Leaders or Board Members?

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I want to write this post to reflect that ministries require leaders to accept different roles and responsibilities, and people gravitate toward one set or type. God has gifted and talented each of us with a somewhat unique set of qualities and strengths that makes some roles easier and others harder. While there is significant overlap between major role groups, passion is often the determining factor of this gravitation.

If you have a passion for creating the optimal environment for the unsaved to encounter the living God, to create programs that help people grow, to create opportunities for people to bring friends and coworkers. You may gravitate toward the Evangelist or Program Coordinator group.

If you have a passion for helping people grow in the knowledge of Christ, to encourage them to understand the scripture for themselves, to enter into accountable relationships and to pray for and care for each other. You may gravitate toward the Teacher or Shepherd group.

If you have a passion for making the best use of the resources that God has provided, to create an environment that is rational, realistic, organized, and under control, to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit by effectively marshaling Kingdom resources. You may gravitate towards the Steward or Policy Maker group.

If you have a passion for praising God or intercessory prayer, to help others unencumber themselves of workaday concerns and focus solely on the adoration and praise of God in all His Glory, or to continuously lift others up in prayer to bring the concerns of the body to the throne of Christ. You may gravitate towards the Worship Leader or Prayer Warrior group.

Why is this important? Because our passion for ministry is what makes ministry great. When we use our gifts and talents in God’s service we are the most alive. Passionless ministry is ineffective ministry. It is flat and unattractive.

I have sat on church boards, and recognize that sometimes church boards membership is skewed toward or away from one or more of the groups above. Church boards, ideally, should inventory their passions and understand their internal bias – and be able to compensate. Sometimes whole congregations are biased by their leadership’s giftedness, and single-focused passion. God has intentionally given a diverse set of gifts and talents specifically for the edification of the body (Church), so why would we value some gifts and talents more than others?

There is a very human tendency to assume that everyone else thinks and feels as we do. This tendency causes us to gravitate towards others who express things “our way”. Even within the church, this can cause factions and cliques, centered around our giftedness and passion for ministry. This can begin to infect our selection of leaders and our process for nominating board members. This gravitation within leadership, can manifest itself as a strong sense of unity, but is really the result of a lack or even an intentional limiting of diversity of passion for ministry and valuing specific spiritual gifts above others. Over time, this can lead to a narrowing of focus in the general ministry and potentially a veering away from the truth of the full gospel.

When selecting leaders, passion and spiritual gifts should be contemplated. It is sensible to maintain a balance of passions within the leadership community. The natural tension deriving from diverse passions for ministry is healthy. The unity that comes from resolving this natural tension is a true spiritual unity delivered through the Holy Spirit. By learning (because it is not natural, but supernatural) to value the passions of others, and lending our gifts to support their passions, leadership is then growing through diversification. The hard work of bringing ourselves into a position of unity is aided by the Holy Spirit, to God’s glory.  This is the desired result, rather than experiencing the hollow unity that results from man’s intentional or unintentional limiting of diversity.

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