Summary: This message presents an overview of the types of leaders that God wants for the church.
George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying, “Some people see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not?” Many churches across America are in desperate need of visionary leadership. Leaders who refuse to settle for the way things are and are willing to press on toward something better. The church needs leadership that is anticipatory rather than reactionary. We desperately need leaders who are constantly driving beyond their headlights, with the desire to connect with and reach our ever changing culture. Casting vision to others is tough because most people will not get on board until they see the boat. So the challenge is to cast a vision in a way that people can take ownership of it. Once we catch the vision God will use it to cause us to commit our time, talents and treasures to the cause. This series was designed not only to challenge our concepts of leadership within the church but to build a desire to ditch the status quo in favor of a healthier and more Biblical pattern. Today we are going to tie the last four messages together and work toward developing a new and exciting vision for the future of the church.
I. Elders who are shepherds rather than decision makers.
A. Today’s church needs shepherds, who nurture, equip and empower people for ministry.
1. These are men who take Jesus’ challenge to Peter very seriously.
2. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” (John 21:15-16—NIV)
3. Jesus himself is the Good Shepherd, and now he commissions Peter to care for the flock that belongs to Jesus, for they are my lambs … my sheep.
4. This is a charge that Peter accepts and follows for the rest of his life as evidenced by 1 Peter 5.
5. Peter’s task (and the task of a church elder/pastor) is more than just saving the lost. It includes nurturing the saved.
B. The church needs shepherds who help give the people the tools and the training that they need to effectively minister in the church.
1. Congregations usually take on the priorities of their leadership.
2. A leadership that reaches out to the community will more often than not build a church that reaches out to the community.
3. When we chose men to shepherd we need to make sure that we chose those men who will mentor and equip people to use their lives to honor God.
4. Leaders must remember that they are not in front of others to make an impression on them. They are not seeking to draw attention to themselves. Their purpose is to serve God and to help His people learn to do the same.
5. When a leader works for God without the thought of reward, they demonstrate their suitability to be leader.
II. Leaders who are actively leading ministries in the church.
A. Teamwork is the key to success in the local church.