LILOE

Decisions Leaders Must Make

Spiritual movements grow by the work of the Spirit. Our role is to create environments that are conducive to spontaneous growth. But we cannot manufacture a movement. However, we can focus on meeting real needs and use spiritual tools of prayer, the Scriptures, and the love of Christ to serve people in need, but it is the Spirit that gives growth. Then we watch where the Spirit of God is moving, and we follow that trail.

Though we cannot manufacture movements, we can kill them through fearful or threatened leaders who desire to control outcomes and fruit. Another movement killer is the attempt to monetize the movement through charging for services. Leaders, organizations, or churches with cultures of control can kill movements.Chapter 8

These are decisions each leader must make:

  1. Am I willing to submit to Jesus’ rule in my leadership?
  2. Am I willing to partner with other leaders and ministries for specific ministries?
  3. Am I willing to let go of control?
  4. Am I willing to not get the credit?
  5. Am I willing to encourage other expressions of similar ministry?

Lord, give me eyes to see how I have bought into organizationalism and the courage to realign myself with You and Your kingdom (1 John 5:21)

From my book Lead in Light of Eternity.
Download a free sample chapter or find the book on Amazon.com.

Leadership in the Kingdom of God

Leadership in the kingdom of God is much like a rafting trip. It’s the big-picture view that will keep us moving forward, facing the rapids of opposition or sinful pride or our own nagging sense of inadequacy. Without perspective, we may not be able to get down that river well–or guide and shepherd others.

We are living in a time when it’s particularly hard to get a perspective on leading God’s people in a way Jesus would recognize. The clamor is for big numbers and quick results. Offering a cup of cold water to the least of these does not build a reputation for success, not in this current climate. The pressure is to be the hero, the strong leader who won’t take “no,” or the guy who’s the boss.

 rafting brown    Border         hiking brown2

Where is our faith in the power of the Gospel, rather than sheer human effort?

Much like my Grand Canyon trip, we can begin this journey of being a leader–a Christian leader– with the best of intentions and high ideals, but this does not sustain. When the going gets rough, we will feel swamped, and the tendency is to do what comes naturally: dominate and control, go with the flow of what other leaders around us do. We will strive to be the hero, the focus of people’s attention, and the leader of a vibrant ministry organization or church.

“Jesus, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross…” the write of Hebrews said. In other words, this big-picture view of eternity with the Father and hearing Him say, “Well done,” was the motivation and the prize. Even for Christ. Some people call this an “eternal perspective.” It’s not unlike that beautiful big-picture view of the Grand Canyon that kept me paddling and hiking up a canyon wall. The reality that we will stand before Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, shapes our perspective on what it means to lead as Christ led.

Before I became a Christ follower, the idea of leading–and leading well–captivated me. As a manager I was trained to think in terms of an even wider variety of accomplishments. In the military I learned to measure success by position. But when I read the life of Jesus and began to follow Him, God turned many of those ideas upside down.

Jesus’ Call

Some of Jesus’ last words to His followers were in the form of a command. He said, “As you go, make disciples, of the peoples, teaching them to obey all I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20). He said this in the context of His position as Lord, “All authority has been given me in heaven and on earth” (Matt 28:16). So when the King, the Lord, and the One to whom every knee on earth will bow says something, it is priority. These are not optional words, nor are they to be treated as simple wishes for his undershepherds. These are words of action and words by which we will be held accountable when we stand before the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

To put it another way, making disciples is a big deal to Jesus. He did not say, give them content or make them feel good, but rather teach them to obey all I’ve commanded. The discipling process is not left to our invention, either. Rather, He shows us how to do it in principle. He was with them, patiently interacting with them in their struggle to believe and apply the truths He taught. He did not say, make them attend a church. A church attendee is not necessarily a disciple.

He said, “Make disciples.”  A disciple is one who obeys Jesus and follows Him. Disciples of Jesus are those who delve into the Word and obey what He says. Their heart, values, motives and character come more aligned with Jesus and His kingdom ways as they grow in Christ.

Many of us think we are doing right things in our ministries because we compare ourselves and our ministries with those around us. However, the question is “What does Jesus want?” There is a different calling for each of us. Our part in making disciples will look different from person to person and culture to culture. If He is Lord, and He is, then what He wands and how He measures ministry is what counts. The Lord HImself will evaluate us with how we did in making disciples.

– Excerpt taking for Stacy’s book, Lead in Light of Eternity: The Jesus Model.
For more information about Lead in Light of Eternity, or to obtain a free pdf download of the book, visit our website.
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