I recently asked a group of pastors to serve on a regional apostolic leadership team that would help oversee and expand our churches in the USA. Before accepting my invitation, some wanted to know exactly what I was asking them to do.
Since there are about a million things spiritual leaders must do, I worked hard to simplify and summarize what I was asking these leaders to do. I eventually came up with a 4 point job description for our USA regional apostolic team:
Although I never do acronym sermon outlines, I realized my four points spelled F.U.E.L.
We can build a great motor, but without FUEL, it is going nowhere.
So here’s the FUEL that spiritual leaders must provide their churches and ministries in order to move forward.
1. Focus. Seems like a no-brainer, but more often than not, leaders end up doing everything that can be done in the name of God – except their specific mission. Smart leaders keep a narrow focus on mission, vision and values – and say no to everything else.
2. Unity. Maintaining unity is hard work, because people are basically selfish, opinionated and easily offended. But, one of the main jobs of the leader is to bring people together and to fight for relational, doctrinal and organizational unity.
3. Equip. Spiritual leadership is not about doing all the ministry all the time. Leaders are called to equip God’s people, then get out of the way. Unfortunately, most pastors spend more time ministering to people than equipping people to minister. That’s probably why many are so tired and cranky.
4. Lead. Spiritual leadership is about creating and maintaining a healthy atmosphere and culture, not about not micro-managing staff and problems. Leadership is all about example and influence, not command and control.
Narrowing the focus, maintaining unity, equipping people, creating culture – that’s the FUEL that drives high-powered churches and ministries. That’s the main job of church leaders.