I have been teaching Leadership for the last eight weeks to a group of people who are hungry to step up and be leaders. There is a great leadership vacuum in the church today, especially in the top leadership role of the Pastor.
I believe to be truly effective in Christian ministry, one has to develop the gift of leadership. I have been taught my whole Christian life that the two components of a successful Pastor will be communication and leadership. Many pastors are really good communicators. They preach well, they have a good sense of humor and they connect with the people.
The pulpit is a powerful force for shaping culture in the local church. I have known many pastors who were really good preachers but only ran 200-300 people on Sunday.
I have learned over the years the importance of leadership. I have read numerous times about the difference between managers and leaders. I would agree that even the church is over managed and underled.
One of the biggest dangers I see is assuming that the Pastor is a leader just because he has the title in front of his name. That doesn’t make him a leader. I do believe biblically and positionally that he is called to be the leader but practically, that doesn’t always pan out. If John Maxwell’s definition of leadership is correct and I believe it is, “Leadership is influence.” Whoever has the most influence in the church will be the leader.
Many Pastors are frustrated because they either don’t have the gift of leadership or they haven’t developed their leadership potential. One of the first questions every Pastor needs to ask himself is, “Am I a leader”? Not a leader in position but a leader in practice. “Are people following me”? “Are people motivated, challenged and called to action?” “Do they do something”?
God has designed His church with clear leadership roles and strategies. Ephesians 4: 11-13 says, “ So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
There are specific leadership roles designed by God to do ministry. God has called leaders to lead. Our role as a leader is to equip God’s people to do the work of the ministry. We are to multiply ourselves. One of the truest tests of leadership is the multiplication factor. Most Pastors have the “Moses – (Ex 18) do it all by myself” philosophy instead of true biblical leadership.
I believe the missing ingredient in most of our churches is leadership. To be truly effective in Christian ministry, we must develop our leadership capacity. The greater the leadership capacity, the greater the impact we will have for the Kingdom of God.