Leaders “go from strength to strength” (Psalm 84:7). That is, through God’s grace and supportive mentors and friends, leaders grow stronger and stronger.*Usually, if we are on a long walk or run, we go from strength to weakness. We start the hike fresh and in good order. But, if the path is rough and the sun is hot; we stop, take a swig of bottled water, and then continue on our weary way.
However, Christian leaders obtain fresh supplies of grace. They are as vigorous after years of toilsome travel and struggle as when they first set out. They may not be quite as dynamic as they once were, but they are much stronger in all that constitutes real power. They may travel more slowly, but they also travel more surely.
While a leader may at times feel weak and weary, old and cold, God’s promise is clear, as is the evidence of strength in other senior leaders. “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Anxious individuals may sit down and trouble themselves about the future. With a sigh they may say, “We go from affliction to affliction.” There are, indeed, difficult times. But the bigger picture is that Christian leaders characteristically go from strength to strength. They will never find a batch or bundle of affliction that is not bound up in sufficient grace.
God gives the fullness of strength with the burden allotted to the full-grown shoulders of those who are called to lead. And, for younger leaders, this strength often comes through the support of senior leaders who are their mentors. The strength of one brings strength to the other… strength to strength.
One image of individuals who are going from strength to strength is seen here. It was taken at the recent Christmas banquet of Iglesia Alas de Aguila (Eagles Wings Church). All are involved with Church Leadership Center as pastors, mentors, mentees, course facilitators, classis representatives, or Commissioned Pastor candidates.
Since the church opened its doors in 2009, 81 people have given their lives to Jesus Christ and 23 people have been baptized. The group meets in Lee Street Christian Reformed Church (Wyoming, Michigan). Lee Street pastor Kent Rottman (center) is mentor to Israel Alvarado (second from right), church planter and Commissioned Pastor candidate. Others pictured: Jim Heneveld, Vern Sterk, Hugo Vasquez. Not pictured is Jim Lankheet (Beechwood Church lead pastor and Hispanic church plant movement leader).