Sunday, August 18, 2013

Which kind of leadership success are you after?


It was yet another article on leadership, this one focusing on how to achieve excellence in ministry.

Like many articles on "pastoral leadership," the few sure steps to success it was offering were straight out of the secular world ...

... You must be passionate ...

... You must be the expert ...

... You must work harder than the other guy ...

... You must be focused ...

... You have to sacrifice for success ...

Each item could be explained in such a way that it sounded good, and even sounded right. And they are, if the kind of Christian leadership "success" you want is what you are humanly capable of.

That's the problem with so much of what is taught about leadership in the church --- it's largely based on secular approaches to achieving what you can humanly manipulate into being.

But ministry is not about human success, and the church isn't a business where is a product is churned out.

Ministry is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, with God making His appeal through us (2 Cor. 5:20). In that case, Christian leadership is more about being the follower God wants us to be so that He can work in and through us the way He desires to achieve what He wants, all for His glory.

That changes things.

Instead of focusing on what we can achieve from the raw gifts and talents God has blessed us with, Christian leadership looks more like this ...

... You must be holy as God is holy ...

... Walk humbly with God ...

... Love each other in the same way Christ loved you ...

... Study to show yourself approved ...

... Hold fast to the Word of God ...

... Preach the Gospel ...

Holiness. Humility. Love. Being committed to the Word of God. Preaching the Gospel. These are the kind of elements that have more to do with "success" as a Christian leader than secular methods because these things are about what God is doing in and through you instead of what you are accomplishing from your own efforts.

And it's what God accomplishes in and through you that will ultimately be the real outcome of your spiritual leadership.

In that case, it might benefit Christian leaders to spend less time learning how they can maximize results from their own talents and more time in scripture searching out how we can fully submit our lives to God for Him to make His appeal through us.

Which kind of leadership success have you been chasing: achieving what you're humanly capable of, or being a conduit through which God's love and truth reaches others with His desired outcomes?

Scotty

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