In recent decades, we have seen the emergence of books, seminars and conferences that bring secular leadership principles to the church setting. Additionally, more and more civic and business leaders are becoming active in their local churches, exerting a corporate influence on church leadership. This has undoubtedly been a blessing to the kingdom of God. It has fostered a spirit of excellence and professionalism in the body of Christ that represents the kingdom well.
While secular leadership and church leadership share many sound ideas, they flow out of starkly different visions. The jargon of each idea highlights opposite purposes: “gains” vs. “grace”, “success” vs. “salvations”, “profits” vs. “praise”, “losses” vs. “longsuffering” – you get the idea. So, before we talk about vision, we need to talk about values. Vision is what we do. Values are who we are. No matter how great the vision is or how clear we can communicate it, if we don’t embrace the correct values, then we cannot expect God to prosper our work. Here are a few virtues that should define your vision.
Obedience. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Obedience is not solely our duty to Him, it is also our expression of love for Him. We must be people of God before doing the work of God. Google “obedience” and you’ll find this definition: submission to another’s authority. Don't ever forget that! We are under His command. “Dreaming is free” is a catchy phrase, but we are not free to dream our own dream. Our vision should center on God’s – “He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent (2 Peter 3:9)”. Our pursuit is obedience, before results.
Compassion. In ministry, passion alone is not enough. Visionaries see needs – and it compels them. God pointed Moses to the captivity of Israel. David came to an army overpowered by fear. Esther saw a nation in exile. Jesus paid the sins of a helpless humanity. None of them were concerned with success or fame, it was compassion that drove them.
Relationships. Spiritual leadership requires more than solely responsibilities. It requires relationships. Jesus called the twelve, “disciples”, but eventually he called them “friends”. In other words, you must love on the people you lead. And those relationships should deepen over time. Ministry doesn’t serve clients. It serves God’s children.
Authority. Authority is not the same as power. The Pharisees were inferior to Christ in power, yet they abused the little power they had. Jesus on the other hand, had all the power in the world. He could have demanded that people follow. In fact, He could have forced them. But what had people in awe of Christ was His authority. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.” Power usually gets results through fear. Authority gets results through love. In business, employees fear losing their jobs if they don’t submit to leadership. In ministry, people love the benefits of following a godly leader.
How do you want to produce results? Love overcomes fear. The greatest commandment is love. God is love. Let your vision be defined by love. Entrepreneur and inspirational speaker, Robert Clancy puts it this way, “Great leaders may be found at the top of the mountain looking back upon their challenges, but the greatest leaders are often found at the foot of the mountain still helping others reach the summit.”
- Pastor Chali
Chali Martinez is passionate about spreading the transformational gospel of Jesus Christ. His unique speaking style blends passion, humor, and clarity and has made Pastor Chali a highly solicited international speaker. Having accepted the call to ministry at age 16, Chali now has over 20 years of ministerial experience having served as a singer, songwriter, evangelist, and youth pastor. In 2013 Chali and his lovely wife Carla founded Vital Church in McAllen, Texas, now one of the fastest growing churches in South Texas and where they currently serve as lead pastors. Chali and Carla are the proud parents of two young boys, Dante and Luca.