Listen to this inspiring episode of Leadership Factory: Building Leaders with Purpose where you’ll discover how to pass the tests that every leader faces:
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. (Psalm 26:2)
Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. James 3:1
When God tests a leader, He takes you through a process that reveals what you are made of. Passing the test is the pathway to progress and promotion.
Testing is: an opportunity that challenges a leader to show their potential and maturity.
Ten Tests That Prove Leadership Potential and Maturity
The Test of Small Things
Proves our faithfulness and potential for greater opportunities.
…making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. (Luke 16:10)
The Test Question: What are you doing with what you already have?
The Motivation Test
Examines why you are doing what you are doing.
Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” (Job 1:9–11)
The Test Question: What motivates you? Are you a self-starter, or do you need outside prodding?
The Stewardship Test
Proves how strategically and generously you handle the resources you are responsible for.
His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)
The Test Question: How resourceful are you? How are you managing the resources entrusted to you?
The Wilderness Test
Reveals your potential for change and growth when you are spiritually dry.
Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! 16 He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good. (Deuteronomy 8:15–16)
The Test Question: Are you a self-feeder. Do you still need someone to feed you?
I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 1 Corinthians 3:2
The Integrity Test
Displays your ability and integrity and reveals your ability to hold firm under pressure.
But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. 12 When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. 13 As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. (Galatians 2:11–13)
The Test Question: Who are you when no one is looking?
The Authority Test
Exposes your attitude and willing submission toward God-given authority.
So Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the wild goats. 3 At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave! 4 “Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’” So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe. 5 But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” 7 So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul. (1 Samuel 24:2-7)
The Test Question: How well do I submit to God-given authority?
Until you can follow, you can’t lead.
The Forgiveness Test
Shows you’re not easily offended and are ready to forgive others.
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:14–15
The Test Question: What grudges am I holding on to that I need to forgive?
The Soldier Test
Exposes your ability to stand when you face opposition.
If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5
The Test Question: Are you tough enough and battle ready?
The Test of Time
Reveals the quality of your work, based on both opportunity and longevity.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9
The Test Question: Will what you’re building stand the test of time?
10.The Lordship Test
Reveals your heart response to who or what has the final authority in your life.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” 5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. (Luke 5:4–7)
The Test Question: What are you willing to do, even if it seems crazy?
Questions for Discussion
- How did you respond to a test you recently went through?
- Which of these ten tests have you experienced? Have you “passed” them?