Leadership burden

Moses in the appointment of the 70 elders.

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I thank God for and admire the church leader colleagues I work with in the SPD. In the past few weeks I’ve spent most of my time with other church leaders. That is not unusual as that is my role—supporting, challenging and learning from the other SPD officers and ministry leaders, union presidents and institutional leaders. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges—in some entities there is explosive growth and the challenge is keeping up with the personnel, resources and infrastructure to keep moving ahead. In other entities the challenges are adjusting to the changed environment and continuing a viable ministry entity. Each of the entities have complex issues to deal with every day. 

I used to wonder why Moses was so reluctant to follow God’s call to lead Israel out of Egypt. After all God spoke directly to him, including a fire spectacle and said that He would meet Moses’ and Israel’s needs as they journeyed (Exodus 4-6). I don’t wonder any more, because of my colleagues’ experience and rereading Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy recently. Humanity’s nature has not changed. 

I hear of the sleepless nights, the joys of explosive growth, the heartache of having to farewell colleagues, the complex situations that seem to be lose/lose for all involved, the family stress, the never-ending schedules of meetings, travel and the high (sometimes unrealistic) expectations of those we serve . . . Leadership is not for the faint-hearted. 

Each of the leaders I work with is deeply spiritual and mission-oriented, they have incredible strengths in skills, giftedness and experience but like me they have some blind spots and weaknesses too. In the rigour of the work before us we do our best to support each other.

It takes inward perseverance and outward encouragement to keep saying “I Will Go” and keep the Church and its entities focused on God’s purpose and mission. Thank you for praying for the leaders of the Church at every level—it means a lot and brings untold blessings. “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority. . . Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden . . . Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honourably in every way” (Hebrews 13:17,18).

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