Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Leadership Commitment

Many have said it and John Maxwell is often given credit for saying the local church is the hope of the world and it rises and falls on leadership. Plain and simple leadership is where progress is found and driven. Yet there are many who shy away, or outright shirk, this responsibility. The reality is, of leaders do not step to the plate and lead the mission of God through the church suffers greatly.

It must be said however, leadership requires commitment. Leaders must have a vision, and be committed to seeing that vision into reality. Along the way there will be great testing and tribulation. Not everyone will think the vision is a good idea. Not everyone will be willing to sacrifice for the vision to come into being. More than likely at some point the leader will be criticized and possibly threatened. A leader must stay the course, they must have a commitment to a new reality.

How is this possible? First stay deeply connected with God. The single most important thing a leader does in their day is to engage in practices which foster connection of their heart with the heart of God. Second, Allow God to shape you, the vision and the possibilities. Third, secure support from a small group of people who will support, encourage and pray with you. Finally, commit your life and breath to the vision God has put in front of you.

In writing this I have run the classic risk. Some will read this and think right on. Others will see the missing pieces and focus there. No matter what, agree or disagree, there will be no difference if there is not a commitment to leadership. I wonder if there are people who are willing to commit all their being, and God-given life, to the pursuit of leading the people of God, all people, into being the present, anticipating Kingdom of God?


Anonymous said...

Very timely post. I was appointed to my congregation a year ago and I am now experiencing resistance to my leadership. The congregation doesn't really want a leader because that would result in change, which they resist. Lots of positive things are happening and they're getting cranky. Thank you for reminding me that leaders working to further God's mission often meet resistance.

Stresspenguin said...

I know a pastor is a leader, but I believe him or her to be a special type of leader. As the pastor of my charge, I see my primary task as training the lay leadership of the church so that they may be the one's who lead--through visioning and example--the rest of the congregation to do the ministry of the church.

When the church sees the pastor as the sole leader (or the pastor sees himself or herself as the sole leader), that church (and the pastor) will be in for some serious trouble.