As leaders we each have a desire to "pass the baton" to the next generation...or at least we should. I have been thinking on this quite often lately. In order to effectively pass the baton we need to have a passion for ministry...a passion for leadership...but what supersedes it all is a passion for more of Christ. That is the key to being effective at passing on the other two.
We can easily get caught up in our various ministries and trying to lead others, that our passion for those two things overshadow our passion for, just simply, getting more of God. It may seem super simple, but it is so very important to stay on top of this issue. As a minister I like to observe other leaders and how well they are doing at their calling. Now, please do not get me wrong, I am not judging others, I am simply observing how they are representing their calling.
I can speak from experience. A few years ago I was just going through the motions of ministry. It seemed as if everything I was trying to accomplish was being "shot" down by others. Eventually I allowed all that to get to me. Ministry was the last thing I wanted to do. It was too difficult...so I just began living really with no purpose.
We have to be so careful because satan will do whatever he can to discourage us and keep us from the calling God has on our lives. After a year or so I began to feel renewed in my spirit; but, at first I did not want to have anything to do with ministry, or church for that matter. It was hard to pray because I felt as if God had abandoned me. I tell about this in more detail in my self-published book, "Shattering the Glass Walls of the Woman in Ministry."
I thank God continually for the church we were led to attend. The teaching coming out of the church was exactly what my husband and I needed to renew our passion and sense of calling in our lives. Why was this church so different from other churches we attended during the searching period?
To sum it up in one word...PASSION. Everyone was excited about their relationship with God. They were excited about their leadership. They were excited to volunteer. They were excited to be part of the ministry and reaching people. People were accepting Christ in EVERY service and Sunday night services were packed. No cancelling Sunday night service...people wanted to come.
Why? Because the core leadership of the church, not just pastoral leadership, had a passion for what they believed.
Pastor's and leaders can easily become discouraged when it seems as if the people who are following their leadership do not want to get on board with anything they desire. If we are part of a church and we are one of the ones that do not want to get on board with our pastors, we need to ask ourselves the question, "Why?" God has placed this man or woman as our leader and we need to get behind them. They are God's gift to you to lead you.
If we cannot get behind them we are in essence telling God we don't trust His decision for the leader He placed in our midst. We could be adding to the discouragement that could eventually lead to the decision to leave pastoral ministry altogether. (see previous post)
Passion for God is one of the keys to great leadership. When we are excited about what we are doing people will want to get on board.
If we are in a church that cannot get on board and has the attitude, "They're young. Just wait, the excitement will subside," pray for God to give you direction in how to handle the situation. Do not allow this attitude to kill your passion. If you have found yourself in this situation a ministry is being set in place to help you, the minister, so please contact me. We have a desire to help you succeed and continue in your passion for ministry.
It is awesome to serve God! There is no greater fulfillment than to see others grasping hold of the passion of God along with you. God has placed you where you are and will be with you all the way. As ministers we need to "be there" for each other. If you do not have someone in whom you can confide we have resources to help you.
May God bless you as you faithfully serve Him and pass the baton on to generations...a baton of passionate leadership.