It has been a privilege over the last 36 years to watch my father, Bishop C. L. Hardy, pastor of New Covenant Assembly Christian Ministry grow the ministry that God has given him charge over. Starting at a local community center preaching to only three people, Lady Hardy (my mother), Cedric Hardy (my brother) and myself. To see him purchase land to build a church, to see him preaching and teaching the Word of God and mentoring and developing leaders so that New Covenant Assembly Christian Ministry could continue to grow and expand.
My father has truly been an inspiration to me by pouring his wisdom, knowledge and understanding, which laid the foundation for my first book, “Turning Ministries Right Side Up.”
To any pastor, leader or lay member this book will help you grow as a leader and help your church continue to grow, expand and reach your local communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Finding and Grooming Leaders
Although pastors are the leaders ultimately responsible for the growth of their churches and their congregations, they can carry out their mission as church leaders only with the help of competent ministry leaders under them, leading their own individual ministries.
For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.
Just as each wall of your house has a vertical two-by four every sixteen inches, but only one supporting jack stud where each wall meets another, so too a congregation needs leaders within its ranks to support the whole church and to keep pastors free to perform visionary and administrative duties.
By continuing to be alert for potential ministry leaders and then grooming them to fill those supporting positions within your churches, as a pastor you can not only strengthen your congregation’s mission to pass on God’s good news, but you can also ensure a healthy, expanding future for your churches as these leaders take their places and lead others in the church’s mission and vision.
Although each leader within a church—minister, deacon, ministry leader, or even volunteer—is responsible for those they lead, each leader also functions totally in unison with a pastor, and most importantly, all serve together, united, to carry out God’s mission for mankind.
It is a team.
What, then, are you as a pastor looking for when you seek leaders to place as supporting pillars in your congregations and your Christian communities? What, really, is a leader?
Our Scripture defines a leader in terms similar to those more worldly organizations that have had experience seeing the value and the quality of those who lead.
Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.
Although a leader has a strong effect on those around him, he is there to serve them, just as the greatest leader of all, Jesus Christ, has been there to serve others. A leader serves the needs of his followers, rather than himself being served.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
So too in the business world, the importance of serving others—of being selfless, not selfish—is seen as an essential trait of a true leader.
“Service, in short, is not what you do, but who you are. It is a way of living that you need to bring to everything you do if you are to bring it to your customer interactions.”
To serve others is paramount for a leader in any organization, either a spiritual or a worldly one. Although an ideal leader inspires and directs others, the focus is not on him. He is selfless, not selfish. His intentions are for the betterment of the group, not of himself. “Let the office seek the man, not the man the office,” is the often quoted declaration of the selflessness needed for one who takes any position of trust and honor.
There are other qualities, too, that both Scripture and successful organizations agree on as essential traits of a good leader, and these are the qualities you as the pastor need to keep your eyes open for when discovering those church members, old or young, who will lead your congregations into the future, just as Jesus’ disciples created the future for His church.
The dilemma of every single pastor is how to spread the Word of God and let people know of the promise of salvation while at the same time managing the daily affairs of their churches efficiently enough that they continue to expand as organizations.
In Turning Ministries Right Side Up, Dr. Hardy provides the four simple administrative tools any pastor can use to resolve this struggle and keep his church expanding while still being able to focus on his true calling: to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This book is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Outskirts Press.
Dr. Cory D. Hardy is an Associate Minister and Church Administrator at New Covenant Assembly Christian Ministry in Columbia, SC. He also serves as a licensed and ordained Elder with the Apostolic Faith Fellowship International, Inc. He holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, a Master of Divinity in Professional Ministries and a Doctorate in Ministry with a focus on leadership. Dr. Hardy is known among his peers for his anointed and expository preaching and adherence to the Word of God as well as for his administration skills.