I was at a conference for leaders of larger churches in England last week.
We were small in number – no more than 18 of us altogether and most
of the other guys led large C of E churches. I was the lone Norn Iron
voice in a 48 hour sea of Englishmen!
We looked together at stuff like vision, strategy, staff, preaching,
communication, conflict resolution, time management etc. There were a
few nuggets in there like “Churches die when leaders die,” “we propagate
what we celebrate” and…”Never neglect your marriage to make the church
work. If you have to, neglect the church to make your marriage work!”
The latter is especially good advice. You’ve got to work at marriage and
Christian leaders especially are prone to attack in this area, because
the devil figures (rightly) that if he can take down the leader, he can
do an awful lot of damage to the church. As well as leading the church
we have to lead our families and in fact that’s what qualifies us for
leadership in the first place.
What I appreciated about this group was that it was led by men who
have “been there, done that, got the t shirt”. Pastors and ministers
with many years of experience.
So many conferences are taught by (and books written by) people who
have never ’done it’ themselves but have become ‘experts’ in telling
others how to do what they have never done. Watch out for those – and
There was humour as well – at a meal one of the C of E guys asked
about Baptist churches in Ireland. “Do you have trouble with the
diocesan bishop?” he asked naively. “No,” I replied “we just do it by
19 November 2012