Pastors beware! Do not read C.H. Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership if you wish to remain content standing ankle deep in the vast ocean of pastoral responsibility.
Actually, I would highly recommend this work to pastors and all Christians as a means of being elevated out of the rut of routine busyness and spiritual slackness that we tend to run in. If you decide to take my advice and purchase this book to read, make sure you get the right one. There is another book of a similar title, Spurgeon on Leadership by Larry J. Michael, which would not have the same effect. Instead, read C.H. Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership by Steve Miller. Basically, he topically arranges many quotes from Spurgeon on various facets of pastoral leadership (prayer, faith, holiness, service, suffering, etc.).
Below are Spurgeon’s words regarding the need for Christian leaders to have a fierce commitment to personal holiness:
“You cannot, though you may think you can, preserve a moderation in sin” (p. 61)
“If you should fail in mental qualifications (though I hope you will not), and if you should have a slender measure of the oratorical faculty (though I trust you will not), yet, depend upon it, a holy life is, in itself a wonderful power, and will make up for many deficiencies; it is in fact, the best sermon the best man can ever deliver.” (p. 70)
On sin’s impact on our ministry—“Your whole life, your whole pastoral life especially will be affected by the vigor of your piety. If your zeal grows dull, you will not pray well in the pulpit; you will pray worse in the family, and worst in the study alone. When your soul becomes lean, your hearers without knowing how or why, will find that your prayers in public have little savor for them; they will feel your barrenness, perhaps before you perceive it yourself. Your discourses will next betray your declension. You may utter as well-chosen words, and as fitly-ordered sentences, as aforetime; but there will be a perceptible loss of spiritual force.” (p. 64-65)
I have many friends who pastor churches across this country and around the world. I pray that each would “watch over his life and teaching” with great vigilance so that Christ would be pleased to make their ministries extraordinarily effective for His own name’s sake.