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Putting the Church Leadership Puzzle Together
Whether it is picture or word puzzles, most people either love them or loath them. Both kind of puzzles range from the simple to the challenging to the complex, and it certainly helps if you are attentive to detail and have a lot of patience. Once the puzzle is completed there is that final sense of accomplishment that you had all the necessary pieces to complete the picture puzzle, or had determined the correct answers to the word puzzle in order to successfully complete it.
Church leadership at times for those of us in the senior or lead pastor position can be like completing a puzzle. You hope you have all the right pieces to the picture or scenario you are facing, and you are praying that you know all the answers to the questions when asked in order to successfully lead your church. The truth is that there are times when even the best pastor or leader is not seeing or is missing some key pieces to the picture, and there are plenty of times when you don’t have the answers to the puzzles questions. In fact, we sometimes wonder if we are seeing the picture correctly and if we even know the questions, much less have the answers to the questions.
One obvious or perhaps not so obvious missing piece to the church leadership puzzle may actually be closer to being found than we think. The truth is that many times we as the senior/lead pastor are the missing piece to the church leadership puzzle. It is not that we aren’t there, working hard, trying to be the spiritual leader that God and the church are looking for, rather, the truth is that we are the person missing some important pieces in our leadership tool box. While not ignoring or minimizing the power of the Holy Spirit, unless we acquire these important and necessary leadership skills sets, these missing pieces to our leadership puzzle or dilemma, we will never be in a position in to solve the issue in front of us. As pastors and leaders, knowing that everything rises and falls on the quality or lack thereof where our leadership is concerned, it necessitates our constant pursuit of spiritual and leadership growth. It challenges us to have that “teachable spirit,” and to be a “life-long learner.”
In order to make sure our personal leadership pieces of the puzzle are all together to successfully lead our churches or denomination we might need to return to some very basic leadership operating concepts. If you have checked out the “About Me” tab here on our website you have read that I have completed my Consultant Training Level 1 with the Society for Church Consulting and prayerfully in the coming weeks will begin Level 2. Upon successfully completing Levels 1-4, your Level 5 project is an actual church consultation approved by Dr. Chuck Lawless. Dr. Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. From www.thomrainer.com, March 12, 2015 is an article by Dr. Lawless entitled, Lead for the Future, Not from the Past, and his article opens with the following thought:
Leadership is a present-tense task, in that others are looking to us today to provide vision, encouragement, and support. Too many leaders, though, face present-tense challenges while living more in yesterday than today (p.1).
In his article Dr. Lawless presents characteristics of church leaders who are leading from the past, but for article brevity I will list the following four:
- It has been a long time since you’ve read a book.
- You know no more about God today than you did years ago.
- You believe few people can teach you anything.
- You are unwilling to allow others to evaluate your leadership.
If these characteristics are applicable to your leadership and ministry, then I encourage you to check out this article in its entirety to prayerfully consider the implications for your spiritual growth, your leadership, and your church. Putting the church leadership pieces of the puzzle together to where it makes sense and we are successfully being, doing and leading the church God has called us to serve is difficult under the best of circumstances. Let’s make sure that the missing puzzle piece for our church living out God’s plan to reach our world and local community is not those of us serving in the senior/lead pastor position.
Lawless, Chuck, Lead for the Future, Not from the Past, article Retrieved April, 29, 2015 from www.thomrainer.com