Dr. Stan DeKoven on Leadership… an excerpt from his book, Leadership in the Church
Much of what is taught regarding the ministry is based on the teachings of the church. Throughout the history of the church, the concepts of what a pastor was have changed with the changing perceptions of what the Bible intended a pastor to be. As a student of biblical history attempts to understand the responsibilities and calling of the various ministries mentioned in the Bible, he soon discovers that those understandings change with each new church era.
Much of the problems of the church in modern times can be related to the misunderstandings of the calling, responsibilities, accountability, etc. of each ministry as mentioned in the Bible.
It is understandable that if the church (the Body of Christ) cannot understand the theology of God concerning leadership in the church, the church is doomed to suffer in its efforts to function according to the will and purpose of God.
Strictly speaking, theology is that which is thought and said concerning God. True theology is thus given by the Bible itself as the revelation of God in human terms. But the Bible gives rise to exposition, reflection and presentation. Hence, there is a theology of the church as well as the Bible, though not in addition or opposition to it. It is this theology that we must accept in the effort to understand the “theology of leadership” or as the term is sometimes used, “pastoral theology.”
The author has chosen to use the subtitle, “In the Eye of the Storm” for this text on Christian leadership. It is known that within the church there are many storms raging. The storms facing leadership occur at all times. The minister who accepts the call of God must be thoroughly trained in the theology of his or her particular calling in order to be able to weather the storms of live that are constantly battering against the efforts of the Christian Church. The eye of the storm is that central core around which the storm rages. In the core (the eye) of the storm there is peace and tranquility. The minister, whatever his/her calling, can find this place of peace in the eye of the storm as he/she seeks to become thoroughly aware of his/her calling and embraces the responsibilities of that calling according to the will of God.
One key principle I have learned since the first edition of this book is the importance of activation. Many leaders have stagnated in their ministries; many have quit altogether. One continuous word heard is how difficult it is to lead with the resistant people and difficult circumstances I am in. Well, truly every field is tough, and spiritual leadership is a difficult task. However, it is God’s intention to see our ministries successful and our lives fulfilled. I hope the principles provided here will help strengthen the leader in his/her journey. Further, I have become convinced that a primary cause of leadership stagnation is a lack of healthy activation. In Ezekiel 34:16, God’s word states the message presented here in beautiful summation are the key elements of ministry leaders must re-focus on. First, we must seek the lost…the great commission motivated by the Great Commandment must be our first passion. Following a close second is to bring back the hundreds and thousands of formerly churched into the fold. We are missing a huge resource for expanding God’s Kingdom through the many disgruntled and disenfranchised Christians needing a leader to care. Third, we must re-double our efforts in helping the broken, and strengthening the sick in our ministries.