Leaders must lead God calls people to be leaders and to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors to equip the people for works of service. These positions were never meant to enable people to become a passive audience who sit on the sidelines watching the super Christians play in the real game. I believe that resolving this dilemma is one of the great challenges of church leaders today.
Leaders must lead as examples of living lives of worship. They must help the people establish a broad and balanced definition of what it means to worship. Leaders must publicly celebrate the lives of people who are living lives of biblical worship, and give frequent opportunities for people to personally, visibly, and tangibly respond to God with praise, adoration, commitment, devotion, etc. They must encourage and actually allow people to participate in the corporate worship gatherings, expecting God to speak through every member of the church family, at one time or another, and not make people feel like it is only the pastor or music leader who have something meaningful to say or offer. Leaders must also encourage and give opportunities for people to gather and eat together; serve together; love, share and grieve together; etc.
Leaders should help explain that all Christians are to be ministers, missionaries and priests where they are and as they go. Leaders must help people discover and deploy their SHAPEs to be blessings to God and others, and to fulfill the purposes for which they were created and called.
Are leaders wasting the resources God is providing? Leaders must commit to identify, affirm and passionately use the resources of “every” person that God brings into their church family. Leaders must not let resources of the church lay dormant or significantly underutilized. I view the story Jesus told, warning those who do not use the resources given them by the master, to be applicable to the leadership of the church. I believe that leaders will earn the label of “wicked and lazy servants” when they waste the resources of the people God has brought under their care. Later, Dale