Leader, Your New Heart Is Better Than You Think It Is

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Planing is essential. Planning creates order and calms and comforts those we lead. The problem with church leadership is often that we stick to our plans even when they’re not working.

One of the great insights I gained from my years of leading a fire crew was that a plan only serves as a beginning. In the years I fought fire Fulton Hotshots of the USFS the fire never behaved according to our plan. The wind could shift, the fuel might be drier than we initially estimated, or someone on the crew invariably forgot the instructions and did the exact wrong thing.

Good firemen never stick to their plan. Good firemen revise their plan according to the dictates of the fire.

Planning is not enough. The white board brainstorm, the three-step plan, and the five year vision is not the best possible option. Your plan needs to grow in response to the unavoidable pressures of reality.

As a pastor and mentor to pastors, this is where I believe our new heart in Christ comes in. What seems hard in your mind as a church leader is not hard in God’s mind. Jesus loves your church or your ministry more than you do.

We need to trust the real-time guidance of God’s Spirit that speaks to the new nature. And the more we collaborate with other new-in-Christ leaders, the more we can be sure that God is giving us insight on how our plan should change as we pursue the worthwhile goal.

One of the greatest needs in our churches today is the faith to move forward without being sure. To leap without the data we want to protect us from criticism. To go with you new heart and your calling to lead the body of Christ, your spiritual instinct and your hunches that just may be God’s still small voice.

One of the primary reasons so many of our churches are boring cookie-cutter expressions of whatever the pastor read in the last hot book or heard at the last popular conference is the fear that leads to control.

Release your new heart, and trust God. I think you’ll find something special, something kingdom, something innovative and exciting that can only be explained by His power and presence in you and your community.