There are tons of great blogs and books out there about what to ‘do’ to develop as a leader. Often, however, there are things we should ‘not do’ that are just as important. Strong leadership requires bold willingness to speak truth in all circumstances.
But when Peter came to Antioch, I (Paul) had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. Galatians 2:11-13 (NLT)
Paul and Peter…both tremendous men of faith and obedience to Christ and the call to ministry. In this instance, however, Paul had to call Peter out. Having been in ministry for over 20 years myself I can tell you that Paul most likely did not have an easy time with this. But…he did what needed to be done. And Paul knew that if he didn’t address this issue with Peter, he would be hypocritical as well. Something needed to change!
I served on staff a few years ago at a church that boasted pride in honoring the Matthew 18 principle. Many churches do and should, but unfortunately this one only talked about it. It was never enforced and encouraged…on church members or staff. If it had, I honestly believe my personal ministry there would not have been cut as short as it was. I’m sure you can relate (sorry to say).
My encouragement for church leaders as we dive into 2013 is simple to state, but often incredibly difficult to put into action. Re-evaluate your policies and documents that address your church’s approach to leadership, conflict resolution, and staff/team relations. If it is clearly Biblical, keep it and begin talking with your leaders about ‘how’ it tangibly applies to ministry. It it is not directly Biblical, (and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing) pray about why it exists. It may have roots that apply to your particular church body. If so, keep it. But if it has no current relevance to the life of your congregation (other than its always been there)….trash it!
Here’s the gist of this post. What we ‘say’ about how our church body is lead and structured must be a reality! I would argue that God is not interested in moving in churches that are attempting to operate in a fictional world. Be real and strong with your leadership and God will be very real and active in bringing you new leaders, providing for your finances, and growing you and your people closer to Him.
How do you plan to lead strong and #LeadRight in 2013? Anything new or different? Leave a comment and join the discussion.