Your Voice: Why we need more leaders in ministry

First-person articles, comments, letters to the editor, blog excerpts, social media posts and more …
(Unsplash photo)

Your Voice: Why we need more leaders in ministry

Leadership has an image problem.

Some of us — men and women alike — hear the word “leader” and think about our own leadership inadequacies, real or perceived, or about some hard-driving, uncaring, boss-type leader who did little of the work but took all the credit.

Added to this, much of what we hear about leadership these days comes from secular sources — often driven by the bottom line — whose principles have been baptized into ministry leadership contexts.


5 reasons

But can we make a case for the importance of leadership in Christian ministry and the church?

Do we need more leaders in churches and ministry organizations?

Do church and ministry leaders need to grow in their leadership skills and ability?

My answer is an emphatic ‘yes’ and here is why:

  1. Leaders help us advance the mission. Jesus gave us one mission, the Great Commission, and it requires leadership to move the people of God to go hard after that mission. Whether that leadership comes from a pastor, a lay elder, a deacon, a church council or a ministry team where collaboration is the norm, at the end of the day someone has to say, ‘This is where we need to go.’ That person is a leader, and helps us move into God’s mission for the church or ministry organization.
  2. Leaders keep us from drifting. In his book, “How to Lead When Your Boss Can’t (Or Won’t),” John Maxwell provides a list of what to expect when there is no leader. His list includes the following: “Decisions are Delayed, Agendas are Multiplied, Conflicts are Extended, Morale becomes Low, Production is Reduced and Success is Difficult.” All of that is true — plus more.

    Leaders also protect us from mission drift. They help us say “no” to good things so we can say “yes” to the best things for the mission.

  1. Leaders often inspire and encourage us. Not all leaders are inspiring figures. Many who are called to lead have done damage to our leadership success by our own poor example or by not properly caring for the people we are called to lead.

    Each leader, however, can learn to inspire and encourage others. Biblical characters like Nehemiah, Moses or Joshua remind us that leaders can help people go further and do more than they thought they could. All of us need a little inspiration and encouragement and leaders can provide that.

  1. Leaders identify emerging problems. Good managers typically have their eyes on the work in front of them while those in leadership are expected to look farther down the road at what challenges are, or could be, coming our way.

    Someone has said that leaders see further and faster than others. The Apostle Paul looked at the sinful progression of fallen human nature and warned his ministry protégé Timothy that the time would come when people would not endure sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3). Every church and ministry organization needs someone to look ahead at what emerging problems may be coming their way.

  1. Leaders set the pace in caring for people. This truism can be good or bad, but it is definitely true. Leaders set the pace and place a lid on the organization they serve. Good leaders help a church or ministry organization advance its mission and solve problems.

    Great leaders, however, do those things while also caring well for the people they lead. When leaders care for people while, at the same time, moving faithfully into the mission, then they are becoming leaders worth following.

    No matter where you are in your leadership development, you can grow and improve as a leader.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was originally published by Kentucky Today.

Be God’s innovator

The world does not need another savior, we have one.

What is needed is for you and me to become the innovators for which we were created.

How do you become a spiritual innovator? Dare to be different.

Follow God’s will for you and you will become an innovator.

God has given you gifts, talents and abilities to use for His glory.

We are to develop and understand how to use those under the guidance and influence of His Word and His Holy Spirit.

Not to fly off on our own, but to use His giftings to align with what He is doing around us.

Dare to be different, be God’s innovator.

George Yates
Organizational health strategist

It only takes one

By Karen Moore

A number of years ago, an intriguing tale was brought to life in a TV series called “The NeverEnding Story.”

The story involves a young hero who is trying to save his planet from utter destruction.

One episode was called The Nothing. The job of The Nothing was to keep people in a world of despair and take away any sense of possibility or imagination they might have. The Nothing worked best when people felt they could do nothing to change things. The Nothing threatened any thoughts of hope or goodness.

I can’t help drawing a parallel between this story and the despair in the world today. People who once would have relied on their faith, or depended on prayer, are walking away by the thousands, leaving hope and possibility behind. They imagine there is nothing they can do to stop the chaos in the world.

They have surrendered all their power to those who manipulate their thoughts and emotions. They have forgotten who they are.

We all have a role

Americans who profess to believe in God have reached an all-time low. The statistics are frightening. We have given up on church [and] have also stopped believing in God.

We’re more anxious than ever  and … marginalize one another, forgetting we’re all important to keeping hope and love and faith alive. We’ve forgotten we’re loved by God. We’re exchanging everything for nothing.

Each of us plays a part in the story being told right now. You may only be one, but you can tell God’s story. You can surrender your heart in prayer and ask God to guide you into all truth, so you can keep telling His story. His story is the only one that is never ending.

Abundant patience and love is undefeated.

David Pollack
@davidpollack47 on X

We believers must create relaxed settings where we regularly connect with unbelievers. We have to casually be around the lost to effectively communicate with them. Our homes are made to order for this. They can provide unbelievers a place where they can safely ask hard questions.

John Marshall
@john316marshall on X

Some of my Christian friends are discouraged about the growing darkness they see in the world. I get that. There’s a lot of bad news out there. But don’t give in to it.

I’m telling you, right now we have a golden opportunity to reach people that you’ll miss if you give in to pessimism.

Right now, ordinary non-
Christians are more hungry for plain spoken truth than I’ve never seen in my ministry. Why? Because they know they’re being lied to. They expect it. Deceit and spin are just part of the social landscape.

Many of them are sick of it. They’ve got enough sense to recognize moral insanity that’s causing our society to collapse and it terrifies them. They have the same fears we do but not the same hope.

God’s law is written on the heart of every unbeliever (Rom. 2:15). They know something is terribly wrong with the world and it scares them but they’re blind to its true nature and remedy.

They know enough to recognize moral insanity (natural revelation) but not what to do about it (special revelation).

This is a MASSIVE opportunity to speak with a no-holds barred, pull-no-punches moral clarity. God uses this to draw people to himself. (I’m not talking about mean-spirited emotional rants, but sober-minded, plain-spoken truth.)

Every unbeliever’s conscience bears witness that they are condemned in their sin. Nevertheless, they suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).

God draws people to himself as Christians bear witness to this truth. They learn of God’s law, his holiness, his righteous anger against sin and his coming judgment. Our clarity about the truth affirms the quiet suspicion of their hearts that God made them, they’ve sinned against him and they will give account to him. We say explicitly what they already know implicitly.

This conviction of sin, produced in their heart by the Holy Spirit, can lead them to recognize their need for a savior and believe the gospel.

Some unbelievers’ reactions may be harsh, angry, irrational and emotional. That’s often a necessary step towards accepting the truth. But later on, when they’re alone with their thoughts, the truth can sink in.

The bottom line is this. We should respond to the growing, brazen wickedness in the world in two ways.

First, we should use all godly means at our disposal to push back against evil in the world.

Second, we should seize the providential opportunity to declare Christ’s victory or all evil powers and the hope of the gospel.

Michael Clary
@dmichaelclary on X

I have yet to meet another Christian leader as effective as Jeff Iorg. He is visionary, inspirational, resilient, extremely skilled and wonderfully gifted by God. What’s so beautiful is he so willingly pours into others. I am a beneficiary of his sacred investment.

Sandy Wisdom-Martin
Executive director
National WMU

EDITOR’S NOTE — Your Voice is the opinion section of The Alabama Baptist print newspaper. To submit a letter to the editor, click here.

Share with others:


Related Posts