LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
March 25, 2004

LeaderLines is a weekly “e-briefing” providing valuable information and inspiration to those who serve at Hillcrest Baptist Church.

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Here is this week's LeaderLines. . . .

“Courage or Comfort?”
by Tom Goodman

As leaders, are we more concerned with comfort than courage?  Wayne Schmidt, pastor of the Kentwood Community Wesleyan Church, has developed a “top ten” checklist of questions for church leaders to help us determine our real concern.  Take the test!

1.  Am I building God’s Word into my heart?  A leader’s ability to change and lead others through change requires that he or she first have convictions that do not change.  Those “changeless convictions” come from God’s word.

2.  Am I becoming protective of my ministry “turf”?  One of the primary tasks of spiritual leaders is to raise up new leaders.  Is your top priority to remain in power or to empower others for ministry?

3.  Am I evaluating my ministry effectiveness?  Personal evaluation of your ministry, from others as well as from yourself, is essential if you want to keep growing.  Isn’t it amazing how people who are quick to ‘critique’ the work of another will consider their own leadership ‘off limits’ to evaluation?

4.  Am I enthusiastic about my ministry?  Difficulties can wear us down until we ‘just don’t care anymore.’  A prolonged season without passion for your ministry should be a warning sign.

5.  Am I opting for the safety of what is familiar over the risk of what is new?  We should not choose to do something simply because it is new, but neither should we choose to keep doing the same thing simply because it is familiar!  Keep reading, keep asking questions, keep envisioning new possibilities!

6.  Am I willing to risk failure?  On his way to becoming the home run king, Babe Ruth struck out many more times than he hit home runs.  When the paramount concern of a church’s staff and lay leaders becomes the simple avoidance of failure, the church is on it’s way to irrelevance.

7.  Am I associating only with people who are dependent on me?  You’re choosing the comfortable over the courageous when you must always be the ‘big fish in the little pond,’ limiting yourself only to those people who are dependent on you instead of spending some time with those from whom you need to learn.

8.  Am I fulfilling the role the church needs, or simply the role I like?  Leaders seek to determine what the church needs of them, and they either meet that need or ensure that someone else does.

9.  Am I giving away ministry responsibility?  Regularly, you should give away some of what you are currently doing and then pick up any new responsibilities.

10.  Am I leading with true courage or with a cheap substitute?  A sinful counterfeit of courage emerges when you have to inflate your ego, prop up your self-esteem, or become insensitive in order to rise above the criticisms of others.

Well, how did you do on Wayne Schmidt’s test?  Let’s keep working at it until we’re consistently choosing the courageous over the comfortable!

Serving the Flock,