I recently shared the following with our pastors and ministry staff leaders at Life Center as we talked about the call and commitment of what it is to be a Spiritual Leader who says “yes” to the assignment that Jesus welcomes them into. This call requires some things of us. If you are a church leader, pastor, ministry director or serve within leadership of a church or local ministry, I welcome you to make the following commitment with us – knowing that Jesus and His Church are worth our care and commitment!
From time to time we see clear reminders of the importance of the call for Spiritual Leaders to walk above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6-7). This does not mean that they are called to be perfect – which will never happen. Each day God is sanctifying and transforming the lives of Spiritual Leaders to look like His Son Jesus, which is the same sanctifying work that is taking place in the life of every follower or Jesus.
Spiritual Leaders (Pastors, Ministry Directors, Teachers, etc.) are flawed humans that are in need of the same rescuing grace that all of humanity needs. With this in mind, Spiritual Leaders are also called to lead. They have a God-given assignment. When a leader says ‘yes’ to the call on their life, it means they say yes to living with an awareness and responsiveness to what Scripture lays out as expectations for how they carry themselves in all aspects of life.
With that said, there are a few key areas that I want to call Church Leaders to join me in making commitments to. The goal isn’t that we would start well. The goal is that we would finish well and hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)
I am committing to the following, and as a Spiritual Leader I would invite you to make the same commitment in these key areas.
I will remember there is a King, and that King is not me – it is Jesus. He has called me to simply steward what He has entrusted to my care. Because of this, I will walk in humility. I will remember that I will never graduate from my need of the grace that Jesus has made available. I will remember that if I want to say yes to Spiritual Leadership, it is a call to saying yes to serving both God and people.
I will guard my heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). I understand that I minister out of who I am, not just what I know. I don’t just want to profess the right things, I want to practice them. Therefore, it is vital that I daily guard my heart. Jesus doesn’t just want my activity, He wants my heart. Each day I commit to submit my heart to His desires, plans and purposes for me.
I will be honest with God, with myself and with others. I will have a few trusted people in my life who have the freedom and authority to truthfully and lovingly call me out when they see a discrepancy between what they see in my life and what they see in scripture (Galatians 6:1).
I will live a life of honor. I will honor God – not just with my activities for Him, but in the entirety of my life. I will honor scripture and treat it as authoritative, shaping not just what I preach, but how I live and lead others (2 Timothy 3:16-17). I will honor my family, never losing sight that this is my first ministry that I am called to (1 Timothy 5:8). I will honor others, understanding that they are created in the image of God, therefore I will treat them with respect, care and integrity. I will honor the sacred trust of being a Spiritual Leader, understanding that followers of Jesus are looking to me as I look to Jesus (1 Peter 5:2).
I will keep the right appetites. As I hunger and thirst for righteousness, I know that I will be filled (Matthew 5:6). I will stay hungry for the presence of Jesus. I will stay hungry for the grace I need daily to be the leader and follower He has called me to be (Ephesians 2:8-10). I will stay hungry for knowing Jesus more through studying scripture (Psalm 119:9, 11, 105). I will stay hungry to learn, grow and steward well what God has entrusted to my care. I will stay hungry to finish well. I will stay hungry to honor God with how I lead in His Church.
I realize the only way I can live these commitments out is because of God’s commitment to me, providing me the daily grace and strength necessary. With His help I will be the Spiritual Leader He desires me to be.
If you are a pastor, spiritual leader or a follower of Jesus who is committed to live this out, I would love for you to comment in the section below. Feel free to share this commitment with others as well. Let’s commit to finishing the race together!