Rev. Mike Holbrook is the General Superintendent of The Churches of Christ in Christian Union.
Mike brings a wealth of experience to the leadership of the CCCU. He has served as the South Central District Superintendent, Assistant District Superintendent, and Senior Pastor of Circleville First Church of Christ in Christian Union for sixteen years.
He has a great passion for leading churches to fulfill God's mission for them.
He and his wife, Charla, make their home in the Circleville, Ohio.
In recent months several ministers have expressed how weary they are of all the seminars and books on leadership. One might hastily conclude they are probably poor leaders. I can assure you that is not the case. They are Godly leaders having very effective ministries.
My personal conclusion is that for a number of years we have had an inordinate and unbalanced amount of seminars and books written on this subject.
Without question, leadership is vitally important. In the church world, Godly and gifted leaders are a special gift from God. However, at times the Church has adopted the leadership principles of the business world in selecting leaders. At times, this has been beneficial but more often than not it has resulted in frustration and failure.
I have often said that the best practices of the business world are often based on Biblical values. Therefore, some of the best practices of the business world do not conflict with the principles and values of Godly leadership in the church world. At times they are very compatible.
One notable difference is that the greatest leaders in the Bible were first of all anointed by God. Later, they were placed in powerful positions of leadership. Today, we often have it in reverse. We select a leader using the best practices of leadership principles. We then lay hands on them and ask God to anoint them. Is it any wonder that oftentimes the results are disastrous? With God’s anointing comes God’s power and presence.
The highest purpose for a leader within the church is to be a Christ-like, servant leader. Unfortunately one can easily overlook a person with these gifts and graces if they are only following the business model.
I find it very troubling that today there seems to be a great lack of discernment in the church. One of the most important gifts a leader must have is discernment. Spiritual discernment is the ability to distinguish between what is of God and that which is carnal and not of God. A leader in the church world must discern the will of God and do His will whatever the cost might be.
Leaders in the church must pray regularly for discernment and wisdom. These are invaluable if one is to lead effectively.
A Godly leader has no desire to build their own kingdom and to expand their own reputation as a leader. They live by Colossians 3:3 “Their life is hid with Christ in God.” They avoid the reputation of being a “climber.” They leave promotions in the hands of God.
It is my personal belief that when God uses anyone to lead effectively it is a miracle. When one looks at the demanding role of a Godly leader and places those demands up against their own faults, weaknesses, and incompetence we must conclude if one is ever to lead effectively it is a miracle of God’s grace and faithfulness.
Sometime ago I read a statement that every leader should keep before them. It said, “It doesn’t matter if the world knows, or sees, or understands, the only applause we are meant to seek is that of nail scarred hands.” This is important because two of the most powerful temptations leaders must deal with are, the FEAR OF REJECTION that causes us to avoid confrontation. The second is the desire to try and make EVERYONE HAPPY. Yielding to either of these temptations are major pitfalls for a leader. These temptations rise out of a desire to hear the applause of the crowd. May God help all of us to seek only the applause of the nail scarred hands of Christ.
Scott Rodin, an effective spiritual leader said a very wise man once said to him, “In whatever you do, always strive to be a man God can trust.” A leader God can trust is one who seeks only the applause of nail scarred hands.
God asks one thing of leaders within the Church, seek with all your heart to know His will and to do His will. When you lie down at night you will have a clear conscience and the assurance that your heart is right with God. You will sleep best when you can hear His nail scarred hands gently applauding.