With the changing of times many people are evaluating their lives, including many ministers and leaders who are making vows and resolutions to the Lord. In light of all the scandals in the church and the intense scrutiny all leaders in society are presently under, my proposal is that one of the primary vows leaders make should be to walk in integrity.
The word of God teaches us that the Lord uses the “foolishness” of preaching to save those who believe (1 Corinthians 1:21) and that God reveals His will regarding eternal life through preaching (Titus 1:4). Hence, we can never overstate the importance of preaching to fulfill the purposes of God on the earth. That being said, in my experience of more than 30 years of preaching the gospel, I have found there are times we preachers do more harm than good with our messages.
After being in the pastorate for more than three decades, I am convinced that in every church there are prototype leaders that best express the heart, intentions, and characteristics of the overseeing visionary of a church and/or organization. This prototype is able to think like the visionary leader and be trusted when it comes to representing them in most situations. These are also the most loyal, faithful and trustworthy of all leaders. In some churches, there is more than one prototype; however, in most cases there is one person above all who embodies and carries the DNA of the main leader. (It is also possible that a married couple may embody a prototype – and/or that one spouse does and not the other.)
Failure is an important topic because so many of us are driven to succeed more from a fear of failure than by the call of God on our lives. This is partly because in this nation we have a “black and white” view of success and failure that makes failure unacceptable. The following are points each of us need to understand to enlighten us with the biblical view of failure.
There have been great leadership books on living a significant life and finishing well (Halftime by Bob Buford comes to mind). In this article, I want to focus especially on how senior pastors and apostolic leaders can finish well.
I was recently with a friend of mine (whom I will leave nameless for obvious reasons) who said that the reason his city is in such a mess is because “the pulpits are polluted”! When he said this, I immediately began to think and pray about the implications and reasons for this strong statement. Upon reflection, I found his statement to be true, based on conversations I have had with numerous leaders across the globe.
The Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest motivator and example of living a purposeful life that the world has ever seen! He lived by the scriptures since He is the living Word of God (John 1:1), this is why all the greatest books on leadership and management operate with latent biblical principles whether intentional or not.
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.
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