Efficiency? Yes—But More!

From One Leader to Another

Robert H. Pierson is president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.


YOU HAVE a gift for organization. You have promotional ability. You can solve problems. You have good judgment. You possess more than average business acumen. You are able to speak well in public. You may even possess a gift for writing. You get along well with people. In fact, you have considerable ability.

All of these God-given talents are important. In fact, they are almost indispensable if you are to be a truly effective leader in the cause of God to day. If you did not possess some or all of these abilities you would probably not be occupying the position of responsibility entrusted to you.

This is great—but don't forget, count less secular leaders possess these same qualities and are succeeding in the materialistic world about us. The leader in the cause of God must be more than a secular leader. He must have more than natural talent, more than his counter part in business, if he is to be truly successful in God's sight.

It is not enough that we administer institutions, build churches, reach financial goals, solve church problems, and help our church schools to function debt-free. As leaders we are confronted with some challenges more pressing, more urgent than problem-solving and promotional success. If, in this late hour, you and I are merely helping to plan the work and to solve problems—doing the routine work of leadership—we are coming short of God's expectations for us today.

Every church leader, be he preacher, business manager, office worker, field leader, must be a spiritual man or woman—God's man, God's woman! Unless our members and workers feel they have been drawn closer to the Lord be cause they have been close to us, unless they experience a greater longing to be more like our Saviour when we leave their home, their place of labor, their assigned post of duty, something is lacking in our Christian leadership.

In our materialistic world, church leaders—even most ministers of the gospel—find themselves burdened with seeming endless mundane assignments. We are handling money, letting con tracts, erecting buildings, keeping books, managing schools, publishing and distributing literature— and accomplishing a host of other tasks that are a necessary part of "finishing the work" as we speak of it.

We are in business—big business—with our multimillion-dollar budgets to operate institutions, maintain strong field programs, and assure that our offices measure up in high professional efficiency.

But we must never forget—whatever our church assignment—our first work is to do our part in preparing a people to meet the Lord in our day! We are not commercial promoters, not merely secular business men or women. We must do our work with professional skill, but we are first spiritual leaders whom God has entrusted with a sacred task, demanding a deep spiritual experience that we share with all with whom we come in contact.

"The spiritual attitude reaches out after the things of the Spirit," Dr. Phil lips quotes the apostle Paul in Romans 8:5. If you and I are the spiritual leaders God intends us to be we will constantly be reaching out for the things of the Spirit. Ours is a spiritual work that demands spiritual leadership. Men and women are required who do not live by bread alone, but who feed upon the Bread of Life and who in turn are able to feed and bless others. This is our task. This is our privilege. Even we ministers must never forget.

God does not judge a leader by the position he holds in the church, nor by the amount of money he raises—not even by the operating statement of his institution or church budget. While these aspects of the work are important and must not be lost sight of, God has other criteria by which He judges our success. "He looks to see how much of His Spirit they possess and how much of His likeness their life reveals."—Ibid.

As church leaders we must never for get the spiritual quotient—the SQ, rather than the IQ—by which God evaluates our leadership! We are to be deeply spiritual leaders men and women of prayer, who spend much time with the Lord and His Word

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Robert H. Pierson is president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

January 1976

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