Do you seek wisdom? Christian leaders need to desire and seek wisdom. Now maybe that is obvious. Yet, some of the mistakes ministers make with their congregations often come down to poor judgment and a lack of wisdom. Not every issue is a matter of right or wrong, moral orimmoral. Quite often, Christian leaders need to ask, “Is this wise?”
Great resources! The Truett Media Library offers much. Guest preachers, lecturers, workshops, etc. These were all delivered at Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University.
Do you read Tim Schraeder’s summaries? Most recently, Tim wrote summaries (in the form of bullet points) of some of the messages delivered at Catalyst West. For example, this particular summary by Eugene Peterson was very interesting to me.
Do you take advantage of learning moments? Here is a practice I find helpful. Four to five times a week, I work out at the gym. I typically listen to something on my iPod. Each week, I will download particular podcasts to listen to during the time that I am on the treadmill or another machine. For example, a week ago, I did a search in the iTunes store for any podcast available by Tom Long. I put those on my iPod for the week, along with others podcasts that I regularly subscribe to. The following week, I then listen to someone else.
One of the advantages of podcasts is the opportunity to listen to a variety of people and/or programs instead of simply listening to the same two or three people and not varying your input.
Church leaders have a tremendous resource that is available to them but unfortunately is ignored. The resource I have in mind is their capacity to be used by God to encourage each other. It is startling to hear ministers speak of rarely, if ever, being asked encouraging questions by elders in their congregations. Very often, elders do not encourage one another or their ministers.
I really liked a tweet I saw from @garyLthomas (Gary Thomas) yesterday regarding marriage. Gary wrote: “The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s apathy. To love our spouses is to pursue them, not just avoid doing them harm.” The same is true regarding a minister and his relationship with a group of elders, or the congregation as a whole.
I have talked with a number of ministers whose elders are not doing them any harm. Yet, there is no “pursuit.” That is, there is no sense that this minister is really valued, as a person, by the group that he works most closely with. These relationships could be a source of energy and life. They can be energized by intentionally seeking to be a friend and encourager.
You might consider asking your preacher, pastor, elder, minister, etc. “How could I best encourage you in my relationship with you?”