No Target? No Bulls-Eye!
Be conscientious about yourself and your teaching. Persevere in these things. 1 Timothy 4:16a
Did you ever play a game called “follow-the-leader?” Imagine a leader wandering blindly through traffic or running into walls. Wouldn’t followers be frustrated? Suppose an archer is shooting arrows with no target in sight. How purposeless!
Leadership in God’s church is infinitely more important than a game. A key responsibility of any leader is to know where he’s leading.
If you organize the praise team, you are a leader. Perhaps you direct a Sunday School department or the women’s ministry or youth group. You may chair a committee or serve as a deacon or a class fellowship leader. If you lead in any church ministry, commit to lead well. Need some fresh leadership ideas?
Cast a great vision. Know your ministry’s potential. For example, if you direct 5th grade Sunday School, research school stats or census data (www.census.gov) to learn how many 5th graders are in your community. Obtain contact info for 5th grade visitors to your church during the past year, including VBS, fall festival, sports teams, etc. Cast a vision to teachers in your department about its eternity-impacting potential.
Make spiritual goals. The ultimate goal of any church leader is the same: to worship God and make disciples. For example, the church bowling team leader can challenge teams to invite unsaved friends to participate. He begins games with prayer, shares a personal testimony with guests, encourages Christian fellowship, and schedules a Sunday for teams to sit together in worship. Trophies are good, but the primary goal is spiritual.
Become an expert. Invest time and effort to become an authority on your leadership topic. Find other churches or leaders who do that ministry well and learn from them. Read books on the subject. Attend training opportunities. Stay informed. If you lead nearlyweds, attend a bridal fair. If you do the church website, take a class to improve skills. If you teach kids, visit a local kids’ ball game.
Love the ones you lead. Acknowledge their victories and challenges. Encourage. Invest. Mentor. Pray for them. For example, one minister of education begins every day by calling Sunday School teachers on their birthday. My granddad taught a boys’ Bible class and visited the home of each boy to know his family and share God’s plan of salvation.
Christian leader—if you aim at nothing, you’ll likely hit it. Will you lead with purpose? Eternity will be impacted.
©Fresh Ideas are shared by Diana Davis, wife of Indiana Baptist Convention’s executive director. www.keeponshining.com
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