Tuesday, November 20

The future of the Church lies in its untapped leaders

Bill Hybels, pastor of the phenom church in South Barrington Illinois, Willow Creek Community, where I received the Call from God to pursue ministry has a special place in my heart, since it was during the ACTS2 conference years ago that me and God got into the discussion of where He wanted to use me. And, much of Pastor Hybels' design for a church—which my current church uses a partial model of---is the reason behind the demise of my outreach to the leadership of my immediate Christian community. When you run your church as a business, you are going to attract business-minded and trained people.

Pastor Hybels realize that the Willow Creek model of church didn't do the purpose it was designed to do, and much has changed out of the Willow Creek crew since. But most significant, to me at least, is his discussion on what needs to change within the church leadership model.

"We can no longer afford to leave people leaderless in the arena of the church. For the church ever to reach its redemptive, life-giving potential," Hybels remarks in an article in Leadership Today magazine, "It must be well led. It must be powerfully envisioned, strategically focused, and internally aligned. Members must be motivated; values must be established and enforced. Resources need to be leveraged."

How do you motivate someone who gains nothing of the perks of the business world in a business church? You can't. You reach out for those people who, in Hybels' own words, "come out of leaderless homes and schools and jobs and athletic teams [and] discover, maybe for the first time in their lives, the excitement of being valued, of being included, of being told that they are indispensable for the achievement of a common vision."

These are the leaders of the evangelical church that are being passed over, being discarded through the incorrect application of the business church model to their calling and abilities. It takes a strong leader of an established church to reach out to these undiscovered and untapped resources, to give them the wings on which to fly and to lead the various ministries of the church out of the business model church and into the realistic, 'old-school' model that has been abandoned for years. To call people accountable together for their spiritual growth, as an individual, as a community and as a body. Maybe that is why Paul remarked in Romans 12:8, "Men and women, if you've been given the gift of leadership, for God's sake, lead."

As Pastor Hybels' says, "For the world's sake, lead. For the sake of lost people, lead."

To work in a church, people must go beyond the temporary, glittery, and eternally worthless motivations and have a eternally motivated drive inside themselves. It is these people, who have the drive to weather the trials and tribulations of church service, who give the leadership its power, leverage, and ability to lead the church in the commission that God gave us all; to spread the Good News.

When we return to that idea, that the very people who are being shepherd by the leadership are the future of the leadership and the effective power of a driven church, then we will find that those very souls we have helped grow can sustain us in the lean times.

Just my thoughts,


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