In earlier posts, I have been advocating measuring ministry results in terms of fruit, and making adjustments (pruning) or outright replacing (cut down and thrown into the fire) ministry programs that are not productive. Those of you who have been involved in ministry leadership for very long, know how hard this is to do. It requires leadership. Not the kind of leadership as a shepherd expresses (feeding and protecting the sheep), but the kind of leadership that a Joshua or a Nehemiah or a young David provides. These men are generals, warriors, and builders.
The fact is, most pastors are more prophet and rabbi than they are general or builder. They are trained to produce fruit in a stable environment. But change requires a different kind of leadership. If you are leading something and it needs to change, but you cannot figure out how to change it, then you need to find the Joshua, the David, or the Nehemiah within your ministry who can lead that change.
Most likely this person will be a but rough, sometimes dissatisfied, he might be frightening to you – with his I can do all things attitude. He may be a vocational leader, an entrepreneur, an analyst, a project manager or some similar vocation. If he is true to form, he will be willing to fail, miserably. He will take risks.
Agents of change – that is what you need. Look for them. Like every other resource you need to produce fruit – they are there, provided by God as you need them.
If you feel that they will be a "bull in the china shop", maybe you need to stop worrying about the darned china. Maybe it is that attitude that has caused your fruit production to dwindle in the first place. A true agent of change will definitely shake things up, ruffle some feathers. But you, shepherd, get to calm the sheep, to smooth things over. Meanwhile the bull will have already implemented the change that you envisioned, and fruit production will be on the way up.
Here are some signs of agents of change:
1) They like action plans (or just plan action)
2) They like goals and targets
3) They like to solve problems
4) They are not afraid of difficulties or obstacles
5) They are not very patient
6) They are steerable ( but not stoppable )
7) They love constraints – this makes problem solving more challenging.
Some will plan the battle, some will lead the charge, still others will build the engines of war, none of them will run from conflict.
Find your agents. Give them problems to solve, challenges to overcome, let them go and to God be the glory…