“The local church is the hope of the world and its future rests primarily in the hands of its leaders.”—Billy Hybels
I’m a leadership and ministry major. I’m really skeptical of the “leader” trend that’s in the United States church. Oh, I realize that leaders are a requirement for the church. I’m just not convinced that everyone that claims to be one is one. In fact there are more claims than there are “calls.”
I don’t particular care for titles (reverend, pastor, bishop, grandpoobah etc.). In fact someone that is caught up in demanding a title is a big yellow flag for me. (Some of you won’t like that, it’s okay. I accepted that before I wrote this). I recognize my role. It’s also important for other people to recognize the role I or any other leader serves in the church. The first place that should be evident is in the way we carry ourselves and serve. Titles are a description and should explain our function. A title shouldn’t be something I hang my hat on or attach my importance to.
The most important part of that last paragraph was, “The first place that should be evident is in the way we carry ourselves and serve.” You can claim a title, you can’t fake a function. Not for long anyway.
My plea if you serve in a formal church leadership role:
Display some humility by seeking ways to improve your leadership. Don’t assume that you know everything you need to know. That trap will destroy your abilities, even your natural ones. That doesn’t mean hire a life coach. It means take a step back, pray about learning more about shepherding the flock you’ve been trusted and ask God to confirm your “calling.” (If you were voted into your position, that doesn’t necessarily verify your “call).
My Plea if you serve in a “natural” church leadership role:
Don’t belittle the role you play. Without natural leaders in our churches they will fall apart. The people in the “formal” roles are more reliant upon you than you may realize. They may not always make the best decision, but you always have their ear when you are serving. Natural leaders may be Sunday school teachers or youth sponsors. You may also be a natural leader in your church if you are just one of the people that listen when you open your mouth.
You are needed in your church…prayerfully focused in the steps of Jesus and humble as a servant to those who need you to lead on your level.
NEVER TAKE YOUR ROLE FOR GRANTED. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31)