We can all engage in ministry as soon as we respond to the gospel. However, when it comes to spiritual maturity that enables one to lead, how long does that take to see such fruit in one’s life?
We know that Jesus did not fully engage in leadership until 30 years of His life had passed and Paul, with all his study and learning, took another 14 years away from leadership before God revealed to him that it was time for him to go to Jerusalem and meet the “pillars” of the Church.
I believe that each of us think that while we are maturing so are others and are quite surprised when we come back into the world we left a while that we have surpassed those who were once ahead of us in their spiritual growth.
A sign I look for is one where the word of God is understood as the character of God and that the leader will stand up against denominational tendencies when they violate the word and character of God.
I also look for the person’s focus – do they know the call of God in their lives and pursue that relentlessly – not that a rabbit trail here or there is bad, just not a continued habit that takes away from ministry.
Time with God matters most to spiritual ministry. I think too many of us think that study, education or leadership responsibility makes us who we are – they do – but not when it comes to spiritual maturity. There is a difference between intellectual and emotionally growth from spiritual growth. Walking with God each day really matters – to be imitators of God – His word and character – requires time with Him.
Make the decision to walk with Him each day and watch what happens as you are entrusted with the gospel. Somewhere along the way, the “pillars” of the church will extend a right hand of fellowship to you recognizing the spiritual maturity you have.
Even so, go on step further and remember the poor.