Tenacious Leadership

The pastor was giving a charge to a new Commissioned Pastor. He said, “The work of ministry is hard and it doesn’t get easier over time. There are some who talk about pastors burning out. Those are not words that I use. When I’m feeling exhausted, I take a different approach: I go pray with an Alzheimer’s patient. It puts my life in perspective.” His charge was a leadership lesson in a few simple sentences. Ministry requires his kind of tenacious spirit; i.e., never look inward; always see beyond one’s self to the needs of others and with a vision for building the Kingdom. Shortly after hearing this charge, I received the latest book summary from my subscription to Leaders Book Summaries. This issue was a review ofTurnaround Pastor by Don Ross. The summary included the following powerful statement about tenacious leadership: “Tenacious leadership will not quit. You will get discouraged, but you’ll recover. There will be setbacks, but you’ll try again. You’ll run out of money, but there will be more. People will leave your church, but others will come. Leaders will resist you, but other leaders will thank God for sending you to them. Above all, you must trust Jesus to work through you, and you must not give up. This means that you will have to continually speak life to this declining church and teach that a better day is coming. You will be the one to initiate new ideas and plans. They won’t all work, but some of them will. You’ll gain traction with every success.” The phrase, “You must not give up” brings to mind the challenge given by Winston Churchill: “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Even more importantly, the idea of tenacious leadership connects with the Scriptural concepts of pressing on, living sacrificially, and serving with zeal. Paul wrote, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:34-35). Peter urged, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:10). Church Leadership Center contributes to the development of those who are already tenacious leaders. We work in partnership with pastors, churches, and other ministry groups to prepare congregational leaders for advanced levels of service. We do this by means of assessment interviews and reports; personalized training plans, classes, and certification so that participants are able to increase their effectiveness in all areas of church life. Click here for more information from our web site and to read previous blogs. To view videos about Commissioned Pastors and those who support them, click here. 

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