Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Leading That Lacks a Calling

I picked this up from JDGreear and thought it was worthwhile.

All pastors, by definition, are leaders. I have discovered, however, that many of them do not think of themselves as such. You ask them where they see their church going, what vision they are pursuing... and beyond bland banalities they have little to say.
For many pastors, I think one reason they fail to lead is they haven't learned to recognize the ways God has genuinely called them to be a leader. Let me explain.

Acts 26:16 has always been one of the most important verses to me in ministry (since my college pastor, Tom Wagoner, shared it with me in his office in 1994). In that verse Jesus tells Paul, "Rise up and stand on your feet, for I have made you a minister and a witness of the things you have seen and the things I will yet show you." Jesus had shown a part of himself to Paul that he had not shown to Peter, and Paul had a special angle on Christian ministry he was to add to the church. Jesus told him, "I gave you, and will give you, this insight on me. My calling on you is to add it to the body of Christ."

Over the years, reflection on this verse has propelled me into leadership. I don't assume that Jesus has shown me something that he has never shown to anyone else. However, I do understand that Jesus has let me see, experience, understand and feel certain things, and I am to add that to the body of Christ. This forms the core of my leadership fuel. I am a minister and witness of the things He has shown me and will yet show to me.

For many of us the best thing we could do is to get away with our Bible and maybe our wives or even a close friend and ask Jesus what he has planted deepest in our hearts. Talk them out. Pray them out. Write them out. Map them out.
Then lead the rest of us in them.

One note for those of you with the same idolatrous disease I have to gain recognition... don't try to be "novel," as if you have something new, never discovered before, to add to the body of Christ. I have discovered that the desire to be "original" is usually idolatry in me. Just try and understand what Jesus has shown you most powerfully from the Scriptures that the rest of us don't seem to understand as well, and then figure out the clearest way to help us all understand that.

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