The Prophetic Strengthens the Church

What becomes of the Church when the prophetic is marginalized?

You get an indistinct, mushy, shallow, and disingenuously “nice” message week after week. The trumpet blows a vague, indistinguishable, uncertain sound. [I Corinthians 14:8]

Where there’s no prophetic voice, there’s no distinctively Christian lifestyle either. Sin can thrive in an atmosphere like that.

And, it does.

Doesn’t it?

The prophetic grace brings clarity when the church and its leaders wobble and wander. The prophetic brings courageous correction. It is the scalpel that cuts between the diseased and the healthy tissue around it. It provides a clear word from God (or from God’s Word) when the Church is blurring the lines of biblical acuity.


-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

Leaders Go First!

We’re looking at a ninth characteristic of courageous Christian leadership. A leader moves. She takes action. Rather than conducting a straw poll to see what the prevailing opinions are, a leader will go first, and sometimes this means going alone for a while.

It’s nothing special.

It’s what leaders do.

As we investigate going first, we’re reminded that Christ gave three distinct ministry gifts to the church: apostle, prophet, and evangelist to compliment that of the pastor- teacher [Ephesians 4:11].

Yet, since the Reformation, pastor-teachers have been leading, largely, in a vacuum. The over emphasis on shepherding and teaching has produced both the Church and the society that we have today.

Going first includes restoring the apostolic, prophetic, and evangelistic graces to Christian leadership.


-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

What is the Apostolic?

The apostolic impetus ignites action. It generates groundbreaking innovation. It leads change. It is consumed with whatever could expand the reach and impact of the Kingdom of God. The apostolic is risk-taking, not safety-centered.

Its orientation is forward. Forward looking. Forward leaning. Forward moving.

Teaching is valuable in so much as it produces Christ-honoring Kingdom advance in individuals, in congregations, and in society. Christ gave the apostolic to the Church for its effectiveness.

Where the apostolic is missing, minimized, or marginalized, you get, well… you get what we have today.


-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

When the Apostolic is Missing from the Church

I’m close to a few Senior Pastors who challenged their people to get out of the church to minister—and the power brokers who control their elder boards ran the pastors out of their churches.

The opponents argued that church resources shouldn’t be squandered on those in the community outside. The pastors’ time, church facilities, and its finances are to be reserved for the care and comfort of church members. To suggest that pastors would have the audacity to minister to the lost, to those outside the body, and to train and lead the congregation to do the same was so distasteful that the pastors had to be removed, and they were!

A tragedy.

It is heartbreaking for the pastors. It’s far more disastrous for the congregations left behind, mired in the meaningless maintenance of impotent programs and life-sapping control.

The greatest catastrophe, however, is for those the Church continues to ignore, isolating them from what would have been provocative demonstrations of Christ’s transformative presence in their midst.

They just go to Hell.

Does the behavior of those elders remind you, at all, of Jesus’ words: “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either.” [Matthew 23:13 NLT]

-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

When the Apostolic is Missing

What do you miss when apostolic grace is missing from the Church?

An apostle is a “sent-one.”

Walk into the dozen churches closest to your home and send the members out into the community to minister there. Call them to establish the Kingdom reign and rule of God out there. Challenge them to pioneer fresh and meaningful expressions of

ministry that make sense to the prevailing culture—outside their walls.

The Christians in those churches will look at you like you’re insane! The longer they’ve been “churched” the more aghast they will be. If they’ve been attending church their entire lives, their incredulity will be nearly insurmountable.


The religious culture in which they’ve been steeped has trained them to be scandalized by the assertion that they’re supposed to minister regularly, routinely, naturally, and passionately among those who are not followers of the Christian way.

Church culture has taught them to believe that’s what ministers are paid for. “It is the minister’s job to minister. Our job is to come and sit and listen and sort of tithe.”

Hasn’t it?


-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

Wha’s Become of APEST?

Imagine a softball team in which catchers play all nine positions. Very well-equipped catchers. Maybe overly well-equipped catchers.

Can you see it?

Catcher’s glove. Catcher’s mask. Chest protector. Shin pads. The whole get-up.

Now, put that catcher on the mound and ask her to pitch… Put her in left to run down a deep fly ball… Or, at short to turn a ground ball into a double play.

This is the Church in the West today.

What do teaching-gifted ministers produce? They produce people who learn. People who learn lots of things, important things, and not much else.

I’m not denigrating the teaching gift. I’m denigrating the notion of the teaching-only ministry. I’m inviting you to look at the results of recurring generations of pastor/teacher-dominant ministry in the West.

Are you impressed by what you see?


-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

Talking & Listening

Question: What has dominated the practice and priorities of Christian leadership, almost universally, since the Reformation?

Answer: Religious educators who teach and teach and teach the saints who sit and sit and sit while they learn and learn and learn.

Question: What’s missing?

Answer: The saints ministering. The body maturing. Every part working. [Ephesians 4:1-13]

Now here’s a shock. What if the culprit is not so much the lethargy of the laity but the focus and function of the clergy? See, Christ himself gave apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral, and teaching gifts to equip his Church for maturity and ministry.

Yet, since the Enlightenment, seminary is the route to ministry for most. What do our seminaries produce? The answer is an overwhelming super-abundance of pastor-teachers.




-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/


#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

Ephesians 4:11f

Ever wonder what happened to the Church the Apostle Paul envisioned in Ephesians chapter four; a Church in which the saints are the “ministers?”

Paul is clear: Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up… and become mature… Then we will no longer be infants… Instead… we will grow to become in every respect the mature body… the whole body… grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. [Ephesians 4:11-16]

In Paul’s conception, Christ gives ministers to the church to train, develop, and equip the members to minister, to mature in every respect, and to w-o-r-k.

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

9 Principles of Leadership Courage

These posts have been my attempt to examine courageous Christian leadership. Thus far, we’ve made eight observations about leadership in a culture of cowardice:

One: Courageous leadership is not about skill, technique, or knowledge. It is, most of all, about the presence of the leader as he or she moves through life.

Two: Take full responsibility for your own emotional being and destiny.

Three: Promote healthy differentiation within the church or system you lead.

Four: Stand, as an exemplar, in the sabotage and backlash that must come.

Five: Don’t “push on the rope:” the unmotivated are invulnerable to insight.

Six: Undermine the 80/20 Rule.

Seven: Reintroduce yourself to the adventurous life.

Eight: Disengage an unreasonable faith in reasonableness.

This brings us to the ninth, and final, principle: Leaders go first.

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

You Get to Choose

As leaders, we get to champion our people to become who they always wanted to be, by taking them where they never wanted to go.

Since values are revealed in behavior, what does your lifestyle disclose, pastor? When the time has come to take a courageous stand, what does your behavior reveal?

• When the opportunity came to stand up to that manipulative, obstructionist power-wielding elder, what did you do?

• When you thought to lead your parish out into the city to serve, love, and impact those outside your tight-knit congregation – and pushback came, as it always does – did you lead courageously or cave under pressure?

• When a clear biblical injunction has become as unpopular in your denomination as in the culture at large, have you censored your own voice?

• When the Holy Spirit stirred you to put your hand to the plow in pursuit of some great, challenging work for God’s glory, did the fearful complaints of the cowardly prevail in the end?

And, since life is always lived from now on, your past behavior is no predictor of the greatness you’ll accomplish before you breathe your last.

So, before you see Him face to face, what great, rewarding, daring adventure will you and your people give yourselves to?

What’ll it be?

You get to choose.


-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #pastor #Jesus #courageousleadership #LeadershipCourage

Go to Top