Tensions of the Church Leader
A great deal of balance is needed.
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As you lead your church to growth, you will have to demonstrate a great deal of balance. Balance, of course, implies that there is more than one aspect to consider. There are two sides to every coin, so to speak. As such, being a church leader is an exercise in paradox. Look at a few of the tensions that you must keep in balance.
Spiritual and Pragmatic
You must give priority to prayer. Yet you must be open to new methodologies that could help your church grow. You will need to be a consumer of the latest church growth literature, but you must realize that only a sovereign God can send real revival.
You must depend totally on God, but not take lightly the counsel of godly men and women. You must ask yourself "What works?" but you must realize that tools are only for a season.
Tenacity and Flexibility
Because you are the leader of an established church, long-term tenure is of great importance. Unless God clearly calls you to another ministry, you will need to be tenacious about your calling, even in the most difficult of times. Satan would love to see you so discouraged that you are ready to give up.
Yet while you must be unswerving in your commitment to your church, you must demonstrate an abundance of flexibility in dealing with church members. The roles that you will fill may change ten times in one day. At the end of each day, you may not know if you are coming or going!
Action-Oriented and Patient
Churches need leaders who take initiative and lead the people to new challenges. The churches must be shaken from their complacency with the possibilities of God. Established churches need leaders who have patience, who can wait on God's timing when it seems that nothing is happening. Churches need pastors who have the wisdom to know when to move and when to wait.
Sensitive and Tough-skinned
Leaders, don't you love it when you have just been through a round of criticisms and a well-meaning church member tells you to get your act together?
"You just got to have tough skin," you may be told. "You can't let everything hurt you."
Yet before the week is through, you may be taken to task for your insensitivity in not visiting someone. This same church member may even tell you that you are just not sensitive enough.
Such is the tension that is, and will continue to be, a part of your life. Certain occasions will call for you to have the hide of a rhino, while others will demand that you be sensitive and caring.
How do we reconcile the two demands upon your life?
You don't. You recognize that the tension will be ever present, and that God will provide for all of your needs for all occasions. (Phil. 4:19)
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