In working together it’s good for the church to have a sense of solidarity. Be innovative and see the transforming power of the Holy Spirit at work in its midst. It’ll be necessary to pay attention to your parishioners and be an active coordinator of the community. By keeping your finger on the pulse of the group and knowing when affirmations are in order will stave off countless headaches. By so doing you’ll be practicing good management skills in monitoring your parish, and you’ll be demonstrating good spiritual leadership. Konrad von Gesner (1516–1565), a Swiss naturalist and photographer said, “Best of all is to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.”
In your church use your gift of leadership to rally others to fulfill the congregation’s objectives. Before doing so, it’s wise to seek counsel from experts and experienced parishioners. An English writer and clergyman Robert Burton (1577–1640) wrote, “Who cannot give good counsel? [I]ts cheap, it costs them nothing.”
In churches in some countries priests have even been known to wash the feet of women where such action has been considered a cultural taboo. But the goal of such demonstration was to motivate and enlist members to do the same. This was done in the spirit of humble service that’s a true mission of religious leadership.
To lead a congregation the hierarchical leadership has to be centered on having the respect of the followers. The congregants must never feel they are herded like cattle. It’s best to have them volunteer for ministries, and have parishioners, consider themselves as brothers and sisters in Christ. Such an attitude will invigorate the community. Members will be interacting with a spirit of goodwill. They will be clear about their roles in the church.
Rob McKenna (b. 1927), a Dominican bishop said, “You can study government and politics in school, but the best way to really understand the process is to volunteer your time.” McKenna’s advice wasn’t only meant for governmental workers, but it’s also appropriate for the church.
A Matter of Values
It’s wise always to want the best for all members. This means everyone has to be treated like a colleague who’s vital to the parish. One doesn’t have to own a limousine to be considered a success in life. Having impeccable values and blessed with positive attitudes are more important. For through these qualities it’ll be necessary to promote growth within the church. These gifts lead to spiritual excellence and are empowering to the community.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), a president of the United States wrote, “I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can surely pick smart colleagues.” A leader in the church must always be looking out for talented individuals to lead the congregation. This untapped resource usually gives new vitality to a church. It’s the foundation of a community’s future. New talent strengthens growth, and paves the way for the advancement of the best in Christ.