What do all businesses, schools, non-profits, and churches have in common? They all have leaders. Leaders are important. They are the ones who determine the vision and set the direction for the future. As well they are the ones who make sure everyone is equipped to play their part in the organization. Without leaders, organizations flail. They meander around until they disappear. So leaders, especially good leaders are important.
This is especially true in the church. The last thing God wants is for a church just to meander around until it dies off. He wants His church to accomplish His mission. And He provides leaders to do that.
But God doesn’t just provide any old leader. He provides men who meet certain qualifications and desire certain things. What are those desires? What are those qualifications? What does it take to be a leader in the church?
A Leader in the Church Must View the Office of Overseer as a high calling that involves sacrifice and a passion for the task
It’s a High Calling
While being a pastor does come with some form of compensation, the pastorate shouldn’t just be viewed as another way to pay the bills or earn some extra cash. It’s a ministry. It’s an opportunity to provide soul care, to Shepherd God’s people. It’s a high calling.
It Involves Sacrifice
If you are someone who is going to take on the task of pastoring, you have to view it as a high calling and have a passion for the task because serving the church requires sacrifice. Whether that be sacrificing time for your hobbies, the money you could make elsewhere, or emotional energy, the office of overseer requires sacrifice. If you don’t view the office as a high calling, and if you don’t have a passion for the task, then you aren’t going to provide the sacrifice necessary to care for God’s people in a way that glorifies Him.
Do Anything Else
When I was in seminary and praying about the ministry, I spoke to several people who told me, “If you can do anything else, do it.” Their reason was simple; being a pastor requires a lot of sacrifices, effort, and emotional energy. If you are pursuing the office for the novelty of it, you aren’t going to be in it for long. Being a pastor must be a calling. A position you are drawn to by the Lord. As well as it must be something He has gifted you to do.
Don’t Make it a Practice to Sacrifice Family Time
Now, if you notice, I didn’t say a pastor has to be willing to sacrifice time with his family. I want to specifically point that out because many ministers fail in this area. Family time is important and it must be guarded. Managing your household well is one of the qualifications that must be met in order to become a pastor. You can’t manage a household if you’re never there. So a pastor shouldn’t be about the business of always sacrificing time with his family. Certainly, there will be times when that is needed, but that has to be the exception and not the rule.
Don’t Require Your Pastor to Sacrifice Family Time
On the flip side of that, churches shouldn’t require their pastors to sacrifice family time, instead they should encourage it. Just like the pastor must view his family has his first church, the church has to view the pastor’s family as his first church too, and allow him to minister to them first.
Sum It Up
So if a man wants to be a leader in the church, he must not only see himself as an overseer, but he must also view the office of overseer as a high calling that involves sacrifice and a passion for the task.
Question for Reflection
- If you are an overseer, do you have a passion for the task?
- If you are an overseer, do you have time built in for your family?
Post adapted from my sermon: What does it take to be a leader in the church?