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21 January, 2013 19:30

January 21, 2013


I’ve received several emails lately urging me to sign up for a National Leadership Conference. One email informed me that I could save some $400 by registering early. To be honest, my first impression was that the entire course would be less than $100. After clicking on the link I discovered the course was one year long and would cost $4,000.

Today I received another email letting me know I only had 13 days left to secure my spot. Contained in the email was a list of some of the topics the course will cover. The topics were chosen because, ‘you are facing great demands in your leadership.’ The classes covered were subjects like leadership, management, finances, staffing, and board relations etc.

Now as a former pastor I can see where some of these issues can be practical and beneficial but not necessarily vital. I guess what troubled me the most was the glaring lack of what I would consider the essential needs of any spiritual leader. After all, the leader’s number one calling is to know God and make Him known. Why, I wondered, was there no mention of prayer, meditation, fasting, evangelism or revival. I’m not suggesting that knowing how to manage your staff and balancing your budget or adding or subtracting board members aren’t necessary topics; I just don’t believe these classes are worth investing $4,000 into them when weightier matters are simply dismissed or ignored.

My father would often remark about his concerns when he saw PASTOR’S OFFICE on a door rather than PASTOR’S STUDY. “When I think of an OFFICE, he would say, I think of administration. When I see the word STUDY I think of meditation.” Paul’s admonition to young Timothy springs to mind when he writes to him, PREACH THE WORD. The early church leaders became sidetracked by the ever growing need of caring and feeding the widows. It wasn’t long before they realized that they were to delegate the administrative responsibilities to the deacons so they could return to their number one priority, the ministry of the word of God and prayer.

It seems to me that we too have become sidetracked. We have tried to duplicate a business style of leadership, but have forgotten the power of God’s presence. I had the privilege of working with a great man of God who built one of the largest congregations in New Zealand at that time. He hardly had an organized bone in his body but he knew God. Yes, he staffed his weaknesses as he would say, but as the senior leader he set an example for me of a leader’s number one priority. Time alone with God. That’s what drew the crowd and satisfied the needs of the people.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2013 9:56 am

    Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
    Prone to leave the God I love.

    And prone to be distracted from the essentials, without which there is no power in the work or the message.

    Oh, God, drive us back home along the path of obedience. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

    Thank you, David. Don’t grow weary.


  2. February 1, 2013 7:27 pm

    Amen dear brother, we need to simply trust the Lord by the spirit and really forsake all the business mentality in the church, thank you for the clear thoughts and encouragement to the body of Christ to do so. – Greg Gordon

  3. May 20, 2013 3:16 pm

    The problem is very simple. People today have replaced God with themselves-yes, me included! We need to experience God Himself more and ourselves less! More of Him and less of me. Yes, it is painful and it does cost everything to give ourselves to Him. Jesus was very clear about this in the Gospels. My family used to travel to Pittsburg regularly to experience God’s presence in the Kathryn Kuhlman services (1970’s). I remember her saying many times that, “It costs EVERYTHING”, and I know this is true. Jesus told us to count the cost and encouraged us to pay the price. Following Christ is FREE in a certain way, yet costs everything in another way. The grace and forgiveness is the FREE part, yet completely following Him in everything is very expensive personally. Are we willing to sacrifice ourselves as freely as He sacrificed Himself? That is the problem we are having.

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