I have posted two entries in my seven-part series that addresses our need to change the thinking and methods of modern church work. If you want to read the first two, you can go here. Rather than gripe about what is happening, I thought I would put out some of my own thoughts about changes we can make that would bring positive change, maybe even reformation to the Lord's body. My third point is this:
The current crisis, and I believe there is a crisis, is mostly a crisis of leadership. Either leaders are so hands on that they are stifling those around them or they are so hands off that committees and boards are running the church, and some of them are not spiritually equipped to do so. I can remember meeting a group of elders, whose church was half the size and half the budget it had been five years earlier.
They sat in our meeting and pointed fingers at each other in blame, while some wanted to know why they had not been informed by the pastor of some things that had happened. They asked me what they should do and I said, "You should all resign." Needless to say, they were shocked. I went on to explain: "You are the board of directors and this all happened on your watch. It's time to at least be willing to relinquish control."
I asked a business man present what he would recommend if this were a business. He said, "I would shake up the board while there was still something to shake!" Sad to say, the elders did not resign and that church no longer exists. At least the building was bought by another church.
When people pursue their purpose, the leaders lose control in a manner of speaking, and that is a good thing. If a faithful member's purpose is to go to Africa, the elders and church must help that person get on the field, whether that is part of their vision or not. As soon as they get one on the field, someone else may step forward and state that they are called to go, too. That is the "chaos" to which I refer. The Holy Spirit is not limited to operate in an orderly manner where purpose is concerned.
What's more, leaders need to focus on their own productivity, which must go beyond preaching on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. Each leader must know his or her purpose and then they must hold themselves accountable for results. It is not enough to judge the job that others are doing. Leaders must produce and be subject to others in their own work.
We will further discuss the attitude that leaders must have if they are to fulfill this third step. If anything is going to change in the church world, the leaders in that world must learn new ways of thinking and behaving, and that will not be an easy thing to achieve.
I am attaching an article I wrote for Charisma Magazine a few years ago that addresses the leadership issue, called Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Leader. It will prepare you for my next post, the fourth in my seven-part series.
Feel free to write your comments to this entry on the site where it is posted.