He is an author, film maker and televangelist with more than 30,000 members in Dallas. But on Saturday, Bishop T.D. Jakes told more than 2,000 church leaders gathered for a conference that it takes more than theology, oratorical skills and even vision to lead a congregation today.
“It is not enough to have a vision, you need a strategy,” said Jakes, during a leadership conference at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, where he said ministers will need “strategy, structure and servitude,” if they are going to be effective and build up a church.
The pastors conference at the Upper Marlboro church took place the morning after more than 11, 500 people filled the sanctuary and an overflow room at the Jericho City of Praise in Landover for a New Year revival service.
First Baptist Church of Glenarden and Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church have sponsored a New Years revival featuring Jakes, other prominent speakers and gospel recording artists for a number of years. Instead of preaching and winning souls, Jakes came to town with a message of tough love for the pastors.
“Somebody could take the church you have right now and triple it because you are baby sitting instead of leading,” Jakes preached. “So you made it to 2012? That’s nice. What are you going to do with it ? Champions critique themselves and work on their strategy to get better. You can’t do new things with an old strategy.”
Seated in the audience was Bishop Ronald A. Frazier, pastor of the Christ Church Way of the Cross Church of Christ Inc., who said that it is good for ministers to evaluate where they are in their ministry.
“It good to close yourself down, get your plan and then move with,” Frazier said. “God has to speak to you as a leader so you can know where to take your ministry. I like when (Jakes) said when I preach I am not in competition with other ministers but with the voice that is in me.”
Bishop Alfred Owens, pastor of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church, enjoyed Jakes’ message, he said, because, “strategies show you the best that you can become.”
On Friday night, Jakes concluded his sermon at Jericho by calling everyone 40 and younger to the altar where he challenged them to reach more people for the cause of Christ with tools like Twitter and Facebook, communication tools their parents didn’t have.
Rev. John K. Jenkins, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, agreed with Jakes. “The upcoming generation has connections that our generation doesn’t have. In order for things to work effectively we have to work together through mentoring, developing, encouraging and modeling; It is all important.”
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