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Tag: John Wesley

A leader of leaders

As an associate it is tempting to become a “doer of ministry.” We can see the lead pastor as the visionary for the congregation/ministry and our role in Christian Education, Youth Ministry, Visitation, etc. as where that vision gets carried out. We have been hired to do youth ministry, we think, so we had better do the youth ministry. Whenever someone volunteers to help us, we say, “No thanks,” because we view the assistance as a veiled condemnation of our inability to do our jobs. We do a disservice to our congregation when we become the professional experts who do everything in our ministry area.

The Apostle Paul intentionally brought others around him. We read of Luke, Mark, Timothy, and others joining him on his missionary journeys (e.g. 2 Timothy 4:11). He wrote of those whom he sent to be with the churches in his absence. He appointed leaders to the congregations he had raised up and worked with other leaders who were also about building up the churches with whom he had relationships. As you read the New Testament letters you get the sense Paul was managing a network of church leaders.   I would argue this is one of the major reasons Christianity grew under Paul’s leadership. He wasn’t trying to do it all on his own.

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Tour guides know the way

Tour guide
A tour guide faces her tour group.

Tour guides have difficult, albeit enviable, jobs. They spend most of the day walking backwards, facing the group they are leading, talking about what they just passed. They have to know the route so well they can complete a tour without bumping into anything. If they lose their focus, or do not know the way themselves, I imagine it could be quite a scene. Leaders in the church do much the same thing. We face our congregation while we try to lead them on their lives’ spiritual journeys.

We pastor-types tend to be technique-junkies. We read books on how to build our congregations, blogs on how to preach, and magazine articles on how to be more effective in our specific ministries. If not too expensive, we will even take a retreat to a remote location to hear from an “expert” about a way to do ministry. We might invest hours looking for the next big program for our congregation, our tour group, often at the expense of our own spiritual journeys.

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