|Deciding factor in successful leadership is quality of ministry|
Guardian Lifestyles Intern
Published: Aug 02, 2012
Being a leader in the church is difficult business, but with the right attitude and thoughts, good leadership can manifest itself in unprecedented growth for a church and its ministry, according to Dr. Wanda Turner, a well-known minister from the Central Valley of California.
The minister spoke to pastors, leaders and ministers at the International Covenant Christian Churches (i3C) Convention hosted by Pastors Donald and Gwen Battle at Bahamas Harvest Church on Prince Charles Drive.
She shared tried and true tips with them on becoming better leaders in their ministries and churches, so that they can fulfill their destiny and enhance God's kingdom with wise methods.
Speaking on the first day of the three-day convention, which was held under the theme “Leadership Empowerment”, Turner, with her vivacious personality and flair for comedy had the audience laughing for most of the night. She said for her to know the audience understands her, they had to make noise and let her know that she was getting through to them.
The minister told the leaders to forgive their debtors in order to receive their true ministerial calling. She said from her personal study, it was revealed to her in the Lord’s Prayer that believers must forgive their debtors before their debts can be forgiven.
"If you want to be debt free we must forgive our debtors, and we can’t forgive people in your own strength,” she said. “Sometimes as leaders you have to tell your flesh to sit down.”
Explaining her tried and true qualifications of church leadership, she said too many leaders and their leadership is based on corporate principles — how much profit or gain they make and how much numbers are present. But she said leaders need to start basing their ministry in kingdom principles. She reminded leaders that it doesn't matter how many people go to your church or are involved in your ministry because the numbers don't translate into real ministry.
"As a leader your numbers might swell, but they might be swelling with infection. And a ministry swelling with infection is not real ministry,” said Turner. “However, if you invest in truly reaching people, your numbers might not swell immediately, but the few you touched will touch others and other churches will pop up and be sustained through that," said Turner.
She encouraged the church leaders not to look at the numbers, but rather the quality of the ministry being brought forth. She told them that would be the deciding factor in successful leadership.
Dr. Turner also told the leaders to sustain their integrity throughout their leadership.
"Your talents may qualify you, but your integrity needs to sustain you. Some of you are walking dead — dead finances, dead marriages, dead anointing because of the wrong things — gaps in your integrity. In order for leaders in the church to be good spiritual leaders, personal integrity needs to be present,” she said.
The minister said cultivating and maintaining integrity is important to spiritual leaders because the world can turn leaders from their anointing. And she said that God sometimes holds them back deliberately because He knows they are not ready to move forward.
"Some people are so ready and feel so frustrated with God and life when they can't do the things in their ministry they want to do, but that's because you’re not ready for that. God is protecting you and grooming you to not be corrupted by the world. By helping you grow to sustain your integrity,” she said.
She encouraged leaders to maintain their spiritual integrity, and that great spiritual qualities can be found in Joshua, and to use those scriptures as a guideline in their spiritual leadership. She said Joshua influenced a generation and so they too must be careful of the example they set in their leadership.
"Youth leaders need to be aware of all aspects of their ministry. People are going to look to you as an example, as a role model so you need to act like a spiritual leader. In leadership positions what you do affects more than just your life, but impacts the persons you lead,” she said.
As she encouraged positive role models in spiritual leadership, Turner encouraged the leaders gathered to lead with substance. She told them that God is concerned with how you lead and preach just as much as what you lead and preach.
She also cautioned the leaders in the audience to be willing to sacrifice when it is called, for greater reward. And told them to look to Miriam for inspiration of sacrifice.
"[Miriam] gave up her child, Moses, and eventually she was taken into the palace, dressed in expensive robes and given charge of the care of her child. Miriam's sacrifice paid off, so as leaders you must be willing to sacrifice as well, being assured your sacrifice will be paid off.”
Turner said that most leaders have a problem with following, but good leaders are able to take second-in-command sometimes.
She reminded some of the ministers that in their ministry they may never be elevated, but that as leaders they should be able to handle that.
"Some people are meant to follow, and be second hand. In spiritual ministry, not everyone is called to lead, and a good leader accepts that second-in-command post willingly,” she said.
The International Covenant Christian Churches is a fellowship of churches that aims to strengthen, unite and empower a new generation of men and women called to the ministry. Fashioned through non-denominational fellowship, the i3C was conceived by Pastor Battle and focuses on providing opportunities for member churches in leadership development, networking and mentoring.
The convention which concluded yesterday was held in The Bahamas for the first time. It also featured speakers like Pastor Abigail Martinez, Bishop Battle, Pastor Dennis Brown and musical appearances from international recording artists like Dottie Peoples and Keith Dobbins.