When Bill and Gloria Gaither were anticipating the birth of a child, they were conflicted. On the one hand they were excited about the potential they could envision in this new life; on the other hand, they were troubled by the challenges and difficulties within the world into which this child would be born. Out of their reflection on the upcoming birth, they wrote the song, “Because He Lives.” One of the lines of the song is, “This child can face uncertain days because He lives.” Then the chorus begins with, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.”
Facing tomorrow is a special challenge for leaders. One reason for this is that leaders have responsibilities to and for their followers. Because Christian leaders believe that “An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives” (See the video by clicking here), they are able to face tomorrow with a spiritually-empowered confidence. As a result, they experience the challenges of tomorrow from the point of view of Jesus living in them.
Four unique ways that Christian leaders face tomorrow include the following.
1. They expect God to do amazing things in their lives and ministries, living each tomorrow with the knowledge that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
2. They look for change to come from the bottom up rather than from the top down. Who would expect the Messiah to implement His redemptive plan by recruiting twelve disciples with occupational backgrounds that included several fishermen and a tax collector; and then, at the end of His earthly ministry, to commission them to make disciples?
3. They embrace difficulties as part of the leadership journey, knowing that Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24), and “My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
4. They revel in the riches and responsibilities that have been entrusted to them, both the easy and the difficult. They may not have fully arrived or attained, but they are joyous in their service, as well as in “pressing forward toward the prize that God has in store for them” (see Philippians 3 and 4).
Gene McLellan (pictured with his wife Ruth) is one of those leaders who knows how to face tomorrow. After a twenty year career in the Navy as a lay chaplain, he returned to the Ludington, MI area and started HELP (Hands Extended Loving People) Ministry. This ministry provides furniture, appliances, and household goods to families and individuals in need of such. It assists clients with rent, utilities, medical bills, and transportation, in collaboration with area social service agencies and churches. They claim the verse, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6).
Gene is completing his Commissioned Pastor training through Church Leadership Center. For information about his ministry, click here.