This is a synopsis of a chapter in the book, “Hurdling the Barriers” to church health and growth. I am making progress on the writing and hope to be done in a month.
“But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” (Luke 22:26, ESV)
In 1974, I received a commission in the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant. I served under a lot of officers in that time. In my view, there were several types of officers in the military at that time. There were some that were technically inept who did not do things right, which hindered the mission. There were those who cared little for the troops and created morale problems. There were others that for fear of failure and a bad efficiency report would not make decisions, which frustrated everyone. There were officers that tried to be buddies with the subordinates, which resulted in a lack of discipline.
Yet, there were a some very good officers that seemed to excel in what they did. They had a proper balance between technical competence, people skills and decision making. They did, at times make some mistakes, but for the most part, they were decisive and successful. The point is that leadership makes a difference in accomplishing a mission. Good leadership is vitally important.
The local church also needs good leadership if it is to accomplish its mission. However, one of the greatest deficits in churches today is in the area of leadership. Most coming out of seminary and moving into the pastorate have never led anything. They may have some limited book knowledge, but most have no practical experience. They are trying to lead churches that are between 24 to 124 in size that need sufficient leadership.
Yet there is not just a lack of leadership in the pastoral area. Even if a church does have a seasoned spiritual leader at the pastoral level, it is likely that there is a lack of leadership depth beyond the pastor. This lack restricts the ability of the church to experience healthy growth. When I started a new work in Savannah Georgia, I experienced this problem first hand.
In this chapter, I will attempt to look at spiritual leadership in the church. I will endeavor to develop what spiritual leadership looks like, and how the structure of the church is vital. This chapter will include some of the common pitfalls, often overlooked by churches in the area of leadership and how to correct them. I will also cover the role of the congregation as it pertains to spiritual leadership.