Can’t sleep tonight. It happens. Not very much but it happens.
Praying for Christian leaders. My heart is heavy.
Leadership circa 2020 is SO difficult.
Churches closed. Cultural upheaval. Election cycle.
Throw the devil (yes, I believe in such stuff) into the mix and the task can seem overwhelming. I know some great leaders (and even better people) traversing tough stretches of highway right now. Leaders are increasingly making decisions in the face of “no win” scenarios and public criticism is relentless.
How to Support Leaders
1) Pray for your leaders and let them know you are praying for them.
2) Send a note of encouragement to a leader who has impacted your life in a positive way. These often come at just the right time!
3) Realize leaders often make decisions using information you do not have. Defend them and at the very least offer them the benefit of the doubt.
4) Remember leaders get roughly 20 complaints for every single word of thanks or encouragement. Be the 1 and not the 20.
5) Speak highly of leaders every chance you get.
6) Ask leaders how you can be of help to them.
7) Be quick to volunteer or step up when a leader asks. There is no greater joy to a leaders heart than when people rally to the Jesus Call!
God calls leaders to difficult work. (If things aren’t difficult, you don’t need leaders). Let’s all make sure our leaders are loved, supported, held up in prayer and appreciated.
You will get better leaders and you you will get better churches. No down side.
How to Lead Supporters
1) Remember that God called you and you can’t quit. You can be released but you can’t quit.
2) Trust God to protect you and your reputation from ungodly attack. “An undeserved curse has no effect.”
3) Never return evil with evil or slander with slander. Take the high road.
4) Keep your time, effort and energies focused forward on the mission.
5) Use Matthew 18 early and often. You are a leader and not a doormat. Conflict can be an excellent teaching moment.
6) Form a prayer support team and rally them often. No details ever needed; just find people who will actually pray you through.
7) Find a mentor to help guide you through difficulty. Don’t try to “invent the leadership wheel.”
8) And finally, pour your heart out to God. God can always be trusted and will always be there. Don’t expect from people what God alone can provide!
Thank you leaders and leader supporters! The Church of Jesus Christ so desperately needs you both!
Almighty God, protect those you have called. Raise up supporters, defenders and prayer warriors. Encourage your leaders, empower them and fill them with fresh wind and fresh fire. In the strong name of Jesus! Amen!
Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since 1997.