We are looking at key leadership skills needed in the changing times in which we live and when considering what the Lord is calling His Church to become and to do. As the Lord moves His true disciples away from man’s church and builds His Church we need a brand of leader who is ready and able to move God’s people in the right way and in the right direction. This leadership is apostolic and not pastoral.
One of the new skills needed by apostolic leadership is to build identity into the local church. Effective leaders embed a common strand of DNA into the life of the local assembly. This embedding can happen in several ways – preaching, teaching, prophetic revelation, and Bible studies. The important thing is that the leader identity the church’s flavor and then communicate it well to the people – sharing the vision for the church in such a way that the people can buy into it and thus own it. This means all the other leaders as well as the people will share a common understanding of the plans and purpose of God for the local assembly and all share a common identity.
Effective leaders also know that most of the time spend in various committee meetings is a total waste of time. Instead, they move the church to a team-based model and away from functioning, long-term committees. The following points show the basic differences in these two approaches – pastoral and apostolic…
Pastoral – Committee elected
Apostolic – Individuals called
Pastoral – Committee members nominated
Apostolic – Leader invites individuals according to the grace and calling on their lives
Pastoral – Standing group that never ends
Apostolic – Is self-ending when their one task is complete
Pastoral – Maybe has a mission
Apostolic – Has a clear mission and purpose as well as stated boundaries
Pastoral – Someone outside the committee controls final decision
Apostolic – Is autonomous within boundaries
Pastoral – Needs permission to act
Apostolic – Acts on their own within the stated mission
Pastoral – Not responsible for final outcome
Apostolic – Responsible for all resulting outcomes
Pastoral – Not connected to each other
Apostolic- Connected to each other through a common DNA
So, developing team ministry that leads a church and creating a church that has a common identity and DNA and ownership of who they are and what God has called them to be is the way of the future. And leaders today need to change and learn the skills to function in and even lead in this new environment.