The word of God teaches us that the Lord Jesus Christ stands in several primary offices: Priest, King, Prophet, and Apostle. This can be found in numerous passages but for now we will only cite a few passages.
During the past several decades I have seen or read about more and more executive-level leaders and pastors falling into scandal or leaving the ministry because of personal challenges. Sometimes it seems like I hear about a leadership fall every week!
There has been much written about the office and function of prophet in the past three decades. In this article, I will be writing regarding my own experience in understanding what the Bible says about the prophetic ministry, and I will attempt to connect this to today’s world.
As a pastor who has made a living observing human nature and behavior the past 30+ years, I have seen people who are unconsciously driven by forces of negative human behavior that lead them to self-destruct. Among such behavior is emotional deprivation disorder, a term used by noted psychologist Conrad Baars in his important book Feeling & Healing Your Emotions. This is one of the most common negative human behaviors that I have seen.
Unfortunately, leadership succession is usually one of the sloppiest things that ever happens in a local church! Most of the time there is no real plan. If there is a plan, usually it is not well thought out and a person is prematurely installed as a senior leader and falls on their face.
We have an unhealthy church culture in which people in ministry and leadership often believe they are above what they sing and preach. For example, many worship team members and leaders habitually go hang out somewhere in the church building after they “perform” and do not sit under the word. Also, many elders and leaders in the typical local church lead small groups and/or preach, but themselves do not have a place in the church for personal ministry and accountability. Also, often lead pastors preach accountability and submission to authority, but themselves have no one outside their local church that speaks into their lives.
In the past several decades we have seen massive church growth. Church attendance in the world is at an all-time high. Yet, in most places of the world, cultural decline keeps accelerating at an alarming rate.
God wants His creation to be fascinated with Him and His ways.
Passages like Isaiah 40 are examples of how God wants us to always have hearts that pursue and seek out the mystery of God and His ways.
As someone who has been involved in some form of leadership and studied this subject for over thirty years, I have observed certain non-negotiables in regards to what makes a person an effective leader. When it comes down to it, the most important elements of leadership are very simple. I have summarized these in ten fundamental commandments:
With over 32 years of full-time ministry, I have been around many older ministers. I noticed that very few seemed satisfied with the way they had prioritized their time related to their ministry and personal life. Because of this, I often spend my time thinking many years ahead when I will be nearing the end of my earthly sojourn and try to envision the types of activities and fruit I would bear that would most please me to eventually realize, based on the Scriptures and my calling. The following are observations that I have made for myself from the numerous discussions I have had with veteran and near-retirement ministers, so that I may press ahead with wisdom and not live my last days with regret, cynicism, and denial: Read More
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