SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter 5:2 (TM) – larger reading I Peter 5:1-11
Here's my concern: that you care for God's flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously.
Peter Drucker offers insightful guidance to the church when he calls leadership a peak performance by one who is "the trumpet that sounds a clear sound of the organizations' goals." His five requirements for this task are amazingly reliable and useful for those who dare to lead churches:
(1) a leader works;
(2) a leader sees his assignment as responsibility rather than rank or privilege;
(3) a leader wants strong, capable, self-assured, independent associates;
(4) a leader creates human energies and vision;
(5) a leader develops followers' trust by his own consistency and integrity.
Over lunch the conversation came around to a senior pastor that both of us have worked with. Sadly we both agreed… he is more in love with the church than with Christ. He talks a good game, but is easily threatened by suggestions that are not his or might require him to think/act outside the box. We said a quick prayer and moved on to talk about other things.
Back in the car driving to my next event my thoughts tried to bring up Peter Drucker’s requirements on leadership. Couldn’t dig them out of my gray matter. Had to wait until I got home. I then read the preselected scripture lesson for today’s blog. Words from 1 Peter to church leaders. Integrity, vision, strong people, and responsibility, great qualities. Imagine my surprise.
Sadly the one of whom we spoke is only years away from retirement and the assumption is that he won’t be willing to change. Hoping that his church doesn’t suffer in the process… it has suffered enough.
BUT WAIT… the message here is not for someone else stupid! IT’S FOR ME!!! I’m still serving a church -- albeit very part-time. Yes, I can point a finger in his direction, but three fingers are pointing back at me. OUCH!
Time to evaluate. Time to contemplate. Time to take stock. Time to print out Peter Drucker’s list and post it where it will be seen daily. And while printing stuff out might as well print out the 1 Peter passage.
Set the needle squarely on “pleasing God” … In these later years pleasing God has been easier to do because what is the worse thing that a congregation can do to me – fire me? – Shoot fire, I was retired before I was called back into duty. I’ve found it easier to please God and not play the “chasing the carrot” game that so often happens between preacher and people.
BUT AM I PLEASING GOD? Well, it looks like I need to take time to think through the ramifications to that question… and reset the rudder on my ship.
Help me to have the qualities of an effective leader: Integrity, vision, strong people, and responsibility. Help me to seek to please God and do his bidding. Help me to be a solid spiritual leader.