Pastors & leaders,
There is much to do. Meetings for you to lead. Vision for you to cast. People you need to go to lunch with to encourage to take steps of faith. Other leaders to cultivate. Sermons you need to plan, map out, and study for - you better be studying! There is much to do!
In the midst of the busyness - if we're not careful - we can actually start thinking that it all depends on us. US! Are we serious? Not intentionally. But yes, we actually start thinking this somewhere down in the depths. As if we are the last great hope of actually communicating the Word of God and the single-handed catalyst that will unleash the Spirit of God on our people. Or the flip-side is that we begin feeling like we are the most incapable, ineffective leader to ever walk the planet. We begin feeling like every last ounce of creative juice inside of us has been squeezed out like a Florida orange and we have nothing left to give. Ever been there?
Most often - when we find ourselves floating on the seas of ineffectiveness - the hard cold reality is that somewhere in our life we have removed the Word of God from it's place on the priority list. I know it's painful to hear this - argue with me if you like. But when a pastor or minister or leader begins to substitute anything for the Word - meetings, creativity, vision, events, books, hanging on the word of some other leader you are NOT called to be - it will inevitably lead to a place of disappointment.
The other morning I was reminded of the most important thing I can ever remember as a pastor. In 2 Timothy 2:9, Paul proclaims to his young disciple that even though he has suffered for the Gospel and is in chains, "...the word of God cannot be chained." Read it again. You CANNOT chain or tie down or paralyze the Word of God! Not you or anyone else. It is sharper than a sword, it is perfect for training and correcting and encouraging, it is the strongest foundation anyone has ever built upon, and it endures forever. It cannot be chained!
So when you begin feeling incapable, inefficient, unmotivated, scatter-brained, or like you couldn't possibly lead anyone because you're living in a fog yourself, my encouragement to you is...remember where the POWER is truly found! Remember that it's not about your strength or charisma or persuasiveness. Remember that when the Word of God and the Spirit of God are leading the way, you will be the leader that He has called you to be. The creativity, the vision, the words of encouragement, the passion - they will come. But there are times when they will run dry, disappear, or become chained. And you will have to wait on them to return. But not the Word of God. It CANNOT be chained! It is what our people need more than anything! And if the Lord has called you to preach and proclaim His Word - eat it, breathe it, meditate on it, talk about it, memorize it, and live it! Unchained!
2 Timothy (yes, read the whole book)