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Antidote to ministry frustration is in the Bible, speaker says

GREEN LAKE, Wis. (BP)–Amid the demands and challenges of leadership within God’s kingdom, Jay Wells notes, the Bible offers encouragement and models of behavior.

“I want you to understand that you may feel frustrated in the work of the church,” said Wells, a pastoral ministries specialist with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Such frustration, he said, “is real. It’s not unusual and it happens.

“As you come into resistance for the work, God uses it to make you stronger,” he continued. “Don’t use it as an indicator that you’re doing something wrong or are in the wrong place.”

Wells led a conference dealing with the realities and lessons of kingdom leadership as part of the Kingdom@Work Church Leadership Development event July 1-5 sponsored by LifeWay’s church resources division at the Green Lake (Wis.) Conference Center.

Wells discussed the qualities, leadership principles and character necessary to lead within the church while cautioning against several leadership pitfalls, including character issues and an unwillingness to forgive.

“Our model for being workers, for serving … our model for leadership is Jesus,” Wells said. “If we’re leading anywhere, who we are affects more than what we say. So wherever we are taking on the role of a leader, we want to emulate the character of Jesus.”

While encouraging participants to develop characteristics of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and gentleness, Wells underscored the importance of following God’s call.

“God qualifies the called when God calls us to a task,” he said. “It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy or without difficulty because God called you.”

Difficulties are bound to occur when people answer God’s call, Wells continued. Resistance is always present when God is at work, he said. That resistance can come in the form of discouragement, frustration, anger, temptation, rejection and even challenges of leadership.

“Jesus faced opposition,” he said. “In every crowd, someone questioned his motives and sought to discredit him. If it happened to him, it will happen to you.”

Even though there are tough realities for those seeking to follow God in kingdom leadership, Wells urged his listeners to learn the leadership lessons illustrated by the biblical models of Jesus and Moses. Those lessons include realizing the importance of sharing the workload, accepting good advice, praying for others, staying focused on the mission, being willing to forgive and understanding one’s personal relationship with God.

“What I want you to understand is … there is sacrifice, there are demands and challenges to doing this work,” Wells said. “Don’t let it discourage you. When you can’t see anywhere to go, realize the strength is in God.”

Approximately 300 people attended the Kingdom@Work conference.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: KINGDOM LEADERSHIP.

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