Across the Pastor’s Desk: Leadership and appreciation
Published 8:00 pm Friday, November 17, 2023
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Elisha Marin
Imagine for a moment that you are climbing Mount Everest. The wind starts picking up, clouds rolling in, and your visibility went null. But you are not alone. Tied to you is a rope linked together, combining the other climbers to you, as you lead in front. You are responsible for their safety, where they end up and the condition in which you all arrive. No pressure, right?
Regarding the church, the Bible tells us that it is God who raises up leaders so that we all grow and mature in our belief and actions.
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“He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, into a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so we may no longer be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men, by craftiness with deceitful scheming.” — Ephesians 4:11-14
The role of leadership is never easy. This is due to the unique position that leaders are in.
Whether someone is in leadership in a church, office, business or government, there is a real burden that is carried just in the nature of leadership. A leader recognizes that they carry influence on those around them. The choices leaders make impact the individuals and teams around them. Consider what the Bible says in James.
“My brothers, not many of you should become teachers, knowing that we shall receive greater judgment.” — James 3:1
Because of their importance, leaders are going to be held to a higher standard. However, leaders also find themselves being judged by the ones they lead. Choices are questioned, motives are scrutinized and comparisons between other leaders are made. One thing that I have learned and have tried passing onto others is the idea that we do not have a full deck of cards when trying to understand certain things. Meaning, I ask myself the question, “What knowledge does the one making the decisions have that I do not? Perhaps they are doing things in their realm for reasons beyond me.”
Leadership is not about driving and forcing from behind. It’s about being in the trenches alongside. Being a leader should not be about being a dictator. True leaders work alongside and bring others up, essentially working themselves out of the job because another leader has arisen to take their place.
Last month, October, happened to be Pastor Appreciation Month. These leaders sacrifice so much to make an impact on their communities. Many sacrifice being near family. Some sacrifice lucrative careers. Still others sacrifice security and safety. There are sleepless nights, moments of crisis, taxing questions and concerns. And that only scratches the surface, let alone the spiritual nature of what clergy do. According to Barna Research, 42% of pastors have thought about leaving their role in 2022.
Another poll shows the profession of pastor is near the bottom of most respected professions.
Being a leader is not easy, but it is vital. This next season, bless your pastor. Beyond a gift, bless them with your presence at worship. Surprise them, make it regular! In fact, the Bible says to treat your ministers in such a way that they enjoy ministering to you, because this actually benefits you more than them!
So, let us become a blessing and therefore, be blessed ourselves.
Blessings to you.
Ryan Quigley is the lead pastor at Albert Lea Assembly of God.