Many churches across the UK are in desperate need of Biblical visionary leadership. Since becoming a ‘visiting preacher’ I’ve been distressed at the state of many churches, often because of the lack of good leadership. There are many leaders who seem happy to preside over a declining congregation and never think outside the box and of proclaiming our fantastic good news to a frightened and disillusioned world. Dark days in the world should be good days for the church! People are hungry for our good news. The world is not out of control; there is a throne room with some sitting on it!
Oh for God anointed and God appointed leaders who refuse to settle for the way things are and are willing to press on toward something better.
The healthy and Biblical pattern of leadership for a local church, is not just one pastor but a team of anointed elders with different gifts building up a strong vibrant church, like Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen and Saul did in shaping the church at Antioch into becoming a world changing centre.
I became convinced of the need for ‘team’ leadership after conducting a few weddings. The bride always looked stunning; she had obviously spent hours getting herself ready. The detailed planning in getting a Bride ready on time used to amaze me.
There was the hair dresser doing their hair. Then the makeup lady would appear, and the one doing the nails, then the ones helping put the dress on, then the photographer, and lastly the chauffeur to take them to the church, and the waiting bridegroom and expectant congregation.
Church is described as the bride of Christ and the book of Revelation describes the bridegroom waiting for the church to get herself ready so they can begin the Marriage feast of the Lamb. And he’s been waiting a long, long time, because the church is just not ready.
Jesus is coming back for a beautiful bride. But what does the bride of Christ look like at the moment – Unprepared? lifeless? divided ? dirty?, scruffy? ‘couldn’t care a less’? boring ?
In the whole of the New Testament the word Hallelujah is used just four times, and the loudest Hallelujah (in Rev 19v5-8) went up when heaven got news that at long last the bride (the church) was ready for the marriage feast!
This is the ROLE of church leaders (pastors, ministers, vicars, elders, overseers etc). Their job description is to shepherd, oversee, lead and care for the church, preparing it, getting it ready for the Marriage feast of the Lamb, helping it become a beautiful church that
- has a heart for God, and reaches up to Heaven in prayer and worship.
- has a heart for people, and reaches in to each other in caring fellowship
- has a heart for those yet to know Jesus died for them and reaches out to the world in mission
Oh how we need to pray for our church leaders to have a passion to get the bride ready for the Bridegroom, to be totally focused on this one thing and to not be afraid to bring others onto their leadership team if they don’t have one or more of the skills necessary to get the bride ready.
No bride would want me to do her hair for her! I’d suggest she brings someone else in to do that!