Col. 1:15-18 tells us that Christ is the Head of the Church. Christ is the head and we, as leaders, must get the mind of Christ.
What counts is not what we want, not what our friends want, not even what the church members or those we minister to want. It is what Christ wants for our church and ministry that counts. That may sound foolish to some in light of the fact that many churches vote on what the church is going to do. Our job as Christian leaders is to lead our people into the vison God has for the church. We have to remember the Church is not a democracy but a theocracy. Christ is the Head.
Because the Israelites voted for what they wanted instead of following God’s direction, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Some churches and ministries have been wandering for years because they are doing their thing instead of following God’s calling.
As Christian leaders, we must gain influence over those we lead. We do that by becoming servant leaders. The first thing people want to know about leaders is do they care for me? The old saying, “people do not care what you know until they know that you care” is still true today. People do not care what the name on your church is or the name of your ministry, they want to know if you care about their well-being.
Other things people expect from their leaders:
Honesty: Followers expect transparency in communications and honesty in actions. A leader’s behavior should be the same in the home, the work place, and in the world as it is in the church. People want an honest life style: consistency between what we say and what we do.
There is an old saying: What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you are saying.
Forward Looking: Followers expect their leaders to be competent and forward looking. Leaders must lead and they must know where they are leading the people. They must have a God-given vision for the people and lead them in fulfilling it. Vision gives people a sense of direction and security for the future.
Inspirational: Followers expect their leaders to be inspirational. Leaders must communicate the vision with enthusiasm, energy, and a positive attitude about the future. Remember, if you do not believe in the vision, no one else will!
What does God expect from His leaders? To be the best servants possible and to serve the people by preparing them for ministry. (Eph. 4:11-12)
As a Christian leader, I would encourage all of you to read and mediate on 1 Peter 5:1-11 which give you scriptural guidelines for Christian leadership.
Christian leaders should be willing leaders. They do not take the position for dishonest gain nor for power over the people. We are to be a godly example to those God has entrusted to us. We are to humble ourselves before God and seek his guidance as we lead the people. We are to cast our cares upon him and He will show us the way we should go. Above all, we must be sober and vigilant to protect our people and ourselves from the Devil who is always looking for opportunities to attack our people.
We must stay alert! Satan will always try to attack at our weakness point. Remember, as leaders, we must respond to problems promptly. Small problems become big problems when not addressed. Avoid putting the problem off until another day. The biggest “religious” way of avoiding a problem in church meetings is prayer! That’s right, I said prayer. This is what I hear when a problem folks don’t want to deal with comes up, “Let pray about it”! What they are really saying is let’s hope it goes away before the next meeting. Yes, we must pray about but we must also deal with it. It will not go away; it will only get bigger and usually bring more people into the situation.
Some other things I would suggest you do as leaders are:
Have a policy book; especially if you have other people leading in addition to you. A policy book will bring consistency to your ministry. For example, one church did not have a policy book, so someone asked one leader if they could use church chairs at one of their family reunions. The leader said yes, another time another person asked a different leader the same thing and the answer was no. This caused hurt and confusion. Having a policy book will help avoid these kinds of problems. Always remember you can change policy in the future.
Do not put negative people on your board. What I mean by that are those people who never see anything positive about life. What I do not mean, is those people who challenge your thinking. Challengers are invaluable to you. But those who never see anything good in life will drag you and the ministry down.
Lastly, I encourage you to follow the Biblical priority for the use of your time.
First, quiet time with God. Your most important relationship here on earth is your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Spend time daily with him.
Second, take care of your family’s spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Men taking care of your family needs is more than “putting bread on the table” We must take care on their Spiritual and Emotional needs. We must become the husband and father God call us to be. We must be Godly leaders in our household.
Third, fulfill your ministry calling.
If you get these priorities out of order, you will have problems.
Let us get the mind of Christ in all things we do. I have found anything I do in my flesh does no good for me or anyone else.
Next time I will do a teaching on Enjoying the Journey.
Bishop Bob Coulter
Book I would recommend: Feeding and leading by Kenneth O. Gangel