While we hesitate to equate ministry as a profession, church leaders should be driven to excel. They cannot afford complacency and mediocrity. When ministry becomes common, we have become like the Laodicean church in Revelation 3 – in our mind we have arrived, but in God’s mind we are repulsive!
In our pursuit of excellence, we must not ignore this critical question: “What kind of leader does God expect me to be?” I believe the answer to this question involves four basic principles.
- A Clean Leader
To God, purity is more important than performance, popularity and power. Since He is a holy God, He expects us to be holy people. Some leaders cannot connect how they live when they are holding a microphone to how they live when they are away from church. But God can, and it really matters to Him how we live every day. Our anointing is effected by our lifestyle. And the thing that disrupts the plan God has for our ministry is a three-letter word – sin.
Samson is the classic example of a leader who ignored spiritual lifestyle principles. god called him, but Samson refused to take that anointing seriously. He assumed the touch of God would always be with him.
- A Cooperative Leader
What victory comes to a church when the power of shared vision is recognized! The church takes on a unified spirit that will guarantee God’s blessing when local leaders are willing to lay aside their own agendas and submit to the God-given vision of the senior pastor.
In a ministry setting, an attitude of submission is mandatory. Our plans and desires must come under the authority of the one who is over us in the Lord. This is not unfair; it is God’s will. To accomplish this, we must make a deliberate choice to see our ministry as a small part of the big picture.
- A Consistent Leader
The call of God is not just about starting – it is about finishing. It is not so important how good we look in the beginning, but how strong we are in the end. We must possess a dogged determination that says just because we may be “up and down” does not mean we will be “in and out.” We must be committed to the call, no matter what!
Could we not assume the spirit and attitude of the Old Testament leader Nehemiah? Regardless of the Enemy’s attack and the impossibility of his situation, Nehemiah refused to quit. He was convinced of one thing – his work mattered and it must not be stopped. It was this “why should I come down” approach to leadership that brought him the presence and glory of God.
Because we know this is the Lord’s work we are doing, we must not allow circumstances to cloud our minds of the knowledge we have of our guaranteed end. The reward is certain – if we are faithful.
- A Connected Leader
Godly leaders understand and accept the responsibilities of servanthood. It is impossible to serve successfully from a distance. The decisions we make in the ivory tower do not have the same impact as the cup of cold water we give in the name of the Lord. Only when we communicate our love by our actions can we make a real difference of eternal significance.
Connecting to people is only part of our responsibility. To be the leaders God wants us to be, we must connect to Him! We must unashamedly admit that our strength comes from the Lord … that His Holy Spirit is our only source of power. Nothing will ever substitute for His anointing on our ministries. Our victory will not come from might or power, but by the Spirit of God!
There is a leadership crisis in the world today. Many people desire a position, but not many want to be visionary leaders. God is searching for men and women who will follow Him and become agents for change in the church. I am willing to sign my name on the dotted line and volunteer for this mission of excellence. Will you join me?