I recently read a post in one of the Ministry Groups on Facebook that I am a member of by a Minister Friend. He was starting some new training for those that would be going into leadership and wanted to know what things we felt were important for leaders to know. Right away several things came to my mind and this Blog is the result of that discussion.
Ministerial Ethics & Integrity:
If there is something that is sorely missing in the church today ethics and integrity are certainly among them. I am constantly amazed by Ministers and Leaders who I thought would know better, but don’t, and act with such a lack of ethics and integrity. There are just some things that you do not do as a Minister or Leader, but it seems many are not aware of what they are. Here are some of the things one should not do:
1. Do not steal sheep.
2. Do not encroach into another’s anointing or office.
3. Do not usurp another’s authority.
Here are some things to do:
1. Always submit to God ordained and delegated authority.
2. Always respect and honor another’s office or calling.
3. Always respect another’s sphere of influence.
I remember years ago, hearing a Man of God say: “Every traveling Minister should spend a year or two as the ‘Set Man’ in a local church; and every ‘Set Man’ should spend a year or two in traveling ministry; that way each would understand the other’s function and would know how to treat the other and what to do and what to not do.” I believe there is Great Wisdom in that.
Submission & Authority:
It should be readily understood and accepted that one can only exercise authority to the degree that they are under authority. That was one the greatest truths I learned when I was in Bible school. Jesus was amazed at the understanding of authority by the Centurion, because he said I am a man that is under authority and I have men that are under me; I say to this man go and he goes, and to this man come and he comes. I wish folks in the church understood this simple principle. As my Father put it in his message recently: "People who cannot follow, will never be allowed to lead."
The Differences Between The Classifications Of Gifts In The New Testament:
The New Testament is clear that there are three different lists of gifts; and yet many times folks approach the various types of gifts with statements like: “Well gifts are gifts.” That is quite ludicrous to say the least. Logic like that is like saying: “Well sports are sports.” Now you know as well as I do that baseball is a sport, football is a sport, and basketball is a sport; but they are nowhere near the same. Each sport is played differently and has different rules that govern it. So, it is with the gifts in the New Testament. The three groups of gifts are known as:
1. Motivation – found in Romans chapter 12. These are the primary motivations of one’s life that drives them and really what makes them tick.
2. Manifestation – found in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. These are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit which are manifestations that are given for the common good and operate as the Spirit wills.
3. Ministry – found in Ephesians chapter 4. These are also referred to as the ascension gifts or the five-fold ministry gifts and are designed as equipping gifts so that the body be not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and come to a place of maturity.
It should be evident that these three categories of gifts are not the same and have different intended purposes, yet it is amazing how many current leaders do not understand these differences.
I can recall when I first enrolled in Rhema Bible Training College in September of 1982 and taking Rev. Kenneth Hagin Jr.’s class called “Practical Ministries”. It was one of the most foundational and important classes I took at Rhema. It underscored what I already knew from growing up in a Pastor’s home. “So many have delusions of grandeur that the Ministry is nothing but: Preaching, Praying and Prophesying…that you will live in camp-meeting and revival 24/7.” Kenneth Hagin Jr. said. Nothing could be further from the truth!
I can still hear him standing before us as he addressed first year Bible school students with his Texas drawl: “All right…you want to know how to spell Ministry? W-O-R-K! That’s how you spell ministry!” We need to learn that there is a lot of behind the scenes work that needs to be done that nobody sees. Folks just see what is done in public. That is the easy part. The tedious part is what is done behind the scenes…that is the real work.
There is no way that I can cover all the things that leaders need to know in one blog without turning it into a book. We could speak of overcoming rejection; observing and keeping proper boundaries and being adaptable, able to change; but time and space do not allow. I trust these simple thoughts will be of help to both prospective leaders and current leaders as well as the Body of Christ at large.