“Quotes and Teaching on Spiritual Leadership”, Pastor Tom Holliday (Integrity, Humility, Character)

Quotes and Teaching on Spiritual Leadership from Pastor Tom Holliday

~these notes were taken from a gathering with Pastor Tom Holliday as he spoke/taught about Spiritual Leadership from his home to a small group.

“No moment is stagnant. The potency of life is seeded by God within us by His Spirit. Knowing this, can we afford to be wasteful? How can we not realize our potential to be good and effective spiritual leaders? Each person has a role. We can all act and be potent in our lives. Each ethical-decision is ours to make. We are all leaders. Let us Pray boldly as a part of leadership.”

“Our work is not just for ourselves. Imagine that you were a potter fashioning a work to be sent out, know that everything that you ‘make’ matters. It is useful. Each decision that we make has an effect on all of the lives around us.”

“In order to be a good leader, you need to be a good follower.”

 The hardest person that you will ever lead is yourself”.

“What if my Leadership had all to do with my ability to follow whose voice I am hearing? What if it had to do with who I was following? We are following more than we realize from inside of our heads. Some are following our mothers, our fathers, our teachers. Who has our ear?

 “C.S. Lewis said that life is miraculous. That it was not like teaching a horse to jump, but that it was like teaching a horse to FLY. Can prayer teach a horse to fly? How are you limiting God in your life? Look to Jesus. What do you want His Spirit to do?”

“The Temptation is to see this life in terms of what “I” have done. Stop measuring experiences. Go to scripture. Jesus is doing the work.”

The attributes of a good leader are:

Humility: (as exemplified by Christ)

Integrity:  not a perfect life, we cannot achieve perfection (but, example not a life of words that aren’t backed up by actions)

Listening: It includes humility, it includes the other lovingly with examples from the ministry of Christ. (teaching without directing, leading without revealing all that he could see at the time, more, more)

1.  It does not direct others. That is not leadership.

2.  Counselors go in asking. The journey of self-discovery is what is so powerful. We need to go in prayerfully patient.

3.  We learn from self-discovery. When we find the time to listen we say to the person, “You are made in God’s image. You matter.”

The Three C’s of Character of Spiritual Leadership

Is a man (is she?) growing in grace? In kindness, self-control and patience or is saying to himself, “I want to wow people”. It is about being Christlike.

  1. Character.
  2. Competency.
  3. Confidence. 

Don’t lead by confidence (expertise). The person that God uses the most is the one that asks, “God, can You use me? God says, “Of course!”

When one leads by confidence their competency is going to be exposed.


  • Above reproach. Able to have others ‘looking over their shoulder’. The Greek word, The Greek word is anegklētos.
  • Faithfulness.
  • Sober Minded and Self-Controlled. Not-Chaotic. His life is well-ordered, there is a sense of control.
  • Respectable- Hospitable. Hospitality is reaching out to share, that is radical Gospel Love. That is how Christ loved. He loved me when I had nothing to give back.

Where am I? Does my life reflect these qualities more and more, is my life about character or am I lead by competency, or by confidence? God will you bless us? Bless the leaders to be lead by character. Pray that God increases our desire to grow in character.

Tom Holliday, Pastor, Alexandria Presbyterian Church, Alexandria VA USA

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