Presentation on theme: "We have marginalized the soul side of leadership. The result is a crisis- one of spiritual health among pastors. Today’s troubling statistics on pastors."— Presentation transcript:
We have marginalized the soul side of leadership. The result is a crisis- one of spiritual health among pastors. Today’s troubling statistics on pastors paint a bleak picture.
▶Over 50 % of pastor’s wives feel that their husband entering the ministry was the most destructive thing to ever happen to their families. ▶70 % of pastors do not have a close friend, confident, or mentor. ▶71% of pastor’s stated they were burned out, and they battle depression beyond fatigue on a weekly and even daily basis. ▶One out of every ten ministers will actually retire as a minister.
Godly leadership is always inside out. God always has and always will choose to smile on men and women who are healthy, holy and humble. When it comes to the church, you can’t separate leadership from the leader. You can’t divorce the message from the messenger. Yet we can become quite adept at projecting an image that does not accurately reflect what’s going on inside of us.
In our culture we have swallowed hook, line, and sinker the lie that busyness equals importance. Constant activity can prop up the external image I want to project, but it cannot prop up my soul. Psalm 46:10 No one is holding a gun to our heads, forcing us to over- commit and over-schedule. As leaders, we must have the guts to start making some changes in our personal lives and church programs.
If I’ve learned anything about the health of churches in the last several years it’s this: The weekend experience is a poor indicator of the health of a church. In fact, attendance alone is not a good gauge of the effectiveness for any ministry event. I Cor. 3 Paul doesn’t say the “quantity” of my works will be judged, but rather the “quality” of my works. In ministry we need to recapture the word faithful. It is the nature of our world to be enamored with what’s big. But in the church we should seek to be enamored with what’s godly.
▸Consider a numbers fast. Focus on what is happening in church services rather than on how many show up. How do I shift my perspective ▸It starts with me and inside me. I have to feed my soul and make sure my identity is firmly rooted in Christ and not in my performance. ▸Bless and celebrate a pastor serving in a tough place or difficult assignment. ▸Talk more about making disciples than about attendance. Increasingly we must shift the spotlight from the statistics of attendance to stories of life change. We must focus more on the bride’s beauty and character and less on her size. ▸Take the pressure off you and your team. Remind yourself and your team that your ministry is bigger and broader than those hours on Sunday.
In Revelation 19, John reminds us that the bride exists for the groom. As a pastor, my job is to watch after the bride on behalf of the groom. I am like a spiritual wedding coordinator. In a healthy church Jesus is the most famous person. He gets the most air time, he is the most talked about and He is clearly center stage. He is seen as the head of the church, and the leadership does their best to spread His fame. Is your place in ministry blocking the spotlight from hitting squarely on Jesus?
▸Achieving the cause gets more attention than abiding in Christ. When hubris begins to win the day in ministry there are some telltale signs: ▸It is more about the leader’s vision than it is about Jesus. ▸There’s a utilitarian view of people. ▸Prayer is conspicuously absent. ▸There’s a spirit of competition and comparing. Andrew Murray says, If humility be the secret of His atonement, then the health and strength of our spiritual life will entirely depend on putting this grace first too.
▸Be interested in others more and interested in yourself less. Ask people questions about their lives In contrast, here are some practical means by which we can embrace humility: ▸Make much of Jesus. As you share vision, always point people back to Jesus. John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. ▸Stay in touch with grace. Never get over what it means that God loves you and saved you. ▸Regularly remind yourself that the church is not “your” church and that the ministry you serve is not “your” ministry. We are shepherds and stewards; Jesus is the owner. ▸Work hard at praising others and not yourself. Pay attention to those inner promptings when the Holy Spirit is spotlighting self-promotion. ▸Enlist a pride patrol. Give people you trust permission to come to you to point out hints of posturing and self- promotion.
I wonder how often we ever take the time to stop and ask, “What’s best for our people?” Would the people I lead say they’re on my heart? Would the people in your ministry say they have a very special place in yours? Too many of us have the head of a leader but not the heart of a shepherd. Leadership that is Christ-honoring is never accomplished at the expense of those under our leadership.
▸Stay Relationally Connected- authentically experiencing biblical community and personally enjoying life-giving relationships ▸Stay Spiritually Connected to Christ- Ministry is draining and can suck you dry. When you soul is healthy and filled with Christ, your heart will be softer towards people. ▸Slow Down- Try walking slower. When you have a conversation, take time to listen. Hurry is the archenemy of intimacy and deep relationship. It says to people, “I don’t really have time for you.” Practicing the Presence of People: Practical ways to keep your heart soft toward people ▸Engage People at a Personal Level- Take someone in your ministry to lunch with no other agenda than to get to know them.
This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look Ask for the ancient paths, Ask where the good way is, and walk in it, And you will find rest for your Souls.” Roadmap for the journey to spiritual health Jeremiah 6:16