Stephen Kendrick, producer of films such as War Room, Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants, was our special guest at the LIFE International banquet on May 2. He joined us for breakfast the next day to share some encouragement with several dozen local pastors.
Here are some highlights from his talk.
The ministry leader is called to lead with humility.
Jesus lived this way. Taking on the form of a servant He humbled himself, leaving heaven, walking toward death, even death on a cross. The very busyness of the pastor's schedule, the up-front nature of the job, and the teaching role can slowly promote focus on self. To me humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking less about yourself. This is a continual lesson and daily sacrifice. I will pray with John the Baptist: Lord you must increase and I must decrease (John 3:30).
The leader is called to intentional and heart-felt prayer.
This requires a growing understanding of what prayer really is: time spent with a personal and loving Father. I believe prayer is the most underutilized gift that God has given us. If we could only see how our prayers are impacting our lives and the lives of the people for whom we pray, we would never get up off our knees.
The leader must be devoted to the the Word of God.
The leader must expand his or her understanding of God through study and then proclaim to others the truth of the whole Bible. We must also not be afraid to speak the things that are true, even when they are not popular. As Stephen said, "If you get 'good-fired' from a ministry position for preaching the Word, that means that you didn't belong there anyway, and there's somewhere else for you to be.'" As we proclaim the truth, we will find many who will not listen, but we will also discover many who are hungry for the real truth.
The leader needs to reach out to men.
Men are often absent from church and ministry involvement, and it seems that large numbers of men are neglecting their God-given duty to provide spiritual leadership within their homes. When we reach out to women, God may capture their hearts...but the men remain disconnected. But when we reach out to men, and God captures their hearts, God will often use these men to draw women and children to Himself.