Leadership is not easy. The reality is that every person leads at some level. The question is not are you a leader as much as how well are you leading. Growing up in the church I saw one insecure leader after another. I never saw them as insecure leaders until I started to work at Redeemer 21 years ago. I began serving Mike Servello Sr. as his kids’ Pastor and currently serve his son Mike Servello Jr. as his Pastor of Families. Mike and his father are by far the most secure leaders I have ever met. It was only through their confident yet humble Christ centered leadership that came to see those other leader and even myself at times as an insecure leader.
One of the things that amazes me most about the church is the epidemic proportions in which insecurity runs through church leadership. One of the most valuable things I have learned in my nearly two decades working with Mike and his father is the importance of security in leadership, if you want to lead for the long haul your security better be found in Christ. Insecure leaders create drama, havoc and pain in the lives of those they lead. If you lead I as that you ask yourself the following questions, as I wrote these I found them convicting, and humbling.
How do you know that you are an insecure leader?
1. You surround yourself with people you can control. – Insecure leaders hinder their organization because they don’t look to hire or attract the best people for a job. They look to attract people who are not as good as they are. People with less experience, who can be controlled mentally or emotionally.
In the past several years the word Gospel has become a common term used in church names, book titles, and curriculums. We use the term Gospel but if we don’t understand what we mean by that term the word Gospel alone can become a catchphrase or a catch-all. One of the reasons a few friends of mine started the blog GospelAtCenter.com is because we have a strong belief that the gospel is not something we add to our programming but it is the heart of what we do. It not peripheral but central. The Gospel is the good news of what God has done for us in Christ but that message must not be limited to an Easter altar call. The message of the Bible of God’s redeeming love for mankind should inform shape and transform what we teach how we teach and ultimately why we teach.
Thursday, September 20th we will be hosting a free webinar. We want to invite you to join us in discussing the practical and theological implications of centering your ministry on the gospel. What it means to look at everything we do from volunteer recruitment and leadership development to Bible story delivery through the lens of the Gospel.
Danielle, Jenny, and I will be sharing some of the most important steps we have taken to help lead Gospel-centered ministries, but we also want to answer some of your questions about Gospel-centered kids ministry. The links are provided below and it is all free. Gather your team, share this information with your ministry friends, and let’s focus on what matter most in ministry as we begin this new church year.
So often I have heard people in my generation and the generation above me lament over the work ethic and overall disposition of Millennials. Much has been written or discussed how to deal with, how to lead and how to learn from Millennials. Many of the characterizations and mischaracterizations are stereotypical at best. What hasn’t been talked about much is how we created them and how we have to change how we parent and lead the next generation, or we will only perpetuate the problem.
Before I talk about how to correct the problems that are evident in many Millennials let me say a couple of things. 1. This is not true of every Millennial 2. Millennials have many good traits and abilities that we can no doubt learn from, but in this post, I want to tackle how we parent differently and lead differently in light of the deficiencies that is evident in so many Millennials.
The starting place is definitely in well-intentioned parents and leaders. Every parent who remotely cares for their kids wants them to have a better life than they had. They want them to have more experience more and do more than they did. If you are a leader and parent and you don’t want what’s best for your kids or employees you need to examine yourself and ask why isn’t that something you desire because you should especially if you are a Chrisitan.
Where our good intentions went wrong.
When I was a kids pastor at the ripe age of 21 I did then what I find unthinkable now. I wouldn’t sing Christmas songs in kids church and never would sing hymns. As I think back I can’t even remember why I felt that way. I think I felt that kids wanted to have fun and Hymns were above their pay grade. I think I thought Christmas Carols were things you heard in stores not songs of praise sung in church. What changed my perspective was being in the same church for 20 years. Seeing the kids grow up that I had taught in preschool I realized that I had made a couple of mistakes.
One mistake was thinking that fun mattered more than substance. If I made it crazy enough they would come back. I’m all for fun but not at the price of substance. The other mistake I made is I thought I was helping kids with the faith that they need today rather than preparing them for the faith they are going to need. As kids pastors, we have to give them a faith for today but we also have to prepare them for the faith they are going to need.
We must give our kids a faith that is big enough they can grow into. Kids also need to be connected to the history of our faith. The need to know that God loves them, yes, but many people have lived a life of uncompromising faith they can to by God’s grace.
A new church year is upon us and just like the new supplies and tools kids need for school, we often need to sharpen our tools and/or add new resources to our ministries to ensure we are Gospel-centered. so get that new year started, finalize all the details about promotion, and secure your teams. then, sit back and join us for a chance to talk Gospel @ Center in Kids Ministry.
Sam, Jenny, and Danielle will be sharing some of the most important steps we have taken to help lead Gospel-centered ministries, but we also want to answer some of your questions about Gospel-centered kids ministry. the links are provided below and it is all free. gather your team, share this information with your ministry friends, and let’s focus on what matter most in ministry as we begin this new church year.