Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Leadership Challenge

At the Unleash Conference, Perry Noble ended the day with a challenge regarding the role of the Senior Pastor. I hesitate to even overview this message in my blog for fear that it will come across wrong. Please remember as you read that these are statements and thoughts made by Perry Noble as he spoke to the conference. I think they are well worth noting.

Perry began with the myth that growing a church is all about style. Such is not the case. Growing a church is about leadership. If a church is growing, godly leadership is most likely in place. Perry then went on to share four principles about leadership as seen in the life of Moses. I won’t have room to elaborate on the passages but the references are included for you to look up and examine on your own.

First, Moses simply listened and obeyed. How many times does Scripture say in the life of Moses the words, “And the Lord God said to Moses?” Leadership is as easy as listening to God. Time with God is the most important thing that a leader can do. Look through the Bible, God does not give the vision to a committee He gives the vision to a man. Most churches are structured for failure because vision must be approved by a committee or a congregation. That is like a pilot asking the people in first-class how to land the plane and then having their suggestion approved by those back in coach before he attempts to land the big bird on the runway. A Senior Pastor needs to hear from God. If you’ve never been scared by the vision, you’ve never heard from God.

Second, Moses did not compromise the vision. Perry warned Senior Pastors that powerful people in the congregation will always try to alter your vision. So was the case with Moses (Exodus 5:1; 8:25-27; 10:8-11, 24-25). The Senior Pastor must own the vision. Perry predicted that every leader will be tested by someone who has money.

Third, Moses didn’t try to do it all. You see this vividly in Numbers 11:14-17. The biggest problem for the Senior Pastor is that he thinks he is needed. The Senior Pastor just can’t do it all. Most staff members in churches believe that the Senior Pastor is there for them when in reality it is the other way around. The staff is there for the Senior Pastor. A Senior Pastor must surround himself with godly people. He must also learn to rest. Why? It is because only 5% of those who enter the ministry ultimately retire from it as well. There is a huge ministry drop-out rate. What should the staff ask the Senior Pastor on a continual basis? They should ask him, “How may I serve you?”

Fourth, Moses was willing to attempt the impossible. Moses did. Just look at Deuteronomy 6:10-12. God does not give us “safe” visions. We must quit using size, finances and facility limitations as an excuse to not do the vision God gives us. “If it is God’s will,” Noble says, “It’s also God’s bill.” Let’s remember that God wants the church to grow far more than we want it to grow. After all, it’s His church! As a result, we must dream big. We must ask for big things. If you can sleep at night because you think you can do the vision easily, then it is not a vision from God.

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