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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

11 Jul '13

Bold or timid church leadership

Posted by T.J. Addington in church leadership
As one with leadership gifts, I can think of no arena more exciting to use them in than in the church of Jesus Christ. Amazingly. with all the ensuing challenges, difficulties and problems, Christ has chosen the local church as His means to reach the world with His good news. He has never given up on the church, and we can never give up on the church. Our challenge is to grow in our ability to lead well so that the leadership is a joy rather than a burden, and to lead in ways that allow Christ to fulfill His mission for our congregations in the expansion of His Kingdom.

Because many boards have not grappled with critical leadership issues, they live with a high degree of frustration. But there is hope. Over the past decade, I have watched many frustrated boards become energized, active and even high impact as they have made the choice to lead with greater boldness. This can be true for your board as well.

With many boards, there is a significant fear factor that prevents bold leadership. This is the church, after all. What if our decisions make some unhappy? Some probably will; leadership always gets 'pushback' of some kind. But consider the alternative!

Unfortunately, the local church, in general, is one of the most leaderless institutions in America. We have not learned to lead boldly, and we have paid too little attention to the selection of leaders. We have more fear than courage.  You may take issue with me. However, think about it: Why is it that despite all of our churches, we make so little impact on our communities in terms of the gospel? Satan must rejoice over this general condition. Timid leaders don't threaten him. Bold and healthy leaders keep him highly occupied.

Almost without exception, congregations that are truly making a difference in their community and experiencing real life change within their body are led by a godly, healthy, bold, energized leadership team - pastoral and volunteer. Leadership matters. It matters to God because the quality of our leadership has direct impact on the depth of His disciples and the effectiveness of His mission.

Many of us do not have training in leadership (and seminaries are not stepping up to the plate). This is often true of pastors. Even though much of a pastor's ministry relates to leadership, few have received leadership training or mentoring. The good news is: We can learn to lead! There are few natural-born leaders. Most of us are 'leaders in training' and will always be learning to lead more effectively. As Paul said, if you are going to lead, "govern diligently" (Romans 12:8). Lead Boldly.