Integration of personal spirituality and management technique begins with priority adjustments in the ethos of the leader. We live in a world where having the largest church in the city, speaking at major conferences, and hosting fast paced multimedia services so easily become the goal and the benchmark of successful ministry. Pastoral leadership committed to personal spirituality though, marches to the beat of a different drum and lives a lifestyle that may not be as popular today as it once was. A lifestyle of humility and trust in God. A lifestyle where the instructions of Paul to the church of Philippi, that nothing be done out of selfish ambition or conceit, but rather in lowliness of mind each esteems others better than himself, would be outworked in graciousness and love.
There is nothing wrong with the goal of packed services and expansive building projects or the dream of leading a church known throughout the city for its positive impact on the community. To one day have speaking invitations sitting in your in-tray from various churches around the nation would be a huge compliment. These things though, should only ever be the by-product of a far simpler and quite unglamorous private world of devotion to God. The journey of a long obedience in the right direction must be the major driving force in pastoral ministry, with commitment to walking that journey with integrity of heart and faith in God.
Priority adjustments must be made that see pastors re-committing themselves to the venture of faith that lies at the heart of Christian ministry. The adventure of ‘connecting and co-ordinating’ people with God and his mercy and grace. This simple and basic devotion as a pastor to be a physician of souls must take priority over ‘running a church’ and ‘building your ministry.’ Making disciples must take preference over building a crowd. A heart for worship must be the foundation for a desire for great music. Listening for the guidance of God must come before any strategic implementations one can conjure up in ones own strength.
To be continued…