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One of the most important concepts in the Christian ministry is the notion of tension. I instinctively resist tension, as do most people. Tension sounds like friction or conflict, and many leaders think that if they’re doing their job well, there won’t be any tension in their organization. But there is such a thing as “healthy tension.” In fact, more often than not, I have found that many areas of ministry that seem like conflicts to be solved are actually tensions to be managed.
Now, to be clear, in many matters of ministry, there exists a clear right and wrong: We preach the gospel and not works-based righteousness; we stand upon the authority of Scripture, not the prevailing winds of culture; we call our leaders to the highest standards of biblical ethics, not the sliding scale of relative morality.
Areas - Discernment - Ministry - Tougher - Ideals
But the tougher areas of discernment in ministry are not between what is obviously good and what is obviously bad. The tougher calls happen when two good and biblical ideals seem to be competing with each other. In those moments, we are tempted to pick a side to resolve the tension. Many ministry leaders do this with gusto, and they gather great crowds at conferences arguing for their “side.” But what makes for a great conference speaker isn’t always what makes for a real ministry leader. The moment we pick a side in a godly tension, we lose.
Imagine a man balancing a 6-foot pole in the palm of his hand. He wants to keep the pole upright, but to do so he always has to shift—slightly this way, now that way. The correcting and counter-correcting never stops.
Ministries - Reasons - Leadership - Teams - People
So it is in our ministries. This is one of the reasons I have tried to be very intentional in structuring our leadership teams so that people...
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