Here is a list of a few things I’ve learned along the way in ministry and leadership. I have much to learn and have none of this perfected.
Pray. There is no substitute for prayer. No program, no articulate communication, no counseling session, no planning meeting, no motivating message that will ever go further or be more effective than a person on their knees asking the Lord to do what no man can.
There is a big difference between challenging the process and having a critical spirit. Good intentions can easily turn into a destructive rhetoric. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Redemption should always be at the heart of every process challenged. A critical spirit will always distort that work. James 1:19
Faithfulness over flashiness every time… The qualification for leadership shouldn’t come from an external checklist or from being persuaded with sparkly words but should come from observing faithfulness in action. Give someone time and space to let their words resemble their actions. Faithfulness leads people where charisma cannot.
Having patience, extending grace and fighting for…. unity with brothers and sisters is of FAR greater importance than being right. Dietrich Bonhoeffer puts it this way, “It must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him.” I certainly do not have this one mastered, but undoubtedly see the life-bringing power of a tongue submitted to the Lord. Proverbs 19:11
Perfection is something you have to let go of… both the expectations from yourself and from those around you. There is a difference between the pursuit of holiness and the pursuit of perfection. One produces humility, confession, and righteousness while the other debilitates. Leaders do hold themselves to a higher standard - however, there is a slippery slope of this turning into a standard of perfection. If not kept in submission to Christ this will become crushing.
We love because he first loved us. We as leaders are daily in need of the redemptive work of the cross just as much as any human soul that walks through the doors of our church or sphere of influence. We lead not from the assertion of strong-armed leadership but from the humble place of “I once was dead in my own sin and because of Christ, I’ve gone from death to life - no good works of my own.” We lead from this posture both publicly and privately.
Before you ask for strength and skill ask for fear and reverence. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…Proverbs 1:7. This runs like a thread in all we do. The advice the world offers is often in opposition to the wisdom that comes only from the Lord.
Be on guard: As competence rises often our dependence lowers. We can do nothing, absolutely nothing, apart from the Spirit of the Living God. John 15:5
Teach the Word …especially if you are a woman! Women, when you gather, teach the Word and teach other women how to teach the Word. Women’s ministries have a growing tendency to rally around symptoms of sin and struggle but rarely learn the discipline and delight of uprooting the sickness. We so often ask for flimsy inspiration and relegate the long-suffering of an expositional study of the Scriptures to our men. Emotional inspiration is temporary, but raising women to study and treasure the fullness of Scripture has generational and eternal significance. Matthew 4:4, Hebrews 4:12
Don't sub out Christ by inserting yourself. You can't be what everyone needs. People will want you to be what they need....but...Christ can only be what they need. This one leads into the next one...
Go to sleep at night - lay your head on your pillow and trust that while your frail body rests God’s endless might never ceases. Resting is trusting. Psalms 127: 1-2
I am no expert on any topic. I am writing just to share in my journey of learning to abide in my Maker.