Pastor, I recognize that one of the most pressing needs you have in your church is to raise up anointed men and women who are spiritual
leaders. You cannot accomplish the vision of God for your church by yourself, to that fact there is no debate. Maybe you have made one
of the mistakes I made years ago in my church, which was to set in place someone in a responsible position and it turned out to be a poor
decision. In this brief teaching I want to address the specifics of the mistake I made and use it as a tool of instruction for you.

Our church had numerous programs going on, as is usually the case with a local church. Our congregation was growing and we were
blessed to have younger couples coming into the church. Some had teenagers. Our Youth Ministry did not have the level of excellence I
wanted, so I set about the task of searching for the right person to fill the position of Minister of Youth. There was a young man that I was
very impressed with who was at the top of my list. I will call his name Joe. He loved Jesus passionately. He was bright, vibrant, and
energetic. He was at that point in time completing his ministry degree in one of the Christian colleges nearby. Joe seemed to be the
obvious choice for this position.

Joe “hit the road running” once he was installed in his new ministry position. The kids loved him and his lovely wife. He was great with
them. The ministry flourished and grew under his leadership for over a year, and all seemed well. Then things began to unravel for him.
He showed signs of discontentment and even frustration. His attitude toward his responsibilities and even toward the church dissolved; it
was all too clear that I had to relieve him of his position. It was a tough decision to make since the kids loved him and that meant their
parents loved him too. None of them knew what was going on behind the scenes. So, when the change was made, there were some
negative repercussions we had to handle.  

One thing we as leaders must clearly understand is that we are personally responsible for everything under our charge. I had to take
responsibility for the mistake in placing Joe in the position of Ministry of Youth. He was there because of my decision. Now, I had to see
why my mistake was made and learn from it.

When I looked back on my process of decision-making, I concluded that I made the choice to hire Joe based on the wrong criteria. I saw
that he was very zealous for Jesus and that he had a heart for soul-winning. That pleased me. I saw that he was charismatic and
possessed a flair that drew people to him. That pleased me. My mistake was mistaking zeal and charisma in this young man for leadership
ability.

The ability to lead is a gift all of its own, and, it must be weighed based upon its own merits. It is good when a leader is zealous and
charismatic, but those traits do not equate to the capability within someone to lead others. I don’t want you to make the mistake I made.
The truth is installing the wrong leader in a position of authority is worse than having no leader at all. Even though every ministry program
in your church seems good and worthy of continuance, in the long run, the wrong leader will hurt your church and damage the vision of
God for your church. Making the right decisions is of paramount importance.

The thing I want you to see is that qualities like zeal, diligence, work ethic, ambition, maturity, allegiance, tenacity, or even faithfulness do
not equate to leadership ability. I find it hard to believe that any leader would not possess each of these qualities; however, to view these
as measurements of one’s ability to lead others is a mistake you as a pastor cannot afford. I have seen men who were zealous for lost
souls and who were fervent in their evangelistic efforts placed in ministry positions because of that zeal and who later proved to be quite
incapable of leadership within the church. I have seen ladies who were faithful in attendance at worship services, intelligent, gifted, and
diligent mothers who were wrongly assumed to be Sunday school teachers or cell group leaders because of these characteristics. Let us
remind ourselves that leadership within the Church is a calling from God. Leadership is not a reward given to those who somehow earn it.

I have observed a problem in local churches. The problem is the need pastors feel to continue a certain program when proper leadership
is lacking. This need is often the motivation that leads pastors to wrongly position people. We see the need to feed the poor, for example,
so we continue our Food Ministry even when Sister Smith that has always run this ministry is now passed on. We look around and find
someone in the church who appears diligent and worthy to lead this ministry and ask them to handle the job. The fact is that it is too easy
to value the program over the value of the people; this is a mistake we often make. If you will wait on the Lord, He will fill the vacancy in
the leadership of the Food Ministry. He is the faithful One. From personal experience, I will tell you that when God fills the position things
go well.

My admonition to you, Pastor, is to take great caution in placing people in positions of leadership. Each one must be the one God has
called to that position. This is as important as His calling on your life to pastor the church. Is the cell group leader, Minister of Music, or
children’s teacher any less important than the pastor? I think not. Each position is critical to the fulfillment of the vision of God for the
church. That is why each one must be filled by the person called by God to fill it. In the final analysis, you, Pastor, hold the key to making
certain this divine placement at all levels is carried out. That is one of the leadership duties placed on your shoulders.

I sense the need to go beyond a simple word of instruction here into the prophetic. We are now in a season that is critically important to
the Church’s future. We are preparing for the return of our Bridegroom Jesus. I declare to you that we no longer have the luxury of time,
for indeed time draws to a close. We cannot make the same mistakes we used to make simply because we do not have the time to undo
them. It seems these days that our mistakes are somehow amplified and they create more destruction than ever before. This makes it
very important for us to consider carefully our every move, and to carefully weigh our every decision. This is especially true when it comes
to installing leadership in our churches. Pastor, the right decisions (those guided by the Holy Spirit) will catapult you forward, accelerating
you upward into your final destiny in the Master Plan of God; whereas, the wrong choices will result in magnified failures that will hamper
the will of God. You possess the supernatural ability to hear the voice of God; therefore, you can (and will) make the right decisions and
things will go well for you and for your church. Amen.

Pray much and pray often asking the Lord to bring the right ones to hold up your arms, to come alongside you and to assist you in
bringing to fruition the plan of God for your church. Ask Him to open your spiritual eyes that you might know the right ones to install as
leaders. He is more than happy to do these things for you, for in fact, He desires your success even more than you want it!

I bless you in your Kingdom labors. May all that you set your hand to do prosper. And, may God go before you and prepare all things for
your benefit. Amen.

Leaders Who Serve With You

A Word From The Bishop....