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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Monday, 23 November 2015

Are you being called into church leadership: 6 Questions to help know if the time is right.

This post is for anyone who may feel The Lord is calling them into church leadership, to gain some clarity to reflect further prayerfully with The Lord, to help know if it is the right time to pursue things further. I think of David being anointed for his vocation as King of Israel long before the appointment came.

You may already be in some sort of leadership position by serving in some way and know that The Lord is moving within your heart, letting you know that there is more of this still yet to come…and honestly this may have you feeling somewhat uncomfortable at the moment.

Uncomfortable because you understand the gravity of church leadership and this is a GOOD thing!

For if someone has an attitude along the lines of, ‘let me at this so I can do a much better job…’ then I’d have to say that if they’re facing shut doors at the moment, then that’s probably best as they need more time to spiritually mature.

You see, you could have the best grades at seminary, or the best musical skills compared to anyone else in your church, the best attendance or the least problems, but until you’re grounded in spiritual maturity of love and humility you are an easy target for the enemy. If you have never read 1 Corinthians 13 from the perspective of Christian maturity for church leadership I suggest you read it now…seriously, and try your best to shirk off the notion of this passage in relation to marital relationships, due to its use at so many weddings!

St. Paul acknowledges the fact of the real need for spiritual maturity for church leadership by saying new converts should not be church leaders as pride can be an easy tool of the enemy to pull them down (see 1 Tim 3:6) and repeats it in chapter 5:22 warning Timothy not to ordain anyone hastily. While we can read this scripture I want to make it personally applicable by offering six questions for reflection:

1. How easily annoyed do you become with the shortcomings of others? For example their slowness to learn a new song or to clean up the kitchen after an event?
Read, Proverbs 14:29James 1:19.

2. Can you bite your tongue? Can you give people the space to speak and be heard without being quickly shut down; to think things through for themselves without feeling condemned? 
Read, Proverbs 18:21; Mark 9:42; James 3:1-12.

3. Do you realise you need to lead by example? The local church is not always a place of mature saints; it is a home for spiritual growth with leaders in a position similar to parents. If you become easily frustrated with the spiritual immaturity of others, expecting them to be the same as you, you will struggle in a position of leadership. Church leaders face all types of things and need to be maturely grounded in Christ to lead by exemplifying love and purity. Furthermore you must consider your wife/husband and children in relation to your example; they are your first ministry.
Read, 1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7-81 Timothy 3:12.

4. Are you well composed or do people often remark otherwise? While church leaders can receive beautiful welcomes and respect, the reality is there will be moments or people who try you. Some people will come out with remarks that are totally irrelevant and hurtful. Unless you understand this is more an insight to where they’re at you could do damage with your position of authority. Understanding human psychology is a great advantage for church leaders. You need to really understand grace and have a thick skin. 
Read, Luke 17:3-4; Ezekiel 2-3:11.

5. Can you work in a team? In my opinion a great leader is a combination of a visionary and facilitator. A leader leads from amongst the people, comes alongside, builds up and encourages. They do not charge ahead declaring, ‘this is the way, keep up or find another leader!’ 
Read, Matthew 20:20-28; Luke 22:24-27; 1 Thessalonians 5.

6. Do you like yourself and spending time alone? Ministry is both awesome and depleting. If you’re called to serve Jesus and His body this way, I don’t believe you will never feel complete doing anything else. You must be aware however that you will need time out from people to spend alone time with The Lord, for your sustenance and well-being. If you have deep hurts and baggage from the past, spending time to heal from these hurts is necessary for you to be able to minister to and lead others. If you cannot spend time alone, take the time to find out why. You will need to know yourself well to recharge and avoid burnout. You will also need trusted close friends but they can’t come before Jesus. 

In His service, Melanie.


Shayla Hilton said...

This is excellent! This provides a great opportunity to pause and reflect on my current leadership. Thanks!

Melanie Baker-Nash said...

Thanks Shayla, good to hear :)