Posts Tagged ‘leader’

I was involved in a conversation a few weeks ago, where a number of us were talking about our own churches. As the conversation continued it became apparent that a couple of the people involved in the conversation were far from happy with their church leader (i.e. their church minister/pastor/officer/priest).

While this conversation was going on, I didn’t say much, as I was trying to remember a quote which sums up what we should do when we’re unhappy with our church leader – Well I remembered it, and when I shared it with the group, the conversation came to a sudden stop. Here’s the quote I shared:

 

If a church wants a better pastor, it can get one by praying for the one it has. – Robert E. Harris

I think sometimes we can forget that our leaders are human, just like us; they have their own faults and failings, just like us; and they have their own strengths and weakness, just like us.

So whenever you’re disappointed or unhappy with how someone is leading your church, do the best thing you can for them, pray!

leadership

Over the years I’ve had a number of church leaders, because in the Salvation Army our church leaders tend to stay in each appointment for just a few years. I’m sure many Salvationist would agree with me that this has its advantages and it’s disadvantages. i.e. When you get leaders you are not so keen on, they aren’t with you for too long; Conversely when you get leaders who truly inspire, teach and lead you, they always seem to be moved on to another appointment far to soon.

But what should we do when we have leaders/pastors who don’t quite lead and inspire as the church needs?

As I read recently on Twitter, the answer is simple:

If a church wants a better pastor, it can get one by praying for the one it has. – Robert E. Harris

Do you regularly pray for your church leaders/pastors? Whether you think you have great leaders or whether you wish you had better leader, you should still pray for them, they are humans just like you and me, and therefore they need our love, support and prayers just as much as we do.

Over the next few days I want to focus on how, as Christians, we should live our lives, using words from the bible for guidance.

The text I want to use today is from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (The Message):

And now, friends, we ask you to honour those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

It’s true isn’t that as soon as someone takes up a position of authority or management, they immediately become the target for criticism from all directions.

Why is that? Is it because we all think we could do a better job, or think the person in question isn’t qualified to hold the position in question? Whatever the reason, we must remind ourselves that no matter what our own personal feelings about the person in question, we must conduct ourselves in a Christian manner. i.e. we must be supportive and encouraging at all times.

That can be very tough at times! I can honestly say I fail miserably at this at times, just as I’m sure many of you do. It’s hard trying to always do the right thing isn’t it!

As far as our church leaders are concerned, whether they be our ministers, musical leaders, or others in official positions, we must all work together, supporting one another, and working for the common cause, God! Our Christian life and our church life shouldn’t be about personalities and individuals, it should be about spreading God’s message to the world, and we will never achieve that if we don’t work together for each other rather than against one another.

In summary The Way He Wants You To Live #1 – support your leaders and show them your appreciation for all they do.

 

Faithful God, faithful God,
All-sufficient one,
I worship you.
Shalom my peace,
My strong deliverer
I lift you up,
Faithful God.

This last week I’ve found these words have been very much in the forefront of my mind ever since I hear of the sudden passing of a friend, Hazel Ferguson. At first I didn’t understand why this song kept going round and round in my head, but I soon came to realise that God was reminding me of several things…

Firstly, regardless of the feelings and emotions we may be experiencing, God is there with us because He is faithful, and can supply all we need in every situation.

Secondly, and probably most importantly at this time, that my friend is now with her Saviour, the One she has served for many years through the Salvation Army,

Today I attended Hazel’s funeral, so like many other day’s this week, I found myself thinking about some of the times I’ve spent with Hazel…

I’ve known Hazel for many years, as I gre up attended Rutherglen Salvation Army where Hazel and her family attended. I became much closer to Hazel during her time as Songster Leader at Rutherglen as she had the faith and trust in my to convince me to firstly become accompanist for the songsters, and then a few years later her deputy as leader.

Hazel was one of the members of the Harmony Trio and I was privileged to travelled with them to various churches and other Salvation Army corps, to play clarinet solos and then a few years later as their accompanist. These were also interesting times, not just because of the message the group portrayed to the listeners, but also the car journeys to and from the venue! As was mentioned at Hazel’s funeral she was a scary driver! But for me, my memory of car journeys with Hazel is the fact that we never ever came home from somewhere the same way we had gone…een although we intended to! We got lost countless times, but to be honest all this all just become part of the fun at travelling with Hazel!

In these last few years since we both moved from Rutherglen Salvation Army to other corps, Hazel and I maybe didn’t see each other very often, however it didn’t stop us continuing out friendship by email and text.

Hazel was Mum to someone I grew up with and am friends with, but the age difference between Hazel and I definitely didn’t stop us becoming good friends. Over the years we shared some hilarious moments (many prolonged by Hazel’s infectious giggling), and we also shared in some emotional and tearful moments. However, no matter the situation one thing always shone through and that was Hazel’s deep love of God, and for that reason I can say with confidence that she is now with God.

Rest in peace my friend.

’Mid all the traffic of the ways,
Turmoils without, within,
Make in my heart a quiet place,
And come and dwell therein.

A little shrine of quietness,
All sacred to Thyself,
Where Thou shalt all my soul possess,
And I may find myself.

A little shelter from life’s stress,
Where I may lay me prone,
And bare my soul in loneliness,
And know as I am known.

A little place of mystic grace,
Of self and sin swept bare,
Where I may look upon Thy face,
And talk with Thee in prayer.

No matter who we are or what we do, we all have people in our lives who lead us in various aspects of our lives.

Are you a leader? You may not feel as though you have the ability or knowledge to lead or direct others, but I believe that within each of us there is a leader waiting to get out!

God gives each of His followers the tools to lead others to Him. That might mean that we’re able to stand up in front of loads of people and proclaim God’s message; It may mean that we can help the homeless and lonely find peace and happiness again; It might mean we’re able to inspire and encourage others who are struggling in their faith; It might mean none of these things and it might mean all of them…ultimately God gives each of us unique abilities so that we are able to do just what He needs us to do and where he needs us to do it.

Do you still think you don’t lead? Do you still think you can’t lead?

God will give you the guidance and the direction He needs and wants you to go in, so talk to Him about it…pray…God will help you become a great leader for Him.

A hospital chaplain visited a delightful old lady in the hospital. As he approached her bed he noticed that with the index finger of one hand she was touching, one by one, the fingers of the other, with her eyes closed. When the chaplain spoke to her she opened her eyes and said, “Ah, minister, I was just saying my prayers— the prayers my grandmother taught me many years ago.”  

The chaplain looked puzzled, so she went on to explain, “I hold my hand like this, my thumb towards me. That reminds me to pray for those nearest to me. Then, there is my pointing finger, so I pray for those who point the way to others–teacher, leaders, parents. The next finger is the biggest so I pray for those in high places. After that comes the weakest finger–look it won’t stand up by itself, so I pray for the sick and the lonely and the afraid. And this little one–well, last of all I pray for myself.”

Beautiful story. A reminder to us all what our priorities should be, God first, ourselves last and others in between.

I pray that today this may have help remind you of what our priorities should be, today and every day. 

I think my love of music started at a very early age as both my Mum and Dad were always very musically minded.

My Dad is a big fan of jazz/big band music and as a keen musician has played in many bands over the years. He also spends a lot of time arranging/composing music for some of the bands/soloists he knows.

On the other hand, my Mum’s side of the family grew up attending the Salvation Army and as such were heavily involved in both the singing groups and the bands – My grandfather having been the leader of the first singing group (Songsters) at Rutherglen corps!


I remember when I was very young, climbing up on the piano stool beside my Dad while he “tried out” some of his arrangements/compositions – Apparently I was a “great help”!

As soon as I turned seven I started piano lessons and continued this for a number of years, going through the exams up to Grade 8. It wasn’t always easy but thankfully I stuck at it.

Although having been taken along to the Salvation Army at Rutherglen from a very early age, and giving my heart to Jesus at age seven, I never joined the junior band (Young People’s Band) until I was about 11 or 12 as my piano lessons were the same night as the learners class! Even when I did initially join it was to play percussion!!!

After a short while I was given a trombone, a short lesson on how to hold it, blow into it and the various slide positions for the notes and the rest is history as they say! That was my one and only trombone lesson (and yes I know that explains a lot!) – My Dad and one of my cousins both being trombone players, then became the source of the rest of my trombone training.


Between learning the piano and trombone, I also learned to play clarinet, although I did continue to play my clarinet for a number of years, I’m afraid it’s now been a while since I last played it.

After all this while I was still at Rutherglen Salvation Army, age 18, I became a uniform wearing Salvationist – during this time still in the Singing Company (junior choir) and  YP Band (junior band), but also joined the Songsters (senior choir) and Senior Band. Not long after becoming a Salvationist I became pianist for the Singing Company (junior choir), and then also for the Songsters (senior choir). A little later I took on the roll of Deputy Songster Leader and a little later again followed in my grandfather’s footsteps by taking on the roll of Songster Leader for about two and a half years. After a short break from the Songsters I took on roll of Songster pianist for the second time. I also following in my Dad’s footsteps, by composing several songs for the songsters and arranging music for several soloist.

In 2002 I transferred to Bellshill Salvation Army where I’m a member of the Senior Band.

So there you go, that’s my musical background! Having had a grounding in music from an early age, I’ve also found music to be a very important part of my life and especially my Christian life. I’ve found over the years in so many situations that a piece of music or a song can say more to me than anything another person can say. Music seems to be able to touch my heart and emotions to a greater extent than anything else, so I do treasure the times when I get to just sit and listen to music.


So what’s my favourite music?

That’s very hard to say, because I often find it depends greatly on how I feel at the time I’m asked! I love a very wide variety of music and style, however it may not surprise you when I list several Christian or Salvation Army songs/pieces of music as my favourites:

Lord I Come To You (The Power of Your Love)
The Light of the World
Just As I Am

Milestone


I’ve used it before but here’s an video of Lord I come To You which I find inspiring and emotional from the start of the video: