A Celebration of Leadership
A few days ago I attended a celebration party for the ministry of Pastor George Morrison. Pastor George has served as the senior pastor of Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, Colorado for 33 years. Pastor George recently turned over the senior leadership of the church to his successor and a celebration was held in his honor to thank him and his wife and highlight their accomplishments over 33 years of ministry.
The evening was filled with great laughter, joy, and emotion. Pastors, city leaders, friends, congregants, and family members expressed their gratitude and their affection for Pastor George. Every word that was spoken painted a picture of a person whose life demonstrated in dramatic fashion the qualities of a Godly leader.
I have attended Faith Bible Chapel since I was 13 years old and I have worked there since I was 21. I have watched Pastor George for many years. As I reflect on his leadership legacy there are 5 things that stand out about his leadership life that have most inspired me:
1.) His Authenticity
In a world where many leaders put on a front or facade to make themselves appear a certain way, it is incredibly refreshing when a leader is genuinely authentic. Pastor George is such a leader. He is who he is with no ulterior motive. His approach to ministry and leadership is not two-faced. He is the same behind the scenes as he is in front of a large crowd.
Truly authentic leaders have ambitions that are pure and genuine. Rather than aspiring to greatness, notoriety, and fame, authentic leaders aspire to faithfulness, obedience, and effectiveness. It is by authentically pursuing these things that a leader attains true greatness. In other words, authentic leaders become great because they do not pursue greatness. Pastor George’s desire in ministry has been defined by a intense pursuit of faithfulness and obedience to God. This is the kind of authenticity that all in pursuit of Godly leadership should aspire to.
2.) His Humility
There was one word that kept coming up over and over again throughout the evening celebration when describing Pastor George: humility. This was most vividly demonstrated when a young church planter in the city expressed his gratitude to Pastor George for welcoming him to the city and being a constant source of encouragement and support. His words painted a picture of an established leader who had not become removed, arrogant, or superior. He praised Pastor George for being a model of humility in the way that he treated him when he first came to the city.
The pursuit of humility must be ongoing in a leader’s life. Pastor George is an example of a leader who never thought that he had arrived in the area of humility but continued to make humility a priority and foundation in his life.
3.) His Continuity of Character
I was talking to a high school student the day after the celebration and one thing that stood out to him was what he termed the “continuity of character” that was demonstrated throughout the evening. He mentioned that despite varying backgrounds and varying ways that they knew Pastor George, every speaker painted a consistent picture of his character. Many of the speakers had no connection to one another, yet their descriptions and experiences had a consistent thread. It was clear that Pastor George’s integrity is unwavering; he is the same person and the same leader no matter what the situation is or who he is with.
Proverbs 27:19 says, “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.” A man who is consistent in his character demonstrates a heart that is truly submitted to God and full of integrity. Truly, a leader like this is worth following.
4.) His Boundary-less Love
One of Pastor George’s daughters praised him for a being a man who has demonstrated passionate love with no boundaries. What she meant by this was that Pastor George has a love for people no matter what their background, status, or how they treat him. She described his love as patient and long suffering. Godly leaders fight to make love a priority in their leadership. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13 that great faith, great gifts, great generosity, and great wisdom mean nothing without love. In other words, great leadership without love is not great leadership.
Pastor George’s love for people is evident and can be seen and felt in conversation, action, and his preaching. His heart of love has elevated his leadership influence and made him a person that people want to follow because they know he genuinely cares for them. Love is the greatest tool that a leader can have and Pastor George has demonstrated how to use it well.
5.) His Heart for God’s Kingdom
Pastor George has a love for God’s Kingdom that is paralleled by very few in this world. He has a genuine concern that people know Jesus and follow him with their whole heart. To this end, he will do whatever it takes to make sure that people know that Jesus loves them and has a plan for their lives. In fact, I have seen Pastor George become genuinely emotional when he speaks of how God has impacted his life and how he desires this impact in the lives of others.
Pastor George is a model of a leader who has no ulterior motive but to love God and to make Him known to others. This is an example that all in ministry should emulate.
There are certain people who we encounter in our lifetime who influence us in profound ways. These individuals stand out to us because there is something about their life that inspires and encourages us. Pastor George is a person who has lived a life that is an inspiration to thousands and will have ripple effects for years to come.
Thank you Pastor George for loving God with your whole heart, for loving people, and for being a living example of Godly leadership.