“Upswing” or “Downswing”

Joe McKeever accurately identifies a root cause difference between an “upswing” and “downswing” church, having visited both types recently. It’s leadership, or lack of it. He penned a description of a desired leader as follows:

“WANTED: a man or a woman who is solidly Christian with excellent mental health, who thinks clearly, listens well, speaks carefully, loves the Lord, knows his Bible, and wants the people of the Lord to do well. He supports his pastor until the day he does something unethical, unbiblical, or immoral. He seeks no glory for himself, does not need to chair a committee to be an effective member of it, and is as faithful a follower as he is leader. His personal life is beyond reproach, although he is thoroughly human and enjoys telling a great joke or funny story. His family is a reflection of his godly values. The bulk of his spiritual life is lived in private, with the part seen in public only the tip of the iceberg.”

I have two comments about this description. First, since George Barna notes in his book “Habits of Highly Effective Churches” that few pastors are effective leaders, I would want a lay leader who fully supports his effective pastor/leader, or supports the pastor to move into a role where his skills are more effectively used.

Second, I would add the necessity of a lay leader to have a passion for being transformed into Christ-likeness, for themselves and for those they lead.

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