“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

“Christian Character, The Lord Tests Our Hearts”, Gospel Study with Christian Quotes (Sanctification, Spirit of God, Transformed Hearts)

We long to be defined as people of Character. In a world that is fraught with perplexing challenges, the heart needs to be reminded that in the Bible character is an unchanging excellence that God defines not one of the world nor our circumstances. Surely we strive and fall short, we fall and rise back up. But in keeping our gaze upon the Lord, we walk in His Promises and commit to obey them.

Character is defined as strength of moral fiber. A.W. Tozer described character as “the excellence of moral beings.” As the excellence of gold is its purity and the excellence of art is its beauty, so the excellence of man is his character. Persons of character are noted for their honesty, ethics, and charity. Descriptions such as “man of principle” and “woman of integrity” are assertions of character. A lack of character is moral deficiency, and persons lacking character tend to behave dishonestly, unethically, and uncharitably.

A person’s character is the sum of his or her disposition, thoughts, intentions, desires, and actions. It is good to remember that character is gauged by general tendencies, not on the basis of a few isolated actions. We must look at the whole life. For example, King David was a man of good character (1 Samuel 13:14) although he sinned on occasion (2 Samuel 11). And although King Ahab may have acted nobly once (1 Kings 22:35), he was still a man of overall bad character (1 Kings 16:33). Several people in the Bible are described as having noble character: Ruth (Ruth 3:11), Hanani (Nehemiah 7:2), David (Psalm 78:72), and Job (Job 2:3). These individuals’ lives were distinguished by persistent moral virtue.

Character is influenced and developed by our choices. Daniel “resolved not to defile himself” in Babylon (Daniel 1:8), and that godly choice was an important step in formulating an unassailable integrity in the young man’s life. Character, in turn, influences our choices. “The integrity of the upright guides them” (Proverbs 11:3a). Character will help us weather the storms of life and keep us from sin (Proverbs 10:9a).

It is the Lord’s purpose to develop character within us. “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart” (Proverbs 17:3). Godly character is the result of the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification. The Lord is pleased when His children grow in character. “You test the heart and are pleased with integrity” (1 Chronicles 29:17; see also Psalm 15:1-2).

We can develop character by controlling our thoughts (Philippians 4:8), practicing Christian virtues (2 Peter 1:5-6), guarding our hearts (Proverbs 4:23Matthew 15:18-20), and keeping good company (1 Corinthians 15:33). Men and women of character will set a good example for others to follow, and their godly reputation will be evident to all (Titus 2:7-8). (Source: http://www.Got Questions.org)

Christian Quotes on Character:

  • Nothing so clearly discovers a spiritual man as his treatment of an erring brother. —Augustine
  • The expression of Christian character is not good doing, but God-likeness. If the Spirit of God has transformed you within, you will exhibit Divine characteristics in your life, not good human characteristics . God’s life in us expresses itself as God’s life, not as human life trying to be godly.Oswald Chambers

  • What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what kind of a person you are. —-C.S. Lewis
  • The test of Christian character should be that a man is a joy-bearing agent to the world. —Henry Ward Beecher
  • Meekness is one of the brightest graces which can adorn the Christian character. —J.C. Ryle
  • Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own. —Henry Ward Beecher
  •  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. —Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life. It is worse than useless; it does positive harm. Something of ‘the image of Christ’ must be seen and observed by others in our private life, and habits, and character, and doings. —J.C. Ryle

“True Spiritual Leadership”, Tom Holliday, Pastor (bold prayer, The Kingdom of God)

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Spiritual Leadership is Bold. You need to remember that you are a Child of God. We each make ethical decisions every day.

Pastor Tom Holliday of Alexandria Presbyterian Church spoke on Sunday in his series on Spiritual Leadership. 

I sat forward, taking notes. These talks have been deeply treasured in the sermons and the small group meetings. I pass along a few quotes.

He emphasized that a Leader is one that is able to be a “Bold Petitioner”.  His meaning was clarified as he went to one target point.

A leader is one that is able to Pray Boldly.

That means that he (or she) is able to go before God with boldness and ask specifically for what is needed. More, it is asking with audacity which means fearlessness. We are taught that this kind of fearlessness is gained through deep faith in God and by the power of the Holy Spirit in petition.

When we plead in prayer on behalf of others or for the needs of God’s Kingdom, the heart’s passion increases in proportion to our ability to see the great outpouring of  God’s Heart. We gaze into the majesty of His Nature. Seeing His miraculous love, we plead the burdens of those that we pray for. 

We all have a “work” to do in this world, he explained. God’s Kingdom is filled with all kinds of people. We are advocates, legislatures, professionals, homemakers, parents, we are the ethical decision-makers in homes everywhere, cities, nations. This is life.

But when we step forward, and live in step with the Holy Spirit we learn that our lives are not only about ourselves. We are to love as we have been loved- our hearts are to turn outward.

A Leader learns that Our lives are not only about ourselves, The heart turns outward

We plead in prayer, on the behalf of others for the sake of God’s Kingdom. It is most effective though when we learn to become desperate. He explains that the word desperate does not mean anxious, it means “your deepest longing”, the first need of your heart in life. 

He explained that Leaders need to be desperate because they need to develop the insight, stamina and courage to see the enemies poised against the Kingdom of God. There is evil perpetrated against the Kingdom of God. You will become desperate when you see this, he says. He quotes Ephesians 6:12–

Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Leaders remember that they are a Child of God.

He asked, Are you playing it safe or are you saying, I am a child of God? He continues, Who are you pleaded for? Is it for your family?

Again, Pastor Tom asks us to remember that this life is not just about ourselves. Not even just about our own families. They fill our hearts tenderly. They teach us to love. In our communities we extend to fellowship and we reach towards one another.  As we grow in life and especially in the life of prayer, we witness that we are part of God’s Family.

We are all part of The Family of God, this is His Kingdom.

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.

He used the word “Ethical-decision makers”. That is all of us. It is our hearts, the clearinghouse within that is subject to God’s review. Each moment contains a “decision” that we are making.

Every decision that we make is an ethical one.

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.

© 2019 Linda Willows

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