Jeff Bogue, president of CE National and lead pastor of Grace Church of Greater Akron, gives tips and advice for leading your church and ministry well.

Keep Watch

What does it mean to “keep watch”?

This phrase came out of Acts 20:28. The Apostle Paul is talking to the leaders in the church in Ephesus. He says watch yourself and the flock which the Holy Spirit appointed you to be elders of.

I found it fascinating that as Paul was talking about leadership, the first thing he said was, “Watch yourself.” You lead yourself and you realize that in times of crisis, whether it’s COVID-19 or the youth group isn’t going well, just fill in your crisis, he says listen,

God has appointed you and purposefully placed you in a position of leadership and you need to be careful there. When you are in a time of crisis, when the leader goes down you have compounded the mess. The people will perish because the leaders aren’t there to help them.

When we’re in a crisis we’re pressed too. I’m tired. I’m stressed. I’m on the edge. Suddenly things like temptations are much stronger and I have to keep watch. My patience is much shorter and I have to keep watch. I have to keep watch even over the clarity of my heart. I don’t want to be discouraged. I want the joy of the Lord to be my strength. I have to keep watch on opportunities.

Just because things aren’t going the way I want them to go does not mean there are not enormous new opportunities around us. I’m seeing that right now, big time, with this coronavirus. God has opened up all kinds of doors.

The church always shines brightest when the days are the darkest. As a leader, I’m watching all those things. I’m watching them in myself so I can warn my people about it and so I can lead them through it.