04 June 2010

Leadership Fridays: Piggybacking on others' convictions

Its a common malady. Leaders often become leaders because they faithfully embrace the values and convictions of the church. They unite with other leaders and desire to give their lives to the cause. Because this attitude is so rare in the church, it is received wholeheartedly and put to work. Many times there are some outlying concerns, maybe a disagreement about some "small" matter or character issue that needs to be addressed (and most certainly will be after assuming the role) but, because, as Tozer said, the church languishes for men, these things are easy to overlook in someone willing to lead.

But in our hunger for more leaders, we can't move ahead of the Holy Spirit. We need to faithfully investigate why potential leaders are willing. "Why?", it's a critical question. Why does this person embrace the values of the church, desire to unite with other leaders, and live their life for the cause? If we see no evidence of the love of Christ compelling them (2 Cor. 5:14), we will damage their souls by inviting them to lead.

One day they will be faced with the reality that their lives are radically different then they would have been if they had not invested in this role. They will have given up opportunities for career, adventure, financial stability - all manner of things to faithfully serve the church and, if they did it for any thing other than a love a Christ, they will despise the church for it.

Shelli and I call it piggybacking on other people's convictions. We did it. Many folks that lead with us have as well. We do it for identity, for affirmation, for a sense of purpose and we can do it for only so long. We must have at the root of our service a transcendent motivation. Our circumstances will change and often we will experience failure and disappointment. If we aren't doing what we are doing with an other-worldy compulsion, those failures and disappointments will crush us into bitter regret.

Be careful that you are clear about your motivations to serve the church as a leader. You can do the right thing for the wrong reason and, in the end, it will lead to death. Let the love of Christ alone compel your service and you will finish well; let something else and you won't.

1 comment:

  1. How well I remember you giving a message around the time you became a pastor when you confessed that previously you had wanted to be the "big kahuna." What marvelous things God has done in your life since then, my friend, and how blessed I have been to witness this.

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