Almost every day I deal with change: helping pastors navigating change in their churches, helping lay people understand the need for change, changing and improving our own ministry here in Middle District.
The more I am enmeshed in church turn-around and in church turmoil, the more I believe that effective change involves both a vision of a new tomorrow and a Jesus-type love.
Martin Luther King, Jr taught:
Whom you would change you must first love. - Martin Luther King, Jr Click To Tweet
“Whom you would change you must first love.”
Richard John Neuhaus was close to King and reminds us of this in his challenging and profound book on ministry, Freedom for Ministry. Neuhaus goes on to say:
Too often movements for change fail not for lack of analysis, nor for lack of commitment, but for lack of love. -Neuhaus Click To Tweet
Too often movements for change fail not for lack of analysis, nor for lack of commitment, but for lack of love.
Leading a church to reach its full Kingdom potential is never easy – this is true of any church at any stage of its development. It takes a long time, a lot of wisdom, and a lot of love. This love is more than good will and kind thoughts and endures far beyond a ministers honeymoon stage of ministry and Paul describes in I Corinthians 13:
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
October is Ministers Appreciation Month and, with that in mind, I want to say how much I appreciate the pastors I know and admire in Middle District who model this type of love for their people as they provide leadership for a new tomorrow.