Skip to main content

Spiritual leaders are called to lead with grit and resilience – to weather the storms of ministry by fighting through the hard to lead people closer to Jesus. Are you leading with passion and persistence? Do you have a sense of gospel urgency?

In this article, we will learn more about spiritual grit as we uncover the following topics:

    1. Defining Spiritual Grit
    2. Nehemiah: An Example of Leading with Spiritual Grit
    3. Evaluating Your Spiritual Grit

Defining Spiritual Grit

Grit depends on the person to find it in themselves to stick with a task, position, or project. Spiritual Grit requires a conversational and dependent relationship with God to be able to fulfill what he has called you to. It’s the Holy Spirit that empowers you to have the courage and wisdom to keep going as a leader, especially as challenges and obstacles come. Spiritual grit is a result of your relationship with Christ. 

Spiritual grit is empowered by the Holy Spirit. We see this all throughout the New Testament (Colossians 1:11, Ephesians 3:16, Luke 24:49, 2 Timothy 4:17, etc.) and the Old Testament (Ezekiel 36:27).

Nehemiah: An Example of Leading with Spiritual Grit

The story of Nehemiah is an amazing example of what godly leadership should look like. Nehemiah was called to rebuild the wall. He was so certain of his call to do this, that when he encountered obstacles and challenges, he never let these get in the way of fulfilling God’s call on his life. God’s callings are invitations to us. And God’s invitations always require a response from us. We can choose to step into the things we are called to, or we can ignore or run away from God’s calling. In Nehemiah’s case, he stepped into the calling to rebuild the wall, and did it with spiritual grit. 

Nehemiah was given a great task by God. The end goal was so significant, Nehemiah couldn’t have done it in his own strength. You have also been tasked by God with a significant call: leading God’s people to live out the purposes of God in their everyday lives. It’s an enormous task, but one God will enable you to do. This should motivate you to lead with spiritual grit. Stay motivated towards this because the end goal matters – eternally.

Evaluating Your Spiritual Grit

Just as Nehemiah faced obstacles and challenges, staying motivated to fulfill the calling God has placed on your church can be a challenge. Are you or your team struggling to meet some goals you’ve made? The struggle may be coming from a few different places. 

First, look at your goals. Are they connected to God’s calling on your church? If not, they may be too small. If the end goal isn’t great and a little out of reach to where you need to depend on God, you likely won’t have full participation and motivation from your team. The greater the purpose, the more it will depend on being unified behind that purpose. The greater the purpose, the greater motivation to fulfill that purpose. Make sure those on your team have a clear understanding of what the goals and expectations are, and how they fit into the calling God has on your church. When people are clear about this, they will be able to rally around a unified purpose.

Secondly, evaluate if fear is getting in the way of fulfilling the goals you’ve made to step into God’s calling. The greatest obstacle is always fear. Fear will try to dictate your future by reminding you of negative outcomes from the past. Fear will try to bully you into believing that you can’t step into the things God’s calling you to do. But take heart, remember that God’s command “Do NOT fear,” is mentioned to Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jesus’ disciples, and many others as they sought to live faithful lives to God. If fear is a factor in your leadership, you’re in the company of some fine biblical leaders! 

Fear will come, but faith is greater than fear. Leading with spiritual grit by keeping going towards God’s purposes in the midst of fear will show those on your team, they can live in faith rather than in fear. You can be vulnerable with your team about your fears and doubts because your faith is not in your own abilities. Genuine leadership requires vulnerability and admitting your fears while standing in faith will speak louder than you know. 

Lastly, remember that God’s calling on your life to lead others to walk in God’s way isn’t about you. It’s his ministry. You have been given the gift of being used by him, so your confidence can be rooted firmly in him and his ability to draw people to himself. This will be a tension you will need to wrestle with, surrendering God’s calling and his ability to fulfill that calling over and over again. You will be tempted to make it about you, your preferences, and your abilities, but it’s always, always about God and what he is doing in the world. So, step into this temptation with courage, laying down yourself for the sake of pointing to Christ. Keep your spiritual grit, because God has called you to live for something much greater than yourself. 

Questions to Ask Yourself

These reflective questions can help you evaluate your spiritual grit.

  • What is your natural response to challenging times in your ministry? Do you lead people through the difficulty?
  • How proactive are you in response to your convictions?
  • Think about a time when you were resilient in your faith. How can you apply those lessons to your present situation?

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  John 15:4-5


Spiritual grit is a tenacious pursuit of Kingdom advancement out of the abundance of who Jesus is and what he has done. It is dependent on God to empower you to live out the calling God has placed on your life. Will you lead with spiritual grit?

Joel Wayne

Founder of Be The Church

Joel Wayne has spent twenty years improving leadership and cultivating healthy culture within organizations and churches in Connecticut, Kentucky, and Michigan. He currently serves as Lead Pastor for Chapel Pointe in Michigan. Joel’s dynamic communication style conveys his enthusiasm for developing strong leaders focusing on Vision, Strategy, and Implementation to create an overall organizational reset. He currently lives in Michigan with his wife and four children.