Leadership Courage Series # 27

Pastor, who you are is more important than anything you say.

Who you are is more important than everything you say!

This Leadership Courage Series is a call to the courageous, risky life leaders lived in the Church of the New Testament.  It stands in glaring contrast to the lifestyle of the professional clergy that, more often than not, resembles tenured professors at our nation’s universities…without the taxpayer-funded salary package.

This is primarily troubling because you are not primarily an educator… you are a role model.

Just like Timothy, Paul, Priscilla & Aquila, Barnabas, John, and Stephen.

Yes, just like them.

If not you, then who?

Who else is to model the vibrant, sold-out Christian life than you, your elders, and leaders?

Those who write books, like those who traverse the Christian speaking circuit, don’t provide the regular proximity and access that you, as shepherd of a local congregation, do– unless you hide in your study and only emerge when it’s time to preach or run a meeting.

Think about those words: proximity and access.

If the lyrics and music of your preaching and your life don’t align, those words will strike fear in you.

If, however, you’ve raised your way-of-living to match your preaching or lowered your preaching to that which you actually live, those words will resonate with your heart right now.

See, when your life is “Chamberlainian” [see last week’s blog], the dissonance between it and the biblical message undercuts your effectiveness as a leader of God’s women and men.

And, when your living is “Churchillian”, the bravery to which you call your congregation is the same as the courage you routinely summon to bring God’s reign to the chaos and disorder that has besieged your community.

One of my all-time favorite preachers is Mike Erre. Mike’s always been an amazing Bible expositor and communicator. Biblically-sound.  Funny.  Profound.  Engaging.  Illuminating. Winsome.

In recent years, a medical crisis has befallen someone very dear to Mike and Justina.  A crisis from which there’s no recovery.  None.

Mike’s preaching has gained gravitas.  Like Jesus had, when the scholars marveled at his understanding [Lk 2:47] and when demons quaked in his presence [Mk 5:7].

You can sense it when you’re around Mike.  This man knows what it is to follow Jesus no matter what.

When you live in harmony with the Biblical message, you have gravitas.

Weight.

 

Substance.

 

Authenticity.

So does your preaching.

When you don’t, your sermons are hollow. And that hollowness drives folks away.

Some of the first to go are the true believers. The uncompromising.  The bold.  The spirited.  The gutsy.  Those who read their Bibles and believe that it says what it says.  That it means what it means.

The people who long for authenticity.  Not theory.  They want to associate with a faith community that will live this stuff – Jesus’ stuff – like it’s real. Because it is.

It is.

Isn’t it?