As a leader, it’s your job to be looking out into the future of your congregation, your ministry, your organization!
- Seeing the bigger picture
- Looking at your stated mission. Have we drifted? Are we aligned?
- Thinking more than most
Over 20 years ago PLI’s founders saw the big picture and started to train the next generation of pastors and spouses to be better leaders for our churches to reach people for Jesus. (They’re heroes in my book.)
As a leader you have some thoughts about…
- What’s not working
- What needs to adapt to the changing context around you
- What the consequence of “No Change” looks like
As an inexperienced leader, it sounds easy enough! The rest of us…we know better.
Here are 3 simple tips to make the leadership challenge a bit less perilous:
- Introduce new ideas to your leaders. Challenge their thinking. Give them fresh “could be’s.” Don’t let them be lazy. Invite them to think with you. (Occasionally share this blog.)
- Let ideas percolate! With your leaders or the larger congregation/group. Faster is usually slower. There’s no opportunity for critical reflection. No opportunity for stakeholders to gain important ownership.
- Clarify conflicting values. It’s doubly difficult because we have values that clash with each other.
Here’s how it played out when we introduced 1,000 Young Leaders to churches and church leaders!
- New Idea! Rather than giving up or tweaking and tuning a program to reach a mission field generation why not select, train and send indigenous missionary disciples into the millennial mission field where they live, work and play?
- Let ideas percolate! One pastor: “When I heard about 1, 000 Young Leaders last year I thought…not for us. We’re healthy. Worship attendance is strong. Then I realized that none of the 20s and 30s moving into our community are being reached. Tell me more about 1, 000 Young Leaders.”
- Conflicting Values! “I want my grandkids learning the stories of Jesus. I want my kids and their kids to spend eternity with me in heaven.” OR another value: “I like the way we do things in our church. I’m comfortable. It serves me.”
For most of us reading this blog, or writing it, somewhere along the way we lost our ability to trust Jesus ourselves as we step into our own mission fields. The no purse or bag or sandals, lambs among wolves, type of trust. Somewhere we learned to boldly trust Jesus through our programs, in our sanctuaries, in our building campaigns or strategic plans… Into the harvest fields where WE live, work and play. And, maybe we need a millennial missionary to help us.
So it’s a great time to…
- Look at your mission statement again. Does it reflect the Great Commission? Ask, have we drifted from it?
- Share this blog with a couple of your leaders. Ask them to think with you.
- Be bold! Take 60 seconds and a piece of paper. Five years from now if nothing changes…write 3 things that describe the future of your congregation/group.
- Pray. Simply pray. For our churches. For missionaries coming here. For the Spirit of God to move.
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