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A shepherd with his flock

Leadership

God tasks Christian leaders with making more and better disciples (Matthew 28:19–20, 2 Timothy 2:2). That includes developing people to become increasingly like Jesus in a way that glorifies God.

Motivation matters. I’ve often done the Lord’s will out of duty, and that’s better than not doing it. What’s best is doing it eagerly and willingly. Love is the Manufacturer’s recommended fuel to serve Him and others. Duty fuel tanks often run dry during prolonged, difficult service.

Christian leadership isn’t about self-advancement. Yet, many clergy members play the ladder game and want to climb up to more prominent churches, higher salaries, and more prestige. Lay leaders can get caught up in self-advancement too.

Christian leadership isn’t about exercising power over others. The measure of Christian leadership is what we do with power. Jesus said, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all” (Mark 10:43–44, NIV).

Christian leaders must demonstrate how to live for Christ. They’re examples to the flock (verse 3). They’re not perfect, but by God’s grace, they’re progressing. Therefore, they can’t wait to lead until they feel adequate. They learn to lead by leading and know to serve by serving.

Christian leaders most effectively lead others into sacrificial service by example. It’s like their moving a piece of string in a straight line on a table. Pushing it doesn’t work. But they can pull it wherever they wish. They lead best when they exemplify Jesus by using their money, time, talents, and knowledge as resources to develop others. How they do it matters.

Christian leaders must give an account of their leadership to the Chief Shepherd. He’ll reward them for faithful service performed with the right motivation. He’ll recompense them with righteousness, life, and glory when He returns.

God calls Christian leaders to be humbly submissive, and they demonstrate it by serving others, taking orders from them, and fitting into their plans.

As leaders go, the church goes. Healthy churches have spiritually healthy leaders, and unhealthy churches don’t. As a church’s leaders become healthier, so does the church. These free Christian leadership resources are dedicated to helping make that happen. 

Leadership Resources

Leading a church is an ongoing spiritual battle. The stress of leading often drains emotional tanks and makes leaders feel like quitting. Burnout Prevention enables them to reduce the risk of service burnout by remembering God's call to His service. They must unload emerging anxieties one by one on Jesus while spreading the weight of ministry to many shoulders. They must recognize their limitations and quit trying to please everyone. They must learn to laugh at and not take themselves so seriously. They must learn contentment despite not being completely happy, successful, skilled, or satisfied. They must restore themselves weekly with a Sabbath. They must carefully refuel their souls through God's word and prayer. Finally, they must not use people's responses as a mirror of their self-worth.

One of the challenges of growing a church is preventing the people who walk in the front door from walking out the back door sooner or later, never returning. Use Church Assimilation Strategies to help people feel at home in your church. Learn the nine characteristics of assimilated biblical believers. Take advantage of the increased holding power that accompanies becoming a healthier church. Learn to communicate simply without theological jargon. Develop practical need-meeting ministries with an intentional outward focus to bring a steady stream of newcomers to your church. Create practical ministries that meet their needs when they arrive. Learn how to make worship experiences welcoming and inspiring. Open your arms wide to visitors. Develop and implement a follow-up strategy. Discover how to assimilate new members into the church intentionally. Develop a discipleship track to help believers move toward spiritual maturity. 

Learning to Lead covers a leader's skills, character, and knowledge and is a resource for leadership development in the church. You can use the brief lessons for leadership training as part of the regular leadership meetings of the church. It contains eleven lessons about the character of a leader, 32 studies about the knowledge of a leader, and 22 lessons about the skills of a leader.

Resolving Conflict offers two practical strategies for harmonizing and peacemaking within the church. It emphasizes that although disagreement isn't conflict, conflict is inevitable. God uses it as a shaping tool to improve the church, and He also gives conflict-resolving grace.

When the church isn’t working correctly, most members aren’t enthusiastic about it because it isn’t very relevant to their everyday lives. The enthusiasm level of lay leaders in Eastern Regional Conference churches that took Natural Church Development surveys predicted the health of churches very accurately. Church health and enthusiasm are joined at the hip. Healthy, enthusiastic churches meet the needs of those inside and outside their walls. Becoming an Enthusiastic Church is dedicated to helping you improve your church’s health.

 

 

Photo: Pooyan Eshtiaghi/Unsplash

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