By Chad Spriggs
Many leaders step into the abyss created by chaos and come out wounded soldiers. But as Brennan Manning once said, “Only wounded soldiers can serve in God’s army.”
Church leadership isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is it merely a vocation or stepping stone for something greater.
It’s an aspiration to leverage all of life to express the gospel to the world and to equip others to do the same.
Circumstances become a medium, trials a muse. Leaders grow strong through adversity and find peace amid war.
Church leadership is difficult, no matter the circumstances. Leading through a crisis can even sideline the best.
Church needs, family needs, and even the survival of a local congregation aren’t problems anyone can handle on their own. Leaders must fight against allowing circumstances to determine behavior.
Turning to Scripture as our source and our sufficient guide can sideline the temptation to give in to the pressures of life. Here’s one example we find in Scripture:
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 (CSB)
With that as our guide, here are some requirements for leading during this season.
1. Find peace
Our frantic pace of life tends to become the special sauce that hides our deepest struggles. Now more than ever, our secrets have been exposed.
We must take the time needed to allow God to create in us a clean spirit that comes from willfully putting on the peace of Christ.
We find peace by trusting that Christ is the supplier and fulfillment of our deepest needs and wants. He sustains the leader and His Church. He alone brings peace.
What do you need to do to lead from a place of peace?
2. Focus on Christ
The heart is a fickle thing. It wants what it wants. Taming the heart is like domesticating a rabid dog.
One way to ensure the heart’s focus is to remove every focal option but Christ. In other words, no more focusing on a virus, statistics, debt, or any other hardship.
If we focus on Christ’s character, our life and future actions will reflect his nature.
Christ, as ruler of our hearts, shapes our focus. A focus shaped by Christ is worth following.
How can you better lead through the lens of Christ?
3. Fight together
When things get hard, most of us retreat to taking care of ourselves and what (we think) we can control. This isolation renders any believer useless.
We’re designed, hardwired even, to do life together. Christ becomes more apparent and tangible when the body works together as one.
Leading the body (believers united in service to God) can accomplish exceedingly more than leading a hand or foot can do.
If we remain fearful and isolated, there’s no room for leadership. Together we can face any crisis.
Who do you need to surround yourself with to find the strength to lead?
4. Feel gratitude
Leading through uncertainty is risky, but believing in God’s promises and walking by faith, not sight, is a risk worth taking.
We know God has provided, delivered, sustained, healed, and restored. We can be grateful for His provisions through this season even before we receive them.
No matter the circumstance, the truth of Christ’s sufficiency in practice will produce a thankful heart. A leader thankful for God’s provisions will be followed.
What will it take for you to lead by being filled with gratitude and thanksgiving because God has overcome it all?
CHAD SPRIGGS is married to Deanna. They have five children and one grandchild. Chad is the Co-Send Network Director for New Mexico, a pastor, professional coach, worshiper, and teacher.