Opportunities to Lead

Business_odyssey_080
There are some guys who love to prepare and preach sermons above all
else. That’s not me. I love to preach, but the preparation is often
arduous and takes a large amount of self-discipline. It is the one thing that can never be put off until next week, and thus, I follow a fairly strict routine in an effort to get something perhaps worth hearing before God’s people by Sunday. I still love it, and I doubt that will ever change.

Nevertheless, the most fulfilling part of my ministry role at Highland Oaks is the ability to think big picture on behalf of the church. This is too rare an opportunity among Churches of Christ, in my view. I’m blessed with elders who are willing to join me in the process, but are also comfortable enough in who they are to allow me to dream big, think strategically, and act on those dreams within the bounds of reason.

I know many preachers, members, and even elders who are caught in stifling environments where they are given virtually zero capacity to dream and to lead, and that saddens me…unless they have neither the passion nor the gifts for it. But, it seems to me that generally, preachers get into ministry hoping to make an impact not only on the lives of individuals, but on the life of the church as well. It pains me to see them suffocate over the years as their creative side and leadership gifts struggle for air. Why do you think churches are wary of allowing ministers and others to take a larger role in leadership? Is it that they think it to be unbiblical? Is it that they are worried about the fallout if the leader has a moral or competency collapse? Is it a loss of control? What is it?

We need to ask this question because churches need more leaders. And I believe we have them. They are elders, preachers, members currently serving the workplace, retirees, etc. But, if we don’t stop to figure out who they are, equip them, and turn them loose, we are missing out on something huge–and it’s our–and the world outside of Christ’s–loss.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Share Your Thoughts

5 thoughts on “Opportunities to Lead

  1. Being new to HOCC I am frequently surprised by the scope of your leadership role. I personally think you can handle it but I also think some other folks could not.
    I certainly hope that you are able to back away from the details enough to not get overwhelmed. That can be tricky in and of itself because those details grow on their own.
    In the Churches of Christ, preachers are constantly under scrutiny. The Shepards are however typically free from scrutiny. Perhaps that is more of the problem our churches have than the amount of leeway we give ministers.

  2. My church suffers from the “weaker brother” syndrome, where any creativity, any challenge of something new, any idea of change or difference will be filtered first and foremost through the question, “Whom will it offend?” The answer to that question is always “someone”, so before any discussion takes place, creativity and dreaming is fighting an uphill battle.
    So, as a result, creativity is discouraged for the sake of tranquility, of course couched in the terms of unity and love for your brother to try to make it all sound biblical. As you can tell, I don’t care much for that whole process.
    Leading God’s people is more about figuring where God wants His people to go and then fearlessly going there, taking with you all who are willing. It’s not about coddling the stubborn, compromising for the hard hearted, and sacrificing the mission for the unwilling.
    Maybe when leadership learns this lesson, they will no longer be intimidated by a preacher with a passion and a dream of bigger and better things for God’s people.

  3. Two thoughts, one is a fear of control and the other is the overseeing of the eldership. Many do not believe that the preacher is to leader, just preach. The problem is that the preacher is trained to think about the congregation and see vision. As ministers we think everyday about the expansion of the kingdom of God. But when a minister moves forward there is always five step back people in the pew.
    http://www.matthewsblog.waynesborochurchofchrist.

  4. Two thoughts, one is a fear of control and the other is the overseeing of the eldership. Many do not believe that the preacher is to leader, just preach. The problem is that the preacher is trained to think about the congregation and see vision. As ministers we think everyday about the expansion of the kingdom of God. But when a minister moves forward there is always five step back people in the pew.
    http://www.matthewsblog.waynesborochurchofchrist.