Courageous Leadership

Over the last several months, the elders and ministers of the congregation I serve have been involved in some deep, soul-searching conversations about the future of our church family and the effectiveness of our work and witness for the Kingdom of God.  Those conversations led to the development of a 5-year vision that we rolled out to our entire congregation this past Sunday night.  You can watch part of that presentation here.

Our vision is all about putting us in a position to be used by God to make Jesus known to more and more people, and this vision is leading us to make some significant changes to the culture of our congregation so that we will be more focused on the Great Commission that Jesus gave to all of his disciples.

The vision has been met with overwhelming support and excitement from our members.  One of my favorite comments made by a member was, “I love seeing the passion and excitement of our elders and hearing them talk about how they’re not satisfied with the status-quo – that they want to do all they can to reach the lost for Christ.”

I appreciate that comment so much because that member saw what I have been seeing for the last 6 months: church elders with a genuine love for Christ and his church actively seeking God’s guidance and allowing themselves to be led where God wants them to go.  Our elders have and are demonstrating the kind of courageous leadership that comes when you are confident that God has given you a vision to pursue and provides the faith by which to pursue it.

And that kind of leadership is inspiring.

It reminds me of a passage from a book on church leadership that I read several years ago:

People supernaturally gifted to lead must yield themselves fully to God.  They must cast powerful, biblical, God-honoring visions.  They must build effective, loving, clearly-focused teams.  They must fire up Christ-followers to give their absolute best for God.  And they must insist with pit-bull determination that…

the gospel be preached,

the lost be found,

the believers be equipped,

the poor be served,

the lonely be enfolded into community,

and God gets the credit for it all.

Scripture tells us exactly what will happen if leaders will do what God has called and gifted them to do.  The forces of darkness will be pushed back.  The Evil One, who has had his way in the world for far too long, will be forced to give ground.  And the church will fulfill the redemptive purpose for which Christ called it into being.

This is the exact kind of leadership our congregation’s elders are displaying, and I am so grateful to have a front row seat for it!

“Thank you, Lord, for courageous elders who are willing to sacrifice their comfort for the sake of Christ’s mission and inspire others to do the same.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

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