August 28, 2015
“The Must Have for Every Ministry Leader”
In our affluent and upwardly-mobile culture, an ever-growing professionalism is developing among ministry leaders. In many ways this development benefits the church as it seeks to advance God’s kingdom in the earth. However, all that glitters is not gold.
Daily we are told successful leadership is based upon position, power and personality. Yet we’ve all watched hundreds of leaders who depended on position, power, and personality crash and burn.
It would also be a mistake to suggest all a ministry leader needs to be successful is a theological education, a little experience, and a commitment to high ethical standards. Such a notion is not only false, it’s also unbiblical.
Don’t get me wrong! Doing ministry with professional excellence is a desirable goal; however, the “professionalization” of ministry should be avoided at all costs. “Professionalization” describes the ministry leader who has learned to skillfully manage the institutional church but, along the way, has lost the reality of God’s presence.
If the professionalization of ministry is emphasized over and above God’s presence, it won’t be long until the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit are replaced by what Paul describes as a “form of godliness that lacks power” (2 Timothy 3:5).
The temptation to professionalize has existed in the church for centuries. In the 1600’s, Brother Lawrence offered an antidote he called “the practice of the presence of God.” More recently, in the 1990’s, Henry Blackaby voiced his corrective to the professionalization of church leadership when he said, “Leaders need the presence of God more than anything else.”
Believe it or not, it was nearly 4000 years ago that one of the greatest ministry leaders of all time had a conversation with God about the presence of God. Amazingly, a transcript of that conversation still exists. We know it as Exodus 33:12-16. Please take the time to read that conversation before you get to church this Sunday as it will remind you of the MUST HAVE for every ministry leader.
See you Sunday,