These are not easy days to lead the church. On the other hand, tough times prove the best leaders – some that I’ve been privileged to know, watch, and learn from. In the midst of these crazy days, here are some things I’ve never heard from these top-notch leaders:
- “I’m so tired I’m ready to quit for now.” They admit their fatigue, but they refuse to give up. They press on in faith, knowing God will give them strength.
- “I don’t understand why God’s allowed all this to happen.” They don’t try to figure out God’s plan in a global pandemic; they just trust Him and follow Him.
- “We’re never going to get back where we were prior to COVID.” These leaders simply don’t live in the yesterdays of what used to be. They think proactively in a forward direction, wanting to know what’s next.
- “I’m really frustrated that so many church members haven’t come back yet.” Sure, they grieve this reality, but they don’t get sidetracked by it. They focus on those who are back while also considering ways to reach the others.
- “I don’t know what to do now.” Ministry’s different, and we’re all learning every day how to lead in a new world – but these leaders do know what to do: prayerfully seek God, lean on other believers, and “keep on keeping on.”
- “We’re financially secure because our giving’s been better than ever.” Their church’s giving may have indeed been really good, but they don’t assume they can now spend without intentionality and strategy. They know that some of the current excess may be because the church spent less during the early days of the pandemic.
- “We should not give attention to online options for worship.” I grant that worship is designed to be in person with other believers, but the leaders I’m writing about today look for any option to proclaim the Word—even if it’s only a temporary fix.
- “I’ve lost my joy.” This one might be, in fact, the thing that’s most caught my attention about these leaders. When others live in discouragement and struggle, they trust. And laugh. And rejoice. And cast vision. They’re unique.
- “It’s time to look for another church.” That’s not to say that God isn’t leading some church leaders to change ministries even today; it’s simply to say these leaders haven’t started looking just because ministry’s tough. They’re invested where they are.
- “I’m not sure I want to be in ministry anymore.” I admit that many church leaders are choosing to go in a different direction, but these leaders who challenge me fight against that urge. They’re leaning into their callings more than ever.
What about you? Are you saying these words in your life today? If so, know I’ve prayed for all my readers today.