorters had been converted under his ministry and looked on him, as many of them stated, as a spiritual father   In turn, holding him in such high esteem and seeing in him an embodiment of so much of their own Christian ideal, they delighted to be his co-laborers and to co-operate with his plans.  Whitefield was inflexible in matters of moral rectitude and expected the men to maintain a life of strong Christian discipline and tremendous activity, but in general his relationship with the people and exhorters throughout his movement was by his heart-felt concern, his unfailing encouragement, and his personal example. (Italics mine)

If you think about it, this is where pastoral leadership, spiritual leadership starts.  And these elements should never depart or be de-emphasized.

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