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A Balanced Approach to Ministry

Ira North wrote a book several years ago on "Balance" in ministry. It is one of my favorite books in my library. I have worked in leadership training for over 25 years and I can tell you that balance is the key! If there is one thing I have learned as a minister it is that churches differ in many ways. Their size, structures, and ministries are shaped by internal and external forces (i.e. budget, location, personalities, etc.). However, all growing churches share at least one thing in common: balanced leadership. I want you to know that my objective is to be a balanced minister for this church family. I want to do that with compassion and zeal.

Have you ever noticed that Christ is portrayed as a lion (Revelation 5:5) and a lamb (John 1:29)? Why? How is that possible? If you carefully examine Christ’s perfect leadership qualities it reveals a well-defined and balanced pattern of contrasting traits: He is divine and human; He is compassionate yet stern; He is serious but often humorous; He can be authoritative and also meek; He is traditional but also revolutionary; His attitude is assertive yet submissive. Jesus was clearly a balanced leader! I want to be like Jesus.

After studying the New Testament you will find that Jesus also knew how to develop balanced leaders. Even though He was divine, and was an exemplary teacher, He delegated responsibility to His disciples. This lesson must be noted by every Christian leader. We need balance. And we need to teach others to be balanced in their life, ministry, and Christian walk. I don't just want to lead the Summerdale church family, I want to train other men to lead.

I would argue that balanced leadership is often an ingredient that is overlooked. People look for the rugged risk taker, the authoritative teacher, or the zealous optimist. Without complementary leadership traits leaders in the body of Christ will find it difficult to fulfill administrative duties, pursue spiritual maturity, lead in ministry, and find joy in our Christian walk. Christian leaders must be both active and passive. Leadership involves giving as well as taking, serving as well as directing, waiting as well as acting, and working as well as resting. Passive and active traits must be blended to forge an effective leader. When this is accomplished... the true Christian leader will reflect Jesus Christ Himself. That is our goal.

An active leader can makes things happen, perform tasks personally, make decisions unilaterally and individually, orchestrate change, and teach with authority. The passive leader is able to delegate tasks to others, share the decision making, wait for change to happen naturally, and serve others. In reality there is no totally active or totally passive leader, only varying blends of both traits. Effective leadership is enhanced by the interplay of these active and passive traits.

We have a lot of work to do. We need balanced leaders to help get the job done. Let's get to work. Have a great week!!!

You are loved.

Dr. Ray Reynolds

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