Wednesday, January 18, 2017

When Leadership is Challenged

There are times when you hear something that impacts you deeply and leaves a lasting impression. As a young pastor-in-training, I remember one such phrase. Early in his ministry, my pastor, Roy Hicks Jr., was confronted by a group of people in his church who felt his leadership style was too strong. The church was exploding in growth and what was comfortable and familiar was being challenged. Roy was in his late 20’s when the challenge came.

Roy met with the disgruntled group and listened to their complaints. When it was his time to speak he spoke one sentence that shifted the spiritual environment of the room. He said, “So, you want me to become weak so you can become strong?” That one Spirit-inspired sentence confronted the spirit that was challenging his leadership and illuminated the reality of what was taking place. Roy’s comment carried the sound of apostolic leadership.

After that meeting, some of the group stayed in the church and some left. Faith Center continued to grow in its influence within the city of Eugene, Oregon and beyond, both nationally and internationally. Jan and I were sent out to our first ministry assignment from that powerful church.

In pivotal times of change, both in the Church and culture, God will raise up strong leaders that will lead with a passion and vision that can challenge the thinking and comfort of those who only see the Church as something to be managed and protected. Management and protection are good things when positioned in an environment of faith. Left unsubmitted to apostolic leadership, they become agents of control.

Today, examine the demands you put on those God has placed in your life to lead and shepherd. Ask yourself, “Why am I bringing this challenge?” If you are uncomfortable with change or want things to remain the way they have always been, let God have access to your fear. When He is finally is able to touch and heal that weakness you will become a valuable asset to those tasked to lead the Church. You will have become strong enough to allow others to freely move forward in their gifts and calling.

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