SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
The saying ‘ministry builds people but leadership builds the Church‘ is largely true. Dr. Ian Jagelman, in his book ‘the Empowered Church’ writes; ‘Ministry is any activity which serves the needs of people. It includes such things as preaching, teaching, counselling, praying, visiting, feeding and cleaning and, Leadership is any activity which directs, influences, or facilitates ministry by others. It includes such things as planning, decision making, personnel selection and vision setting.
The Church in which the pastors become the professional ministers will grow to a certain size but then invariably fall back. A small group can only keep a limited number of people engaged for a limited time. If the people are not being mobilised, equipped and resourced as Eph 4:11-14 requires, they will never find fulfilment now nor one day hear their own ‘well done’ from Jesus. In NCD surveys, the ACC rates lowest on ’empowering leadership’. The view by many pastors is that it’s easier to do it themselves than to train others or that there is no one who wants to do it. Both views will keep Churches small.
Ministers default to ministry. Their diary tells the story. The church calendar and the board agenda also illustrate it. There is little leadership development only ministry meetings. Lots of presence but little process. Limited discipleship happens because people have limited engagement in growth opportunities.
Leadership can be cultivated but it requires changing long held patterns, operating out of comfort zones, associating with effective leaders, and trial and error processes to find new ways. When long hours and hard work see little result perhaps it’s time to work smarter and not harder.