The One Thing Necessary in Church Leadership
Devotional Thought of the Day:
16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)
16 Give in? Be just commonplace? You, a sheep-like follower? You were born to be a leader! Among us, there is no place for the lukewarm. Humble yourself, and Christ will kindle in you again the fire of love.
In my library, I have a couple dozen books on leadership. Some are from my second round of college, either from my first round, where I pursued a degree in Church growth and Preaching or in my second round, where I ended up with a degree in Organizational Leadership and Management. Some exist from time in business, working in management and at Pepperdine University. Some are from seminars like Pastoral Leadership Institute International. They cover a lot of things, from time management to delegation and staff development, from laws that are theoretical to actual governmental codes and standards.
But most miss the lesson that a radical Catholic priest mentions in his book “The Way.” The lesson quoted above in blue. A lesson I resonate with, and the best leaders I have worked with and interacted with know as well.
These are people that aren’t lukewarm, they don’t do the minimal things, they commit themselves entirely. They aren’t always the pastor, or an elder, or hold some elected office. But they are people that are highly effective, incredibly dependable, and sacrificial without realizing it. They are the round pegs that find themselves in the round holes, and rejoice and find great contentment in preparing communion, or fixing what is broken, or teaching the 2-3-year-old children in Sunday school.
They are the true leaders of the church, for they do what is their own special work, and in doing so, they put the needs of the community before their own needs. Because of them a congregation exudes love and is healthy, no matter the size.
For where they lead us to is the cross, where their bring us is to Christ, what they reflect is His glorious mercy and love. They have, like Jesus, humbled themselves, and found that Jesus has kindled them again in the fire of His love.
You see, leadership in the church isn’t being visionary, it isn’t being the one who manages everything and drives every project and every goal to completion. (unless of course, that is your calling) It isn’t about the charisma of the people “up front” or the skills in running a meeting. Leadership in the church is about whether we depend upon God, whether we hear His voice, and follows where He leads. Leaders in the church do this, not because they are faithful, but because they have faith because they depend on God.
If we realize that these people are leaders, then the role of the ministry is to equip them, to support them and encourage them, To pick them up when they fall, to pray for them, to pray with them. We shouldn’t need to give them permission as much as simply acknowledge their call to do the work in the body that God has prepared them for, and sent them to do.
It takes humility… of those who lead, and of those who people think are the leaders. For in that humility we can hear God, who is our shepherd and Lord. To Him be all glory and honor and praise.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 198-201). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.