Every renewal leader knows that delegating creates a thriving ministry. High impact mission depends on training, empowering and releasing members for ministry as described in Ephesians 4. Congregations that are living up to their full redemptive potential have renewal leaders who avoid doing everything. Still, in three decades of renewal leadership there were several things I never asked someone else to do for me.
Here are 10 responsibilities I accepted as my own:
Responsibility 1: Believed God/Kept Hope Alive
I knew I had to trust in God no matter the challenges of the moment. I would often remind myself and others that “God’s got this.” Out of a deep belief in God’s providence flowed the most important element of renewal…hope.
Responsibility 2: Disciplined My Time/Prioritized My Family
Renewal ministry demands self-discipline to avoid the twin perils of workaholism and laziness. Every renewal pastor must discipline their time with particular emphasis on prioritizing family. Ministry shouldn’t cost your marriage or kids.
Responsibility 3: Continued To Abide In Christ/Grew In My Faith
Someone wisely pointed out that we can be so busy doing the work of the Lord that we forget the Lord of the work. Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing.” Renewal pastors must prioritize prayer and nurturing faith practices.
Responsibility 4: Invested In Leadership Priorities/Found My Own Replacements
There were several leadership priorities I didn’t pass on to others including: leading staff, developing budgets and setting goals. I especially found my own replacements during ministry breaks to ensure high quality and shared convictions.
Responsibility 5: Cast A Compelling Vision/Kept The Mission Clear
As a renewal leader I owned the responsibility to cast a clear, shared and compelling vision. This included developing and using multiple axioms (pithy cultural statements) that helped undergird the vision and mission of the church.
Responsibility 6: Nurtured Gratitude/Spoke Words Of Appreciation
Nurturing gratitude kept my soul from shrinking during many challenging days of renewal. With eyes to see, there’s always reason to be thankful. I attempted to express gratitude by speaking words of appreciation to those around me.
Responsibility 7: Read Widely/Learned Broadly
For me, reading and learning were the fuel that kept the fires of renewal burning. I coupled books focused on leadership, ministry and theology with conferences, mentoring and a Doctor of Ministry degree project.
Responsibility 8: Sought Reconciliation/Forgave Quickly
In renewal ministry relational shins will be bumped. Those bumps often lead to relational tension. I took it as my responsibility to be the first to go, listen, apologize, and forgive. My goal was to keep anger from going underground.
Responsibility 9: Invested In Personal Evangelism/Participated in Community Service
Renewal leaders who call others to evangelism and community service but don’t do the same have little credibility. I regularly nurtured relationships with persons on a journey to God and tutored at-risk students in local public schools.
Responsibility 10: Sought To Be A Servant/Picked Up Trash In The Bushes
Renewal leaders must model Christ who said, “I have not come to be served but to serve.” I attempted to model servant leadership including the simple acts of picking up trash in the bushes and wiping up spills in the bathroom.