Over the years, I have been very laid back about most things. That has been good and bad. The good is that I haven’t over-hyped our church or goaded people into doing things. (No fleshly results). The bad is that at times I should have been much more intentional in imparting vision, mobilizing, and motivating in direct ways. I thank God that He brings us along. I am increasingly enjoying getting out in front of things now. That’s not a natural gift for me, but perhaps, an imparted skill.
God can use our personalities, and I believe He desires to do so, but woe to us when we substitute our personalities for Spirit led living and leading. People want to follow leaders. We need to constantly be careful about how we lead. May we develop churches that follow Jesus first and foremost. I think it is easier for people to follow people than to follow God. Let’s not take advantage of that.
King David ordained his son Solomon to follow in his place. He did this while he still had influence and power. Moses ordained Joshua. Paul appointed Timothy. The models of older pastors raising up younger pastors and handing off ministry to them is very attractive to me. I have been a senior pastor for 20 years, and a pastor for 23 years. I look forward to the next season of my life in preparing the guys that will take our church forward. I am thankful for the models that have been presented to us, i.e. Bill Ritchie & Daniel Fusco, as well as others.
Not everybody in our church thinks like me. I don’t why I thought they did. I am continuing to learn to listen to the voices of the faithful saints as they share ideas about ministry and community interfacing. Pastors are unique animals, and I think that at least for me, I sometimes lose the pulse of the man in the pew. It is good to talk with the folks in our church and hear their ideas.
Back to the idea of leading….there is a great need for people to be Spirit led, and to receive vision from the Lord…but I also believe that we pastors need to share vision and provide opportunities. I know that I am preaching to the choir. My thought is that our brethren need to always be Kingdom minded and Kingdom motivated, but (possibly) expressing that in two ways. 1) According to how God is leading them in their day to day lives, without our direction. 2) According to how God might impart to me, (as their pastor) larger events and opportunities. I pray that the people in our church act both independently and corporately.
I don’t like making mistakes, but I love learning
form from them.
Early on in my marriage, I had a suspicion that God might be calling me to be a pastor, but I never realized how important it would be that He gave me a “pastor’s wife” as my wife. My wife has radically enhanced my ability to serve as a pastor.
Speaking of training up the next generation of pastor’s…don’t forget to help their wives grow into their respective position as a pastor’s wife. Some guys are held back or hindered because their wives were not nurtured and helped to grow into their position as a pastor’s wife.
I heard a pastor once say, “It’s good to be afraid again”. He spoke of the fact that at that time in his life, he was taking a big step of faith and following a new course for life. His entire routine was being set aside, and a new lifestyle was being developed. His “fear” was refreshing to him, because it signaled utter dependence upon Jesus, instead of nominal dependence sought out in the routine of life.
God’s grace IS sufficient.