Over the years, I’ve met some amazing church leaders. Who they’ve been, though, might surprise you:
- Those who rightly bear the care of others’ souls, but who rest well at night. Now more than 30 years into my ministry, I’m still learning how to leave needs and burdens at the feet of God.
- Those who minister well to the family of God, but who never neglect their own family. Finding this balance seems to be almost an impossible task, but some work every day at getting there and staying there.
- Those who are unbelievably gifted, but who spend much of their lives of their knees. They’re gifted enough that they could grow a crowd on their charisma, but their power comes from their behind-the-scenes prayer life.
- Those whose hearts beat for the nations, but who serve faithfully in the States under the call of God. These leaders amaze me because they stay focused here when part of their heart leans toward unreached peoples.
- Those who have borne the brunt of harsh criticism, but who do not criticize in turn. It’s so easy to let a harsh word slip that it’s no wonder this kind of leader amazes me.
- Those whose churches could easily be larger, but who keep sending members out to the mission field. Whether sending people to North America or around the world, they intentionally challenge their members to leave their church.
- Those who have earned the highest degrees, but who never mention that achievement. Again, it’s so easy to slickly insert your pedigree into a conversation, especially when ministries wrongly become competitive.
- Those who work more than one job, but who rejoice in their bivocational calling. Their schedule is complicated, but they thank God for their opportunity to be light in the darkness.
- Those who lead strong churches, but who leave them to go the nations. They give up popularity, position, and prestige for the sake of those who have never heard about Jesus.
- Those who minister to and equip the congregation well, but who also continually do evangelism. Most of us tend in one of these directions, so those who do both well catch my attention.
- Those who have led for decades, but with no stain on their reputation. So many leaders fall at some point that it is almost remarkable to find a long-term leader who doesn’t.
What church leaders have amazed you?