Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here…In the movie “Brave Heart”, William Wallace sought to lead his countrymen against the British Crown in an attempt to gain Scotland’s independence.
The actor playing William Wallace spoke to the aristocratic leaders of Scotland saying, “You think that you exist for the people of Scotland to provide for your position; I think that you exist to provide the people of Scotland with freedom. Men do not follow titles, they follow courage. If you will lead them to freedom they would follow you, and so would I.”
That is one of the best descriptions of spiritual leadership I’ve heard—those who exist, not for themselves, but for those whom they serve; seeking to present spiritual freedom, liberty in Christ and doing that with COURAGE!!!
I believe pastors need to act like Surgeon Generals, with the care and healing touch of a surgeon but also modeling the courageous heart and mind of an army general. Care and courage; shepherd and rancher; priestly and prophetic duties need to be carefully stewarded by our Pastors. However, it is becoming harder and harder for our pastors to fulfill their courageous prophetic role. They are shot out of the saddle for stepping out in courageous leadership. The result is that many are struggling, some are leaving the ministry, several are being dismissed from their churches and many are walking around with open wounds. We rarely talk about it; certainly not out in the open like this!
In Zechariah 13:7 the Lord says that if we, “strike down the Shepherd; the sheep will be scattered, and I [the Lord] will turn against the lambs”. If our churches continue to strike out against their shepherds, the Lord will turn against the lambs and judgment falls upon these churches. There are many reasons why this is happening. Both pastoral leaders and local churches need to take their share of the blame. Pastors need to fear God more than the people they lead and churches need to truly release courageous pastors to lead. But even a military general finds it difficult to lead when his army has lost its mission and purpose for existence.
A peacetime army struggles with boredom, insubordination, petty competition, inertia and selfishness. A wartime army is characterized by courage, discipline, chain of command, mobilization and selfless acts of heroism.
Churches that act as if we are at peace within a spiritually hostile world will generally strike out if their leader suggests that ministry could be done another way. Over time, the result is ineffectual ministries led by wounded leaders.
What is the answer? I think we can start by daily praying for pastors and leaders within our Fellowship family. Renewal, purpose and courage must start with our leaders. Please join me in praying for our spiritual leaders in Canada and beyond our borders through our missionary personnel. Let’s pray that the “Bride” will stand as an army for Jesus sake.
Have a blessed week,