My first call into ministry made it apparent that if this ministry thing would work out, I needed to be a better leader. Like so many things in my life, I had to work hard to make progress on that front. I studied at feet of some the giants in leadership. Those leaders were considered on the cutting edge and at that moment in time the best church leaders I could find. One thing continued to rise to the surface, “Leaders are courageous.” For Christian leaders that courage does not come from internal confidence in our ability, it comes from unwavering trust in our God. We can lead with boldness, with courage because we know that the mission we are called to accomplish is the mission God gave His church. With that as the backdrop of what I will say next here is a great piece I ran across about leadership.
Myron Rush identifies tough issues facing every Christian leader in The New Leader. We are wise to ponder them slowly.
– You must be willing to stand alone.
– You must be willing to go against public opinion in order to promote what you believe.
– You must be willing to risk failure.
– You must become master of your emotions.
– You must strive to remain above reproach.
– You must be willing to make decisions others don’t want to make.
– You must be willing to say no at times, even when you’d like to say yes.
– You must sometimes be willing to sacrifice personal interests for the good of the group.
– You must never be content with the average; you must always strive for the best.
– People must be more important to you than possessions.
– You will have to work harder to keep your life in balance than people do who are not leaders.
Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989, pp. 177-178.
Because each of these points is so important, I will over the course of the next few weeks dig deeper into each one. Leadership is complicated, and it often comes at a significant cost. Where many leaders fail is being unwilling or unaware of just how difficult that task of leading is. Some leaders underestimating the value of leading while others are reluctant to take risks. No matter the reason the results of not providing a clear path is churches get stuck in neutral. Whether you like it or not you have been called to serve, to shepherd, to guide and to lead. Leaders help guide to church to find their mission and calling from God and live up to their potential. The goal of this series is not to cause leaders more guilt; there is more than enough of to go around. Nor is it to criticize their choices, no one knows what tough choices leaders have to make until they walk in their shoes. My goal, my hope, my prayer is to encourage leaders and give them the tools they need to lead their congregations into the ministry they were given the divine privilege to do. All this from the heart of one who had to learn the hard way the pain of not leading. I will end this post with the words Paul finished his prayer for the Ephesians. “20 Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; 21glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always. Amen.” Ephesians 3: 20-21
Other posts in the bold leadership series:
Author of "Thank You For Your Service, Sheep!"
"For God can speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds."
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