The Call to Congregational Leadership

People often ask me, why do I feel called to ministry leadership within a congregation.

Here is my response:

Call to Congregational Leadership

“There exists in every church something that sooner or later works against the very purpose for which it came into existence. So we must strive very hard, by the grace of God, to keep the church focused on the mission that Christ originally gave to it” — Mike Erre

“The church is the hope of the world.”Bill Hybels

Without question, Godly ministry should occur in every setting. I believe it is a unique call, however, to serve as a leader of a congregation because the Church is a distinct, alternative community. When operating under the true kingship of Jesus Christ, the Church can truly be salt and light to a broken, dark world. When operating under the Spirit of Christ, the Church can be a washing machine where hurting, broken, and dirty people come and experience healing. God willing, they return home washed clean by the blood of Christ. As Greg Boyd writes, the Church can be a “revolution of humble, self-sacrificial, loving service… It always looks like Jesus.” In its purest form, the Church can be the most powerful hope in the world.

As a leader of a congregation hopefully someday, I know I must heed the words of Mike Erre and “strive very hard…to keep the church focused on the mission that Christ originally gave to it.” Thus, my call to leading a congregation is not taken lightly. It is a difficult and costly endeavor. Leaders should aim at simply responding to the call to follow Jesus no matter the cost in life. Thus, I will refuse to accept this call simply for a paycheck or a so-called balanced life. I possess no desire to lead a congregation of lukewarm, semi-content Christians simply filling the pews every Sunday. The words of Amos are a constant reminder of how God views complacency and comfort: “Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation” (Amos 6:1). Instead, I embrace this call from Christ to shepherd and lead a congregation of people en route to unfolding and experiencing the foretastes of the Kingdom at hand and to come.

My call and my desire to lead a congregation runs deep. Serving a hospital of sick people is not always a clean and easy experience. However, when it is done prayerfully, dutifully and humbly, the Church can be a place of healing and hope. It can be a place where the leader desires nothing other than to bring glory to the God on high. Henri Nouwen describes my thoughts on congregational leadership perfectly: The task of Christian leaders is not to make a little contribution to the solution of the pains and tribulations of their time, but to identify and announce the ways in which Jesus is leading God’s people out of slavery through the desert to a new land of freedom.”

I desire to lead people to freedom in Christ.

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