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.
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
Having been involved in some capacity with pastors for over 30 years I have come up with some personal observations regarding the different kinds of pastors I have either worked with or to whom I’ve ministered.Read More
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