Sunday, June 2, 2013

HOW TO RECOGNISE A JESUS STYLE, KINGDOM LEADER


....not a CEO but a humble slave of all!


This letter is for leaders, not-yet-leaders and those who are looking for leaders - in the context of simple/organic/house churches. I want to answer these questions; what did Jesus say about Christian leadership? What do we do when we need to change our leadership style? How can we recognise and release new leaders?

 1) Jesus on Leadership.
Matt. 18:1-4. v.4 “...anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 20:28. Jesus - “Came not to be served, but to serve...”

Matt. 23:1-12. Here a bad example of the Pharisee style leadership. Jesus attitude toward their bad example, v. 3; their religious titles (who wants useless titular authority? And why do we accept that which Jesus tells us to reject?). v. 8-10; the rewards for the truly humble leader.

Mark. 10:35-45. v.42-44. (worldly leaders)“...lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader...must be your servant. And whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all.”

Luke 22:24-30. Who is the greatest? “Those who take the lowest rank and the leader should be like a servant”

 To change your leadership style you must....

2) DIVEST YOURSELF.
As part of the feast of unleavened bread, the householder had to search diligently through his or her home to see if there was even a tiny bit of food containing leaven. In like manner, we must be diligent to watch out for any trace of the CEO worldly type leadership dwelling in us. After around forty years of functioning as a so-called 'senior pastor' I had to put to the sword many of my false leadership practices. If we don't deal to them, they will deal to us and will also deal to our simple churches! Among other problems they will stifle the functions of the other members of the body of Christ! (1 Cor. 14:26).

 We must also...

2) DIVEST OTHERS
We need to learn how to divest others – defrock 'em - when we see them operating as controlling CEOs. (To defrock is a Roman Catholic term for dismissing a priest when he's had a moral fall).

If this sort of leader is allowed to continue, he or she will shipwreck the local fellowship. Obviously this person will need counseling, monitoring and if there's no response and cooperation, then defrocking! I believe they are as dangerous to the life of a simple church as any form of unchecked moral failure. If they're not stopped they can become dictatorial leaders who will quench the moving and purpose of the Holy Spirit. This isn't a new problem. Read about damaging, destructive, dictator, Diotrephes. 3 John 9-11.

We need leadership that follows the example of Jesus and is willing to, metaphorically, wash the feet of their brothers and sisters. Jn. 13:14-17. “...since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow, Do as I have done to you....you know these things – now do them! This is the path of blessing.

 I was told of a house church where God was moving, week after week in a truly supernatural way. It was also growing numerically until....some traditional leaders came and began to control – put their fleshly hands on what was happening and the awesome moving of God stopped and the church disintegrated! I could seriously say, defrock or disintegrate.

 Involved with the divesting ourselves, we must...

 4). DISCERN
What I mean by discern is to discern the leaders of God's choice. Remember the choosing of the future King David. “Surely this is the (chosen) Lord's anointed...” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don't judge by his appearance or height...” 1 Sam. 16. Let me illustrate...

My wife Averil was asked to take over the leadership of a children's outreach programme called Charisma Kids. Averil agreed to take it on on the condition that she had a functioning team. We prayed for leaders and they came. Where they our choice? Not exactly! In fact their age averaged just over 70! And this is for a kid's club! Only the 80 and 85 year olds had had any experience with children's ministry and they had trouble relating to today's 9 to 13 year old kids. But they fulfilled their roles in an exemplary manner. They related well to the parents of the children and some of these parents eventually became part of our much blessed mid-week home fellowship.

 Stuart Briscoe said, “I don't look out at a congregation and say, “We've got 100 people, and maybe 10 of them are leaders.” I say, “Here are 100 people. Every one of them is a believer, indwelt and gifted by the Holy Spirit to exert influence in this community.” If we can get them to believe that and find their area, they'll blossom.” I might add, and there won't be any shortage of kingdom leaders.

 In other words, every believer has a leadership role. Some five talents, some two, some one. We as elders/leaders must recognise this, encourage, stimulate, provoke, train and release them into the ministry God has for them.

 Anonymous quote, “Our job as leaders isn't over until we have prepared, empowered and released the next generation of leaders. With God's grace let's become Christian Alchemists. - people who take the right raw materials and transform them into leadership gold.

Jack





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