This past fall, we wrote a necessary post entitled “Not all churches and pastors are like that.” We talked about the faults of some churches and leaders, but relayed that there are so many good churches that are led by godly and caring pastors.
There are still many high profile churches that are struggling with very serious issues. We thought it would be a helpful reminder and encouragement to focus on 3 essential characteristics to look for in church leadership.
Pastors and church leaders should be:
Honest – Nothing is more damaging to a church than a leader with a reputation for saying one thing behind closed doors and another from the platform. Not all business that goes into running the church has to be done in the open. But church leaders who mislead the congregation, fail one of the crucial tests of pastoral leadership. A church leader must be committed to openly sharing the truth, (not every truth, but enough truth) that his reputation is one of truthfulness and not deception.
Qualified – It surprises some that Christ is fairly clear about the qualifications to serve in leadership of His church. Dynamic communication skills, managerial capacity, and A-Type personalities, are laughable qualifications compared to the biblical standard. Read I & II Timothy and Titus and ask yourself does your pastor resemble anywhere close to these things. Church leadership must be an example to the flock ( I Peter 5:3). Is you are ashamed of the example of your leaders, confront them or leave. Don’t expect perfection, but don’t bury your head in the sand if you are certain your church leaders are not someone that you would want your children or loved ones to follow.
Compassionate – If you are on the train home from Chicago after a really bad day in the stock markets, you can often tell those who love money by the angst on the faces of those whose livelihoods were negatively impacted that day. Sadly, the same goes for churches and the anger that is displayed when money rules the culture of the church. Anger always abounds because money never brings contentment. If you have a church that measures success by the bottom line, it will often spill out in outbursts of anger. Leaders with a heart of compassion view money differently and care more about the hearts of the flock. A heart of compassion results in tenderness toward the sheep, not brow-beating or manipulative threats. There is a willingness to be bitten by the sheep, not assume they are all wolves and threats.
Please carefully consider the characteristics of the leaders in your church. I pray that many of you are encouraged when you read these, because the leaders in your church are biblical examples.
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