image003We live in a culture that is highly anxious and looks for quick fixes. This culture easily displaces the purpose of the congregation by gathering more data about problems. A congregation cannot grow spiritually without clarity of vision. To grow from vision to action a congregation must have strong leadership that focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses, accountability rather than blame, cooperation rather than competition, and self-definition rather than empathy for others.

The leadership of a congregation must maintain the integrity of the family of faith by staying focused on the purpose of the congregation. Such leadership develops a network of people who use their gifts in a variety of ministries of the congregation, all of which flow from a common vision and for the strength and health of the greater community of faith.

In a highly anxious culture, it is too easy to displace the purpose of a congregation and focus on trying to satisfy the cries of people who express the need for a safe harbor. The purpose of a congregation is to make disciples by faith formation of children and transformation of adults through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Effective spiritual leadership is about adventure of faith rather than keeping the harbors safe. With a clear understanding of the vision that God has given a congregation, leaders should evaluate every ministry by asking the question: “Are lives being changed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” rather than asking how many people are in Sunday school, in a youth group, or how many programs are offered.

The articles and resources in this Leadership section are designed to help congregational leaders stay focused on the purpose of the congregation and to move from the vision that God has given them to action to accomplish the desired outcomes of the vision.

Spiritual Leadership for Vibrant Faith Formation is a resource most helpful for the pastoral and lay leadership of a congregation.

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