This is the final post in a series of posts where I have been going through the three main goals of a ministry leader. You can read the first two posts here and here. The three items we are looking at are:
- Love People.
- Lead with Vision.
- Live with Excellence.
More often than not in ministry circles, the idea of ‘Living with Excellence’ is understood, but very understated. What I mean by ‘Living with Excellence’ can be summed up in 1 Timothy 3:2-3, “If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach…” As leaders and especially leaders in a church, we are called to not just ‘Love People’, ‘Lead People with Vision’, but our lives should reflect the message we proclaim. We are called to live lives of holiness, above reproach. What that means is this:
- There is NO QUESTION to our character.
- Our lives become a clear reflection of Christ…this includes our words, actions and attitudes. (Phil 2)
- We set a high standard that others we lead can see and strive to follow. (1 Cor 11:1)
Now the problem is, this goes in complete contradiction to our human nature. Our human nature is not to live according to standards, but according to our desires. It’s a struggle that we all face…each of our struggles may be different, but as Christians, and especially leaders, we are called to set the pace of holiness. To live not only godly lives, but ones that are without question. How do we do this? Here are a few tips:
- Practice Accountability - the power of secret sin is in its secrecy. We don’t need to tell everyone our struggles, but we should tell someone. Be accountable to a mature believer that you know will ask you the tough questions.
- Prioritize Your Time with God - our lives will be a direct reflection of the time we spend with our Savior. The more time, the greater the reflection. Make your time with God a priority each day.
- Position Guardrails - Guardrails keep us from going off the cliff on the road and can do the same thing in our lives. Position guardrails, or safety measures in your life, to protect you from making detrimental decisions or placing yourself in compromising situations. If you had an issue with pornography, create a guardrail by not going on the internet when you are alone. As a church we have created certain guardrails. For example, we would not allow a male volunteer to be alone with a female child or teenager. It’s not that we don’t trust the volunteer, but we want to create a guardrail that keeps us ‘above reproach’.
So who is holding you accountable? How is your time with God? What guardrails do you need to put in place for your life, or marriage, or ministry?