I was encouraged and inspired by watching the mid morning news of the Queen giving part of a speech to Parliament. She said, a good leader will get amongst the people to know what they need and want.
This is a great note for pastors to take heed of. For a pastor must also be someone who gets amongst their people, finding out what they need and want. Granted pastors (church leaders) need to make sure that they are not pandering to the whims and wishes of the flock, but are responding to their needs and wants within a Godly framework.
How can a pastor know how to pray for the congregation, if they don’t enquire of the congregations needs. How can a pastor preach into the life of the church, if the pastor doesn’t know the goings on of the life of the congregation and engage with life with the congregation. The pastor cannot lead the congregation if they don’t know the seasons of life the congregation is in.
Not only do the pastors need to get amongst the congregation, they also need to get amongst the community in which they pastor. How can they respond to the communities needs if they don’t know what is needed. Yes, granted you can say they need Jesus. Just go and preach Jesus to them.
But the question must be asked, in what way are we called to go and preach Jesus within the community. We can either slap ourselves on our back with religious gusto for preaching at our community. Or, we can find out what our community needs, roll up our sleeves and get involved, working along side those in our community and while doing so, share our faith.
And this is what great pastoral leadership does. Its a leadership that gets involved, and because its one that gets involved, its a leadership style that knows how to respond.