Hail, Sovereign Love
Words by Jehoida Brewer

Hail, sovereign love that first began,
The scheme to rescue fallen man;
Hail matchless free eternal grace,
That gave my soul a hiding place.

Against the God who rules the sky,
I fought with hand uplifted high,
Despised His rich abounding grace,
Too proud to seek a hiding place.

Enwrapped in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness more than light,
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a hiding place.

But thus th’ eternal counsel ran,
“Almighty Love, arrest that man!”
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found I had no hiding place.

Indignant justice stood in view,
To Sinai’s fiery mount I flew,
But Justice cried with frowning face,
“This mountain is no hiding place!”

Ere long a heavenly voice I heard,
And Mercy’s angel form appeared.
Who led me on with gentle pace,
To Jesus Christ, my hiding place.

On Him Almighty vengeance fell,
That must have sunk a world to hell;
He bore it for a chosen race,
And thus became their hiding place.

Should storms of thundering vengeance roll,
And shake the earth from pole to pole;
No flaming bolt shall daunt my face,
For Jesus is my hiding place.

A few more rolling suns at most,
Will land me safe on Heaven’s coast.
There I shall sing the song of grace,
To Jesus Christ, my hiding place!

Characteristics Most Associated with Unsuccessful Pastors

Orginally published on Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 7:21 AM by Todd Rhoades @ Monday Morning Insight

OK… small sample size, but VERY interesting results. What are the characteristics most associated with both successful and unsuccessful pastors? Todd Hunter shares his findings from talking to both pastors of successful, growing churches, and pastors of churches that failed…

The inability to identify, recruit, train, and deploy workers and leaders. (95%)

Use of ineffective methods of evangelism, and unwillingness to be ruthless at evaluating the results of those methods. (77%)

No clear plan and goals, which results in working hard at wrong things or lack of focus. (77%)

No proven record under supervision or authority. (73%)

A nurturer/ enabler/ facilitator rather than an assertive leader and equipper. (68%)

Failed to adequately research and understand the community in which trying to build a church. (64%)

No local or extra-local support and encouragement from other leader. (64%)

Unsure about the Holy Spirit’s leading for the church. (59%)

Not willing to take responsibility for church growth. (55%)

Success for failure of church tied to self-image; ego strength problems. (55%)

Unsure of call. (50%)

* Results based on telephone interviews of 22 pastors whose churches had failed. The interviewer, Todd Hunter, had supervised or known the pastors, and could in most instances agree with their evaluation. The numbers in parentheses are the percent who had this problem.

Characteristics Most Associated with Successful Pastors

A hard worker. (100%)

Proven record under supervision or authority. (95%)

Sure of call. (95%)

An attitude of optimism and faith. (95%)

Good social skills, friendly, easily liked. (95%)

Takes responsibility for church growth. (95%)

Both husband and wife felt called to the church. (90%)

Held values, priorities, and philosophy of denomination. (90%)

Indigenous of extra-local support from other leaders. (80%)

A strong marriage. (80%)

* Results based on telephone interviews of 20 pastors of successful, growing churches. In many instances they had raised up several churches. The numbers in parentheses are the percent who had this strength.

SOURCE:  Global South

FOR DISCUSSION: What do you think?  In your experience (yourself and other leaders you know), does this flesh out with what you’ve seen?  What would you add or subtract from the list?

Leadership Challenge

I think I can relate to this…

In his book The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell (McGraw-Hill), Oren Harari quotes former Secretary of State Colin Powell as saying, “Being responsible sometimes means ticking people off.”

Well, okay, I cleaned that quote up a little for this article, but the point remains the same: Sometimes when you’re a responsible leader, people will not like what you’re doing. Sometimes people will get quite angry. Unfortunately, in a church leadership setting, many times this means that people will get so angry that they’ll leave your church.

Powell goes on to say: “Making people mad was part of being a leader. As I had learned long ago…an individual’s hurt feelings run a distant second to the good of the service.”

Harari summarizes: “Leadership can’t be a popularity contest. Trying not to offend anyone, or trying to get everyone to like you, will set you on the road to mediocrity. Why? Because leaders who are afraid to make people angry are likely to waver and procrastinate when it comes time to make tough choices. Leaders who care more about being liked than about being effective are unlikely to confront the people who need confronting…

They won’t challenge the status quo. And inevitably, by not challenging tradition, they hurt both their own credibility and their organization’s performance.”