Are you up to the challenge?

This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader,  he desires an honourable position.”

1 Timothy 3:1 (NLT).

I came across a new take on an old song recently:

                Backward Christian soldiers, fleeing from the fight

                With the cross of Jesus nearly out of sight

                Sit here then ye people, join our useless throng

                Blend with ours your voices in a feeble song.

                Blessings, ease and comfort, ask from Christ the King

                With our modern thinking, we won’t do a thing …

                Anon.

Much has been said over the years about the comfortable pew in many North American churches. Sadly, mediocrity is more often than not the state of the church. Alarmingly, we’re neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm (Revelation 3:15). What will become of us?

Are you up to a challenge? Most folk want to live on easy street. People tend to shy away from confrontation, avoid change, or turn a blind eye to things that aren’t quite right.

New leadership is needed in many churches. Leadership with spiritual grit and determination. Leadership that won’t settle for maintenance ministries. Leadership that will correct, rebuke and encourage – and not stop short of seeing the church fully alive in Christ.

Are you thinking and praying about serving as a pastor or church leader? If you’re not up to a challenge, please don’t aspire to be a vocational minister.

Bob Biehl in Increasing Your Leadership Confidence says, “Leadership is – knowing what to do next – knowing why that’s important, and – knowing how to bring appropriate resources to bear on the need at hand.”

The Apostle Paul identifies three challenges the pastor or leader must be able to deal with:

False teaching (Titus 1:10-13)

“For there are many who rebel against right teaching; they engage in useless talk and deceive people … They must be silenced.”

False religion (Titus 1:14)

“They must stop listening to Jewish myths and the commands of people who have turned their backs on the truth.”

False claims (Titus 1:16)

“Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are despicable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.”

Titus 1 isn’t everything the Bible has to say on pastors and leaders, but it is a good summary. Pastors and leaders must be preachers, must be qualified, and must be able to meet the challenges of false teaching, false religion, and false claims. These are the bare essentials that we should expect of our pastors and leaders – nothing less.

So are you up to the challenge?

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