Politics and Leadership
I am not a fan of politics. It can be entertaining. This year it has definitely had moments where America’s democratic process feels more like theatre than the selection process for our nation’s leaders. I am not writing this to endorse a candidate. That is not really my place, and definitely not in a forum like this.
Our American process fails us at times. Our caucus and electoral procedure rewards those who are good at politics. But once elected, what we need is someone who is good at leadership. The process of selecting leaders asks them to demonstrate their ability to be politicians. Many times we vote in the best politician, hoping we get a good leader. It is a bit dysfunctional. Okay, maybe more than a bit…) It would be like going to a swimming meet to find the fastest swimmer. As he/she gets the gold medal, we ask them to start running a marathon. It’s silly. What makes them a good swimmer might not translate into being a good runner. The cardio vascular needs are the same, but not the same muscle groups… or clothing.
There is a difference between politics and leadership.
I am not sure we need more politicians.
I am sure we need more leaders.
This is absolutely true in the church. We need leaders in the church. Leaders have been given by God a purpose to fulfill within the church. I think there are three leadership proposes that are vital to every church:
1.Leaders point people to God. In the church, leaders make sure that the main attention stays on God and His purposes. Leaders make God known and make God clear. Leaders make it easy for people to see God’s ways. They point people to God as the answer for what is happening in this life.
2.Leaders develop people. Leaders know that there is more involved than just getting a task done. Leaders understand that the process includes people development. Leaders do not lead things – they lead people. People have two basic needs for development: care and growth. Godly leaders care for the people they lead. They know them. They are involved in their lives. They are there for them in times of crisis and need. They see the bigger picture in people’s lives. They care. They also help them grow. They help them develop a deeper understanding, new skills, stronger confidence, a better perspective for what God is doing around them. It takes both care and growth to see people develop. If we have care without the challenge of growth, people become selfish – it’s all about my needs. If we have growth without care, people feel pushed, or used – just a means to an end. Good leaders care and grow people.
3.Leaders cultivate strategy. They plant it, they water it and they watch it grow. Leaders are responsible of deciding between the hundreds of things that could be planted to determine the few things that need to be planted. Leaders weed out the things that are keeping the good plants from growing to make sure that the church is fruitful and productive… accomplishing our mission. Strategy is literally this season’s priorities that need to happen... and the plan to get them done. In strategy, wisdom and decision making are needed.
"Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who
must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that
would be of no advantage to you." Hebrews 13:17
All church leaders must possess these qualities, but not in equal measure. God made us all a bit differently. Each leader will have some of these areas they’re better at than others. Overall, church leaders have the awesome responsibility of pointing people to God, developing people and determining how we are going to “do church.” Leaders are vital.
We are coming up on a time of leadership selection here at MCC. In mid-June we begin the process of nominations for elders and deacons. Elders, deacons, staff and ministry leaders compromise our leadership structure. Staff and Ministry Leaders are selected and appointed as we need them. Elders and Deacons have a nomination and selection period every year.
As an independent church, we are dependent on membership involvement in our leadership selection. The process is partly democratic, and also developmental. In the next few weeks, there will be a communique sent from our elders asking you to participate in the process by nominating men for the positions of Elder or Deacon. We are not asking you to be complete by nominating every possible qualified person, but we are asking that we all take some time to pray and nominate some that you feel would add to those three purposes.
We need godly leaders. We always will. I am grateful to those leaders who have served with us. A few of our elders have served for almost twenty years in leadership (as elders or deacons). A few of our deacons are on their fifth or sixth term serving God faithfully here. The ministries at Macomb would not exist without their faithful service. We might not be able to fix American politics, but we absolutely can champion good leadership within our church. And when godly leaders do a good job, we end up with a great church.
Looking forward to the years ahead,