Great spiritual leaders recognize their human frailties, their ever-present ability to err and stumble, the reality that in their flesh they lack the requisite spiritual skills to measure up to the task set before them, and the real possibility of failure at any moment. However, they continue to move forward no matter how clumsy they may feel about the task, no matter how awkward they may appear to friend and foe alike, and no matter how others may respond to them doing what they know in their regenerated heart is right, noble, and biblical.
Great spiritual leaders never have to tell people they are in charge. Great spiritual leaders are one-part shepherd, one-part sheepdog, and one-part sheep. They know when to lead. They know when to serve. They know when to follow. And they are content in any of these positions.
Great spiritual leaders are first out of the trenches and last on the field of battle. They lead others in the charge and they cover the army's rear in the event of a necessary retreat. Great spiritual leaders take responsibility for the mistakes of their unit, whether the mistake was theirs or not.
Great spiritual leaders are not self-qualifying, self-appointed, or self-anointed. They are called by God, by His Church, and affirmed by his Christian brethren. They see God and the Body of Christ better served by others and not themselves.
I don't know why the Lord put this on my heart. I don't know why He would have me pen this definition of spiritual leadership. I can only conclude this. He wanted me to be well-aware that I am so far below this standard, He has now given me something clear and measurable to strive toward, for the glory of Jesus Christ my King.