The Call to Leadership Costs

The call to leadership is a costly call. The Apostle Peter brings revelation to the call of leadership, being a leader at both the apostolic (trans-local) and pastoral (local) level; the revelation of personal cost to lead. In 1 Pet. 5 he encourages local leaders of churches to willingly and eagerly take care of the people within their sphere of leadership. But he very pointedly encourages them to do so with the right motive of heart, i.e. for the cause, NOT for what they will gain from their positions of authority! Peter said we should lead “not for what you will get out of it” (1 Pet. 5:2 NLT). That same phrase in the King James Version is “not for filthy lucre”. In the New International Version it is “not for money”. Whichever translation you prefer, Peter is saying don’t take up the call of leadership for personal gain!

Leadership comes at the cost of flesh-based motives of personal benefits, personal prosperity, and personal glory. Those have got to go! Now you might say that this does not mesh with the world system or the church system, which typically pays greater amounts of money to those in leadership positions. People do receive larger paychecks for larger responsibility; however, what is the non-monetary cost of those larger paychecks?

Peter makes two key points. First, our motives to gain a leadership position are IMPORTANT. Are our motives for the money, the authority or the responsibility? You may say ‘all of the above’! Most of us want the authority and the money!!! But seldom do we really want the responsibility.

In my leadership experience over 30 years I have observed that each time I was given more money, responsibility and authority, I only had a preliminary hint of the real responsibility of that promotion. Very often financial compensation and authority are appealing, but seldom is responsibility appealing. In other words we like having authority to lead and govern and enjoy the money that comes with it, but we many not truly want the responsibility that accompanies it. However it is in our perspective of the responsibility of leadership that we discover the motives for our desire for authority.

Secondly there is a cost to entering into all leadership. In our desire for a better paycheck and/or more authority we often lose sight of what we must give up in gaining it. Note 1 Pet. 5:3 says leaders should ‘lead by your good example’. That is a huge cost of leadership! The Apostle Paul said three times that people should imitate his life. Paul said the apostles were ‘on display’. A leader’s life, especially in the church, is very public!! To be an example means we give up the right to ‘do whatever we want,’ and take on the responsibility of doing what is right. We give up the right to quit just because we have a bad day. We give up the right to be ruled by emotion. We give up the right to go places and do things that would cast a shadow over our organization, family, or church. We give up the right to be entangled in unhealthy relationships. This is a cost of leadership. The cost is paid in the family, business, workplace, and church. We are on display as examples to people and to God. We are accountable to the organization and its mission of which we are leaders.

Are you willing to pay the price of leadership; the price of right motives and being an example for all to see? Check your heart, check in with the Holy Spirit and discover your motives and your willingness to truly lead as God intended. Here is the good news when you walk in leadership with the right motives and pay the price. 1 Pet. 5:4 says as we walk in Godly leadership there is an eternal gain…..the crown of glory!!! Praise His Name!


Leading People is a Sobering Responsibility

Spiritual Authority Requires Spiritual Accountability.
Leading people is a sobering responsibility. The Bible says ‘Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them…continually recognizing their authority over you; for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account of their trust.’ Heb. 13:17(Ampl.)

Many leaders focus on the first part of this scripture…..demanding that people obey and submit to them. However, I find myself drawn to the last part; the responsibility. Leading people in the church comes from God-given authority to oversee the assembly of believers: authority to watch over their souls, guard their spiritual welfare, and be accountable to that responsibility.

With authority comes responsibility. With responsibility comes accountability. With accountability comes the sobriety of leadership; proving faithful to the trust given by our Father
The Father called me to pastor people by being a shepherd of the local church. It took thirteen years of seasoning, equipping, character building and, at times, personal resisting before being commissioned and ordained into the role of pastor. At the time of my ordaining, the apostle who laid hands on me also prophetically declared the apostolic call on my life. Wow! I had just become a pastor……how could I even think about being an apostle? It was another eight years before I entered into the role of apostle. Today I am accountable to God’s authority to lead those who are part of our local Crossfire church and those who choose to become part of the CrossFire International Alliance. I am not accountable to whether anyone obeys or submits! I cannot control a person’s decision to apply the ‘obey’ and ‘submit’ of Hebrews 13:17. Response to new covenant authority is voluntary. However, I can control how I ‘watch over’ people’s souls and ‘guard’ their spiritual welfare. I am the conservator of the trust given me by the Father. I soberly test myself on what I have done with that trust. I am accountable to the Father and to people.

Every servant-leader in the church should consider this perspective of leadership…it’s not the ‘obey’ and ‘submit’ we need to attend to. It is the ‘watching over and guarding’ that we must attend to. We are not accountable for what someone does in response to our authority, but we are accountable for what we do with our authority. Be very blessed as you carry out your responsibility of leadership!!


Back from Africa!

Pastor Rick Rapp and Pastor Harvey turning the first part of dirt for the new church building being built in Nabusozi Village.

I’m back on American soil after two weeks in Uganda, a land springing forth with the good news of Jesus. Our powerful team from New Mexico ministered to over 2000 people and 8 different churches. People received Christ. Many were baptized in the lake. Pastors were encouraged and filled with leadership knowledge for the Kingdom. And seeds of grace were planted in Nabusozi village that will soon bring forth a field ripe for harvest. We continued to push back the darkness in this remote part of Uganda with a key local political official accepting Christ. I had the honor of baptizing him in the local lake. Several local Islamic leaders were present during our ministry in the village. They listened to the good news of Jesus as the team revealed the only way, the visible truth and the abundant life available in Jesus Christ. We are seeing a great advancing of the Kingdom in this remote locality with new territory being established for Jesus. Be encouraged that the Holy Spirit is living and moving and having His being in Uganda.