Friday, February 5, 2010

A Rising Tide Raises All the Boats in the Harbor

If you want to raise the level of commitment in a church, it is best to always begin with the leaders and strongest Christians, not the least committed. Here’s why. If you begin with the least committed, it puts the bar too low for everyone else. On the other hand, if you raise the bar for the people who are already committed, it PULLS EVERYONE ELSE ALONG just a little higher. A rising tide raises all the boats in the harbor.

People become like their leaders. Whatever the leaders are, the people become. Hosea said, “Like people, like priest” (Hosea 4:9). Jesus said, “everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40 NIV).

When PCC first began twelve years ago we had only five or six mature believers. Yet we also had a congregation full of casual attenders, not-yet believers, and brand new believers. So the only requirement for serving (almost anywhere) was to simply show up - we plugged warm bodies in where they were needed. Over the years have gradually raised the standard and tightened the requirements for those who serve in the ministries and leadership of the PCC family. This has produced a mature church which has grown progressively healthier over the years. (That's how you plant a church and gradually mature it over time).

We are now at such a place again. Not only are we raising the bar for leadership, but are also expanding the positions to be affected.

Our levels of commitment follow very closely in line with the description laid out in I Timothy 3 and Titus 2 which require church leaders to be above reproach, including requirements of character and integrity… sexual purity… not given to excess… self-discipline… hospitality… not addicted to alcohol… not given to outbursts of anger… not greedy… maintains moral purity… and is discreet & trustworthy.

Additionally we are including a Statement of Lifestyle Standards which are unique to PCC and will include eligibility requirements such as successful completion of Seminars 101 & 201… must be tithing members (of record) at PCC… not involved in cohabitation living arrangements… demonstration of emotional health as evidenced by a minimum of 12 months of recovery from life-controlling issues… and loyalty to the vision, goals, and core values of PCC.

These documents are now printed and available on the information table in the atrium.

The issue of spiritual leadership in the church is very important. High standards are called for when considering any person for leadership positions. The scriptures clearly bear this out. Given the critical role that leaders have, it is essential that we raise the bar and expect more from them.

The health of a church is directly related to the quality of its leadership. That is why the Bible has very strict standards for those who serve as leaders, especially its senior leaders. The paramount issue is ones CHARACTER. A man or woman is qualified because of what he IS, not because of the duties they perform.

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