Mike Fletcher asked:
Whether a Bible teacher, a small group leader or the facilitator of a Sunday School class, Christian leadership brings lots of challenges.
We all get tired. Most Christian leaders are volunteers, meaning they have “day jobs” and family responsibilities and jam-packed schedules. But God intends your service and leadership to be joyful. He has raised you up to do the very task before you. So, knowing that true fulfillment comes from being in God’s will, remember your call to leadership. God didn’t bring you to this place of leadership to fail
That said, here are five practical suggestions – along with some scriptural encouragement and wisdom – that will help you succeed.
Step #1: Pace yourself – See Heb 12:1, 1Thes 5:8, Eph 5:15 it’s human nature to wait to the last minute. Don’t. Plan your time. Understand that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. Identify your priorities, break them down into tasks and prayerfully commit them to God.
Similarly, be selective in accepting invitations to take on more work. Pray before saying yes. Know that even God rested. Your “down time” is not a luxury. It’s critically important to your physical, mental and spiritual health. Follow jesus’ example of prayer and solitude.
Step #2: Know what your job is… and what it isn’t – See Gal. 1:10, Luke 6:40 One job all Christian leaders have is to be an example. Let your lifestyle be one of evangelism and integrity. Know that people are watching. We teach by more than words so look atb your life carefully, as if you were the only Bible some people read.
You are also to be an encourager and a guide. Don’t be a stern taskmaster. Let your words build up.
You are not a fixer. Unless you have been trained and are serving as a counselor, most leaders are facilitators, teachers, mentors.
Step #3: Recognize your limitations – 2 Cor 13:5, Psalm 139:24
You will make mistakes. Understand that. learn from them. If you have hurt others, apologize promptly and seek forgiveness. Don’t let mistakes bring you down. Use them to build you up. Experience is a great teacher and we learn more from failure than success. SImilarly, be quick to forgive others when they make mistakes or hurt you.
Set goals. Work to learn more, gain wisdom and experience. Write down those goals. Identify your weaknesses and then figure out how to turn them to strengths.
Step #4: realize there is a cost – Phil 1:29, Luke 10:2
God has called you to a ministry. But realize that ministry is work. It requires lots of time. Something will have to go. Weed out from your life the distractions and pursuits that needlessly drain your energy and steal your time like too much TV watching or Internet surfing.
Also know that whenever a Christian steps up to leadership, Satan gets upset. Christian leaders have targets on their back. Satan does not want you serving. You will be criticized, sometimes with cause, often with out. The world will think you nuts. realize it just goes with the territory. Like Jesus said, if the world hated Him, how can we who follow Him expect anything different?
Step #5: Realize you will be blessed – 2 Cor 9:6, 2 Cor 9:10, John 4:36
As we said at the beginning, God has placed you in your role as a leader. That means he has planned your success. We may not see how or understand this side of heaven what’s happening but it is no accident you are serving where you are.
That means that the people you lead should be looked at as a gift from God. Just as it’s no accident you are where you are, its no accident that they are under your leading. Treasure them protect them. Shepherd them.
Know that God doesn’t make mistakes. Your leading will bring blessings.