When I was learning to drive, I lived in the country. Roads were narrow, one lane in each direction.
One of the first things you learn when driving in tight quarters is to keep your eye on the right edge of the road. The problem is that you tend to steer where you are looking. If your eyes are on the headlights coming at you, chances are high that you will steer your car right into the oncoming traffic.
What does this have to do with church leadership? What your leadership team focuses on and where you spend your energy will impact your entire congregation.
What are the basic things that we want every person in the pew to do?
- Love God
- Love people who don’t know Jesus
- Love each other
My church puts it this way to help people have a balanced Christian life:
- One gathering
- One group
- One ministry
Additionally, we’d like people to be the same Tuesday at 2 p.m. that they are on Sunday at 10 a.m. We’d like them to tithe, and to take their problems to God instead of trying to make their own way.
Let’s think through some ways our activity as leaders can change the everyday outcomes for the people we serve:
- A leadership team that spends time with people who don’t know Jesus will reap a congregation that loves people who don’t know Jesus.
- A pastor who has real devotions or is part of a small group will bring those experiences into his/her sermons. Studies show that when a pastor mentions insights he gained from his small group, small group numbers across the whole congregation go up. A pastor who shares what God showed her during her devotions this week demonstrates what it is to hear God’s voice and act accordingly.
- What would happen if your church chose to tithe not only 10 percent of their income (required by many denominations), but also 10 percent of your staff time for community involvement? The impact is staggering. Imagine your youth pastor volunteering four hours a week at the high school, or your children’s pastor dedicating time to walk with local families in need. What would happen if your adult ministry pastor spent four hours a week locating needs in the community and discovering ways to help? Not only would these experiences make a difference in the community, but they would also change the way you and your staff see people. Your experiences would give you insight to help your congregation genuinely love your community.
- How do you handle conflict? Do you avoid the people in your congregation who don’t like you? How would it change the dynamics of your church family if you studied conflict resolution together and faced those difficult discussions?
All these options boil down to how you face life as a leadership team. Do you steer into the oncoming traffic, or keep your eyes on the road?
What opportunities do you face this week? What options do you have, and how might they impact the everyday lives of those you serve?
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NIV).
Kim Martinez is an ordained Assemblies of God pastor with a Masters of Theology from Fuller Seminary. She is a ministry and life development coach, and can be found online at www.deepimprints.com. She writes a weekly column for ministrytodaymag.com.
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