That Apostle Paul guy was quite bold. In Acts 9 where he makes his big debut, and while he was still Saul, it says he was “speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.” Wow. Quite a start! How about us? Do 200church pastors speak and lead with boldness? Are we bold?
Or… do we pander, hedge, spin, and dodge the issue? Are we confident enough as leaders to be bold in our leadership, confronting doubters and worriers? Do we shrink back at the first sign of opposition or discouragement? In Episode 26 of the 200churches Podcast this Wednesday, we talk about being bold and, if we have to, creating a stir! Our people are looking for bold leadership and bold faith.
There are prerequisites to boldness though. Pastors and leaders aren't just automatically bold. Certain things have to be present in us, and practiced by us. On that note, here are 7 ways to be bold in our ministries:
Walk with God. Isn't this the bottom line? Is this not what brings us integrity and power in leadership? Walking with God by faith and by communing with the Holy Spirit is essential to boldness in ministry. Complete reliance on God for wisdom and ability in pastoral ministry is where it all starts. How are you and God getting along?
Confront sin in your own life. If we maintain willful, hidden sin in our life, we will lack the boldness to speak and to lead with authority. We can be sure that sin will ultimately bring our ruin, or at the least, hamper our effectiveness for God. How are you and sin getting along? Poorly, we hope! :)
Be full of the Book. That’s one of the “basics” we talked about in last Friday’s post. When we are consuming large quantities of scripture, we are full of God’s truth. Daily intake means it is within arm’s reach of our minds all day long. Biblical truth coming in is a prerequisite to boldness. How are you and the Bible doing?
Rely on wise advisers. In the multitude of counselors there is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22) John Maxwell says that “those closest to us will determine the level of our success.” He calls that the Law of the Inner Circle in his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. We will never know it all. We should be talking to people, listening, learning, and borrowing all the brains we can. Got advisers?
Listen to critics. Our critics are never all wrong, and rarely are they all right either! Critics will point out the flaws in our thinking, the gaps in our processes, and the weaknesses of our plans. When we listen to them, and learn from their insight, we can be more confident, having been strengthened by their scrutiny. We then will move forward with more boldness, enjoying clearer direction. Are you paying attention to your critics?
Plan ahead. You've heard it, “if you fail to plan you plan to fail.” How true that is. Boldness and uncertainty do not occupy the same space well. If we have not planned well, thought through the potential problems, and predicted the unintended consequences, we usually won’t move forward boldly. Instead we are hesitant, halting, and indecisive. Boldness comes from quality planning. Do you have a plan?
End by giving it all to God. When we are done preparing, processing, and praying, we move forward boldly, in FAITH. Our faith is in God alone, not any of the above steps or processes. God is the one who has filled us, and commissioned us to serve him by making disciples. Boldness comes when we drive the car, but God holds the Title. It’s his game and he’s already won, we’re just moving across the board in faith. Can you say "In God I trust"?
You see, boldness in ministry is not the result of a microwaved process. Vision by sound bite doesn't go very far. There needs to be completeness about our ministry in order for us to have boldness in ministry. No shortcuts to the above 7 prerequisites. Want to be bold?
How are you doing in these seven areas? Which area do you need to work on the most today? Maybe you need to take action in order to become more bold in your ministry. Go for it! Do it!
On Wednesday’s podcast, we are going to talk about some very practical tensions that may preclude us from being bold in our ministries, and encourage you to go ahead and be bold, and perhaps “create a stir”!
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