The Core of Church Leadership (Part 2)

As a follow-up to last week’s post on the three areas we need to focus on as leaders in the church, I wanted to cover the second area.  If you missed the first one, you can read it here.  The three areas we are looking at and need to focus on are:

  1. Love People
  2. Lead with vision
  3. Live with excellence
Today, I wanted to cover the idea of “Leading with Vision”.  At Calvary, we are constantly looking to improve on what we are doing, which can lend itself to updating/improving things.  All of this can bring about change, and change brings with it the possibility for disaster.
Imagine driving to a familiar store and taking a right turn down a street that you’ve driven down hundreds of times.  However, this time everything is different.  Little did you know, the street was recently changed to a ‘One Way Street’, and now you are driving in the wrong direction.  As you come to find out, the change was made to improve traffic flow in that part of town, but it was never communicated to the public.  That would be pretty frustrating, and could have disastrous results!!  The same is true, if not more so, as we lead change in a church.  Here are a few thoughts as leaders we need to remember when leading change:
  1. Remember leadership is not about ‘doing stuff’, but about taking people on a journey.
  2. Expect people to be frustrated if you take them on a journey, but don’t tell them where you’re going.  Communication is huge!
  3. Before you share the ‘what’ you need to share the ‘why’.  The ‘why’ will make the ‘what’ more understandable.

Playing Offense

016435952.jpgBack in the day (way back in the 90’s!) I played high school basketball at Derry Area High School. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but it is true! The memories were invaluable. One quote I’ve heard a number of times from various coaches is “The best offense is a good defense”. In leadership, especially church leadership, I would say it’s the opposite.

The best defense is a good offense. It can become so easy as a pastor or church leader to allow the bulk of your time to be spent on defense. Defending your vision. Defending your approach to ministry. Defending why you moved the piano two inches to the left. You’ve been there. If you’re not careful, you’ll spend all your time on defense. I know in basketball, you can have the best defense in the world, but if you can’t put the ball in the hoop all your time on defense is wasted.

In ministry, you can have the best defense in the world to combat the many opponents you’ll face, but if people aren’t experiencing the gospel are you really being a good steward of your time? As I said before, ministry isn’t about defense, it’s about offense. Jesus called us to “…go and make disciples of all nations.” That’s very action-oriented. It’s playing offense. As we’ve come out of the Easter season, I would challenge you to evaluate how your time and energy is being spent.  Are you spending more time on defense or offense?  Are there changes that can be made to make sure you’re putting some of those ‘shooting’ skills into action?

And yes, that is ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich!

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