The Legacy of PMF Leadership
A brief view of spiritual leadership
By Dr. Joel B. Santos


    Philippine Missionary Fellowship, Inc. is a mission-organization founded in 1957.  It is now 46 years old.  Members, workers, leaders and sponsors have come and go but the mission of the Lord is continuously growing and doing mightily in the sight of God.  At present, there are 260 workers in the mission field and 500 churches were established in around 20 provinces nationwide.  We can imagine how the Lord blessed PMF with leaders who ran the organization with success. I believed that PMF is truly a strong organization established not by the great men alone, but the Lord.
    The lack of potential leaders is not founded in the Scriptures.  This is merely a speculation.   Some think that PMF has no potential leaders who can lead the organization the way it was led by the former leaders. While others think that they can never run the mission due to lack of leadership training and skills.
    J. Oswald Sanders, in his book “Spiritual Leadership” told that 85% of spiritual leaders are made through the influence of others.  They became effective leaders because of the training and experience they gained from the past and improve in the present.  The body of Christ is made up of great leaders that are gifted in every area of the ministry.  The Holy Spirit had given them so much talents and gifts that every one will become useful and contributor to the growth and success in the body of Christ. In reality, leadership crisis in a strong organization is the product of leadership who carries the leadership whenever they leave.  They never lay any foundation to build great leaders for the future, nothing more and nothing less.  A legacy of a leader, according to Maxwell, is “created only when a person puts his organization into the position to do great things without him.”


Choose Potential Leaders Around You
 “Choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and Wisdom… They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit”(Acts 6:3,5).  

     Spirituality coupled with wisdom.  Selection of kingdom leaders must not be influenced by worldly wisdom, wealth, or social status.  The prime consideration is spirituality.  Selecting leaders apart from spiritual qualifications always leads to unspiritual administration. Although spirituality gives wisdom for a leader but being spiritual alone is not enough.  Wisdom given by God acquired through outpouring of the Holy Spirit or through education, according to Luke, is a pre-requisite for successful leadership. John R. Mott, a world leader in student circles, believed that “a leader is a man who knows the road, who can keep ahead, and who pulls others after him.”  Spiritual leaders blend with natural and spiritual qualities.  Even the natural qualities are supernatural gifts, since all good things come from God.
     Personal Integrity. Paul spoke of his failures and success with openness that few of us are prepared to copy.  Even before his conversion he served God sincerely (2 Tim. 1:3) and with great personal integrity.  Later he wrote: “In Christ we speak before God with sincerity” (2 Cor. 2:17).  This quality of leadership was part of God’s law for the Israelites (Deut. 18:13).  God wants his people to show a transparent character, open and innocent of deception.  A prominent businessman once replied to a question: “If I had to name the one most important quality of a top manager, I would say personal integrity.”  Surely the spiritual leader must be sincere in promise, faithful in discharge of duty, upright in finances, loyal in service, and honest in speech.”
   Just as in sports a coach needs a team of good players to win, an organization needs a team of good leaders to succeed.

Delegate “your” Responsibilities to Train Them
 “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Tim. 2:2)
Another facet of leadership is the ability to recognize the special abilities and limitation of others, combined with capacity to fit each one into the job he or she will do the best.  To succeed in getting things done through others is the highest type of leadership.  D.E. Hoste said that “the capacity to appreciate gifts of widely varying kinds of workers, is the main quality for oversight in a mission such as ours.”
 Thoughtful delegation will save the leader the frustrating experience of square pegs serving in round holes.  Jethro told Moses in his advice, “you and these people who come to you will surely wear yourselves out.  The work is too hard for you; you can not handle it alone.” (Exodus 18:18).  Several things will be taken in this advice: Moses was able to concentrate on the biggest problems, the talents of many around him were discovered, those gifted men who could have become his critics were now allies facing common challenge.  People’s problems were solved with efficiency and most of all Moses laid the ground works of effective leadership after his death.  It is a big mistake for a good leader to assume more duties than he can discharge. Leaders must multiply themselves by developing younger leaders, giving them full play and adequate outlet for their abilities.  
 When W.E. Sangster was appointed General Secretary of the Home Mission Department of Methodist Church in Britain, he divided labor between his subordinates, assigned each responsibility, and gave up all supervision.  He never regretted such trust. It was said of Sangster: “his greatest grasp of leadership was knowing the importance of delegation and of choosing assistants with care…” The result, many potential leaders knew his job and the ministry will continue despite of his absence. The morale of leaders under him was raised up to the same level that they can run the organization with themselves.
  Nehemiah raised the morale of his collegues. It is the important part of leader’s work.  He built up their faith by redirecting focus away from the “impossible” toward the greatness of God.  Through out the record are such assurances as “the God of heaven will give us success” (2:20) and “the Joy of the Lord is your strength” (8:10). Faith builds faith.  Pessimism dismantles faith.  The spiritual leader’s primary task is to build the faith of others through proper delegation of his work.  As Frank Buchman once said, “If you failed to train others to do your work better than you did, you had failed.”
 Delegation is the most effective way of training Christians for the spiritual leadership.

Use Spiritual Gifts to Focus in the Ministry
“Any person can steer the ship but it takes a leader to chart the course” (John Maxwell).

    Most of Spiritual leaders have neglected the importance of Scriptural giftedness in choosing their spiritual leaders.  Most of the time they select leaders according to the person’s ability and dedication to service. That’s why they failed and oftentimes ineffective.  Leaders cannot be equipped to all aspects of God’s service.  The ministry is not electronic equipment, but a body with discernible parts. Scripture speaks of this truth in Ephesians, which tells us that when Jesus ascended, “He…gave some to be apostles…and some pastors and teachers;…” (4:11 NKJV).
    Every person has a field of effectiveness. As much as possible, focus your life and ministry on your own field in order to become productive.  Although some leaders can do things beyond their gifts but their effectiveness in that area are limited.  A person gifted in church planting more often is ineffective in church administration, and a person gifted in church administration is not very effective in teaching.  On the other side, although your foot can handle a paper that was drop on the floor, but it is more easily for the hand to get it with success.  Success in the ministry greatly lies in the gifts and talents of the people serving under it. If the leaders work according to their gifts two things will happen, First, they will enjoy serving the ministry, as they serve the Lord, and second, they will become effective.
    No one is strong in every area of life.  To produce leaders, find people in your organization, whom God has equipped to minister effectively in the important areas, develop them in your organization through the art of delegation. For where you are weak others are strong!


      It is not easy to look for good and responsible leaders. You can’t know the person by their words, because politicians usually use this strategy.  Read their words from the heart and you will know them for God did not choose people out of other things aside from the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). God is able to know who are worthy.  If there is no other way in your mind, you can consider the advice of A.W. Tozer: “A true and safe leader is likely to be one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position by inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of circumstances…The man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader.  The true leader will have no desire to Lord it over God’s heritage, but will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing and altogether ready to follow when the spirit chooses another to lead.”
Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Joshua, Peter, Paul and other disciples of Jesus are good leaders who never aspire to put into leadership but they simply do their job faithfully and honestly.  
     Several years ago, the embassy in Beruit was bombed and several people were injured.  One marine was injured physically and he was also blinded.  The four-star general who was the commanding officer of that area went into the hospital and commended this man for suffering.  A few days later, the commanding officer was advised that it was the birthday of the young marine who had been blinded.  The general said, “cancel everything, I’m going over to the hospital.”  He got the four stars and he went over to the hospital and he sought out the blind marine and said, “I understand it’s your birthday today.”  And he said, “Give me your hand.”  And as he held up his hand, the general put four stars in his hand and said, “these are for you young man, HAPPY Birthday.”  The young marine then asked for the hand of general and gave back the four stars and said, “simper fie” which means “always faithful.”  This young marine was simply saying, “I do not deserve anything extra.  I was simply remaining faithful.”  
     The God’s wanted leaders have similar motto that lived out in their lives.  They steadfast for they are always faithful to the Lord.  They serve just to glorify the Lord!