8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
The sixth spiritual gift is leadership.
the one who leads,
The word for “leads” means to stand before. Literally its root is set before. A leader goes before followers. This gift is not limited to church offices but can include people without an official position in the church.
1 Th 5: 12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
with zeal [zest];
The word “zeal” connotes diligence, eagerness, and earnestness. A leader is not half-hearted in leading people from one point to another. He is a person of vitality and one who envisages a great future for the cause of Christ.
There is a vulnerability to leadership in that no one stands over leaders. This might introduce laxness, laziness, and lack of zest for the work of God. It is imperative that the leader is self-motivated.
1 Pe 5: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
The gift of leadership requires self-motivation.
It comes as a shock to some people in the congregation that God places some people over them.
He 13: 7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
It is also true that some leaders abuse their gifts by overbearing and domineering leadership. The issue of spiritual welfare of believers is at stake here.
1 Pe 5: 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
No abuse of leadership should daunt leaders from leading. And leaders are to lead with zest at that. Leadership is something that is held in trust from God. Leaders are accountable to God for how they lead the church of Jesus Christ. It is a matter of throwing themselves into the work. They must stay close to the Lord in doing so.