Pastors are called to lead. A lot of people don’t realize this – which is why their churches never go above about forty people. A pastor has to learn how to lead, and be confident enough in their ministry and calling to lead.
Revelation 19.15 says that Jesus leads with a rod of iron. Every pastor needs to have a backbone of iron and the strength to lead. The traditional image of a pastor is soft, kind, compassionate, poor, always available and never complains. Basically the human doormat.
That’s not really the picture of a ruler, but the picture of someone ruled. Many pastors are ruled, They are ruled by elders, ruled by the board of deacons, ruled by the fear of lack of finances, ruled by the easily offended, ruled by people who are threatening to leave, ruled by bullies who cannot pastor, cannot help people, but want the church to revolve around their needs, their wants and their hang ups.
Now I accept and believe a pastor should be kind, should be compassionate, and should be loving. But his calling is to rule and to lead. A pastor should be running a local church – and the head of any group must be the decision maker. You must not let a foot or a stomach make decisions – the head must make the decisions. The Bible says “The Lord is my Shepherd, He LEADETH me…” – part of being a shepherd is leading people.
A true shepherd leads sheep where they need to go, not where they want to go. You cannot be a good leader if you are weak – if your voice is weak and your ability to make decisions is weak. Every church needs a shepherd who has a strong voice that is confident and bold in the Lord. The sheep are looking for someone with direction – someone who knows where good grass is, who knows where he is going. A man with a plan!
A pastor must lead the church spiritually and set an example socially and as a family man. WHen the church does not have a strong leader, it will malfunction.
It is bad for a church to have weak, spineless leadership. Pastors must be like Jesus and speak with authority. I am not talking about domination over people – I am not talking about controlling people. I am talking about being a leader and leading sheep. If you are the pastor, you have to lead people to green pastures and still waters. You must lead – and you must have a strong voice. You are the leader, so lead. God has placed the church in your hands, A leader who cannot make decisions is doomed to failure. A good leader takes decisions when he knows what is going on. Find out the facts, then act. Even if the decision is painful, even if it is hard. If you the shepherd do not make difficult decisions then your church will fail.
Look around – you know that there are dead, lifeless, failing churches around you. They are not what the first generation of pioneers who started that church and that denomination dreamed of. What happened is death crept in – some people crept in and tried to make the church more comfortable to their carnal desires – and the pastors and leaders never confronted it and dealt with it. Things get out of hand when leaders don’t lead.
Often as senior leader, a hard place is when a leader you have appointed is not leading properly. You need to deal with that – you need to ensure that the right changes are made that need to be change.
Never be afraid of change. Other people might be, but you do not have that luxury – you are the leader. If you only ever make little decisions, you will only have little change, so only have little results. If you make big, large, confident decisions – you will have big, large, confident changes with big, large, confident results. Be a strong leader. Be a champion, and lead your people to green pastures.
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