Opportunities to Lead

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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.

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