“There is an end to everything, to good things as well” -Chaucer. I am living this reality now. One the best ministry teams I have ever been blessed to serve with is ending. It was an incredible decade, where God used this team to transform the ministry direction of several congregations. Someone once said, “Ministry is for a season.” As the sun sets on this season, that same sun rises on a new season. As this leadership series sets, I pray the lessons we have covered will be a blessing to you and your ministry. The final post will focus on three things that made this team epic.
You must never be content with the average; you must always strive for the best.
“There is a fine line between being good and crazy. As a leader when you strive for the best, you must balance out the results with allowing for imperfection. Here is a great quote to put on your wall. Edwin Bliss once said, ‘The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time.’” Tim Hansel, Eating Problems for Breakfast, Word Publishing, 1988, p. 39.
Don’t get those two mixed up. We can aim for excellence, but it is a thin line between that and perfection. Don’t cross the line as a leader or you will destroy yourself, your ministry and your people.
Work harder to keep your life in balance than people do who are not leaders.
In my first congregation, I had a member demand I am at church six days a week. I asked him why I should be at church on Saturday when we had no events planned? His response we because “that is what the church expects.” I responded back, but that is not what Scripture supports. And I had him read this passage. “2So the church’s supervisor must be without fault. They should be faithful to their spouse, sober, modest, and honest. They should show hospitality and be skilled at teaching. 3They shouldn’t be addicted to alcohol or be a bully. Instead, they should be gentle, peaceable, and not greedy. 4They should manage their own household well—they should see that their children are obedient with complete respect, 5because if they don’t know how to manage their own household, how can they take care of God’s church?”1 Timothy 3:2-5
When my life is out of balance, I am good to no one. I am failing my family. I am abandoning my leadership and putting my ministry at risk. It is the responsibility of leaders to model balance. I am still working on this one because the first point of striving for the best makes getting life out of balance a natural tendency. Guard your life, protect your family time, and work to keep it all at a healthy level.
People must be more important to you than possessions.
I could give some great examples of this, but Paul says it so well I will let him speak to your heart. “10Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other. 11Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! 12Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home. 14Bless people who harass you—bless and don’t curse them. 15Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying. 16Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart.”Romans 12:10-16
I pray this leadership series has been a blessing to you. May God bless you all and may He bless the people you have been called to lead.
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He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4
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