Leading from a Foundation of Faith
Recently, I’ve been involved in several conversations that revolve around the topic of how leaders can help fix what’s broken at their congregation so their church can grow. I have to admit, I don’t believe that is an appropriate approach for spiritual leaders to take. And, I believe all church leaders are spiritual leaders.
Spiritual leaders are called to lead from a firm faith foundation. That means making intentional time to connect with God through a variety of means: worship, prayer, Bible reading, and paying attention to God’s movement in his or her life. It starts from a position of tending to our spiritual being, not our figuring out what we should be doing. It involves connecting with God in order to nurture a more discerning way of leading. Discernment isn’t something you study your way into by doing something. Instead it comes from the deepening connection with God. It’s a gift.
I recently heard this question being voiced about discernment: “How can we be sure which direction we should be moving in our ministry if we’re at loggerheads in a meeting?”
Discernment doesn’t involve that kind of pushing coming from human parties in a conversation. We’re supposed to be receptive and open, listening and watching for the movement of the Holy Spirit in our midst. If church leaders are getting hot and bothered because no one is listening to their agenda for the church then you can be relatively certain that it’s not the Holy Spirit stirring things up.
One caution: If we are focusing on what we are doing or should be doing then we are not focusing on our relationship with God. Faithful church leadership leads from a spiritual center and a relationship of connections that are formed around that center.