Topical - Leadership, EarlyDays
I. Leadership Training Seminar.
Introduction: Before we start, I want to take a moment and give some definitions of Leadership:
1. Definitions of leadership.
a) lead•er•ship \ˈlē-dər-ˌship\ noun
1: the office or position of a leader
2: capacity to lead
3: the act or an instance of leading
b) Spiritual leadership.
Spiritual leadership is the development of relationships with the people of a Christian institution or body in such a way that individuals and the group are enabled to formulate and achieve biblically compatible goals that meet real needs. By their ethical influence, spiritual leaders serve to motivate and enable others to achieve what otherwise would never be achieved.
c) Leadership is indispensable.
If the church is to have direction and purpose Leadership is indispensable. The ultimate leader—normally the pastor—leads others to the accomplishment of a common goal. The Bible contains numerous examples of how God has been pleased to use leaders to accomplish His purposes. The Christian leader must be careful to observe biblical guidelines in leading the church, principally in assuming the role of a servant-leader.
2. Five traits of a good leader.
a) A good leader manages himself.
(1) Self-mastery is what every aspiring leader needs to achieve. The Lord Jesus required it of all His disciples; they could not help others until they had conquered issues in their own lives. He also accused the Jewish leaders of being unfit for leadership, calling them “blind guides” (Matt. 15:14; 23:16, 24).
(2) If a person sets about to do what he must do in life and disciplines himself so as to accomplish those goals and desires, he will soon see that he has outdistanced the pack and even has a following trying to get what he has obtained. A writer puts it this way: “No leader sets out to be a leader. People set out to live their lives, expressing themselves fully. When that expression is of value, they become leaders.” This is obviously an expression of self-management and discipline in pursuing the priorities of life. Consider these lines:
If you want to manage somebody, manage yourself. Do that well and you’ll be ready to stop managing. And start leading.
(3) A leader, then, must be one who has his life under control, which includes his personal habits and activities. A leader is self-managed; he is his own boss. He is one who knows how to manage his time, his money, his energies, and even his desires.
b) A good leader knows how to make good decisions.
(1) “Leaders are decision makers.” The buck stops with him, meaning that he is usually the one who needs to make the decision that affects the outcome of the organization.
(2) The ability to make quick and knowledgeable decisions separates the leaders from the followers. “When all the facts are in, swift and clear decision is the mark of a true leader.” A leader spends most of his time in dealing with or solving problems. Therefore, all leaders have one thing in common: “They are continually required to make decisions affecting others as well as themselves.”
c) A good leader communicates effectively.
(1) Skill in communicating ideas, concepts, and directives to the people you are leading is essential for leadership. The Lord Jesus demonstrated His ability to communicate by the literature He inspired, the church He created, and by the death He suffered. His enemies also understood well the message of His Lordship.
(2) If we cannot communicate, we cannot lead. Even evil men have risen to lead great movements because of their superb abilities to articulate their beliefs and communicate them passionately to their followers—Hitler is a prime examples.
(3) An effective pastor is more than a theologian. He must also be an effective preacher, a communicator of the divine message. There is never a leader with a sizable following who does not communicate effectively. Each one of the megachurches today has a great communicator as its leader. In fact, in our age of communication, articulation and communication are necessary for survival in any organization.
(4) Just the fact that one speaks or writes does not mean he communicates. Communication is “the process we go through to convey understanding from one person or group to another.” The key to being a good communicator is, first of all, to understand people. Next one needs to know his subject thoroughly. Then he must perceive or create the right climate, and finally, he must listen for feedback to see if he is getting through.
d) A good leader gets along with people.
(1) Someone has said “The ministry would be a wonderful occupation if it weren’t for people.” That puts the finger on the problem with some want-to-be-leaders: They cannot get along with people.
(2) Effective leaders have learned the fine art of getting along with the people they lead and expect to lead. People are led, not driven. If a leader cannot win them over to himself, they simply walk away. Scripture states that “a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city” (Prov.18:19).
(3) A man may be a scholar and an expert in the Scriptures. He may be articulate in his delivery and knowledgeable in the basic skills of management, yet if he does not truly love people and cannot be at peace with them, he can never lead them. He may have a title, but that title is as far as he will go.
(4) We need to take to heart Paul’s advice, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Rom. 12:17–18).
e) A good leader is one who is willing to pay a high price.
(1) Leaders pay a hefty price to be in leadership. Spiritual leadership entails discipline, self-sacrifice, great patience, and a host of hardships.
(2) Leadership is a lonely place and calls for critical and difficult decisions, which runs the danger of alienating even one’s closest friends. “A cross stands in the way of spiritual leadership,” confesses Dr. Sanders, “a cross upon which the leader must consent to be impaled.” No one can enjoy the fruit of leadership without paying the price.
(3) Being a leader is not an easy task; it is not for the fainthearted, for the weak, for those who want to avoid hardship. It is an extremely “hot kitchen,” and if you cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Criticism, low or no pay, loneliness, frustration, long hours, rejection, and even burnout are all the hazards of ministry. As in war, there will be casualties. But as in war, the battle must be won, and the troops will be led by leaders who understand the risks and are willing to pay the price.
(4) Developing these traits of effective leadership takes time and experience, along with some serious personal study and research. Spiritual leadership evolves out of the daily ministry and struggles of God’s people. Difficult times call for good leadership that sometimes is nowhere to be found, but we must remember the best of leaders always arise in times of great distress. We are a-waiting the new generation of leaders that God will raise up from this intense spiritual struggle the church is enduring.
B. What To Expect In the Ministry.
1. Expect the Lord to Bless you.
Jesus said "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”" (Luke 11:13, NKJV)
He also said "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Matthew 6:30, NKJV)
Paul writing the church in Ephesus says "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ," (Ephesians 1:3, NKJV)
2. Expect Warfare.
a) Upon entering into the ministry, Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matt.4:1).
(1) Before being in the wilderness, He was anointed by God (Matt.3:16)
(2) The first temptation was not the last (Luke 4:13).
(3) Where the Lord blesses the enemy attacks!
3. Expect the Unexpected.
a) May own examples.
(1) Man coming into office complaining about his leader. I should have directed him back to his leader.
4. Expect to be tired (John 4:1-6).
a) The Ministering Heart is a tired heart (v.6)
(1) Our Lord was weary in the service of souls. He reacted as any other exhausted man at the end of the day.
(a) The disciples were constantly asking Him questions
(b) The disciples needed Him to minister to them and teach them by example
(c) Jesus even slept during a storm being so weary from His day (Matt.8:24)
(2) Jesus even ministered while on the cross.
(a) He granted eternal life to a dying sinner who believed in Him (Luke 23:26-43)
(b) He did not overlook the responsibility to make provision for His mother (John 19:25, 26)
(c) He was not to weary to take upon Himself the sins of the world (Matt.27:45)
(d) The Christian World is run by tired men and women. Why?
(3) The laborers are few (Matt.9:37-38)
(a) There is an unlimited amount of work to be done, but there are so few to do it.
(b) Unless there are reapers to go forth, the harvest will die and rot upon the earth.
b) The Example’s of Timothy & Epaphroditus – Philippians 2:19-30
(1) We must get involved in the service for God (1Tim.4:12)
(a) Why does God demand that we labor? (1Thess.4:11-12)
(b) Labor for Christ’s name sake (Revelation 2:1-7)
(c) Labor in order to support the weak (Acts 20:35 cf. Eph.4:28)
(d) Labor in prayer (Colossians 4:12)
(e) Labor night and day to preach the gospel (1Thess.2:9)
(f) Labor because you love Christ so much that you labor more abundantly than others (1Cor.15:10).
(g) Labor 100% till Christ returns (Luke 19:16-17)
c) Nowhere in the Bible are we told to slow down and take it easy.
(1) David took it easy and committed adultery (2 Sam.11:1)—Must be about our Fathers business.
(a) to press on toward the goal (Philippians 3:13-14)
(b) do not grow weary in doing good (2 Thessalonians 3:13)
(c) run the good race in such a way to win the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
(d) run the race with endurance, looking unto Jesus, not becoming weary and discouraged in your souls – (Hebrews 12:1-3)
(e) finish the race and ministry with joy (Acts 20:24)
(f) be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58)
(g) fight the good fight of faith, laying hold of eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12)
(h) be watchful in all things… do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (2 Timothy 4:5)
C. The Early Days In the Ministry.
1. The priority of your devotions.
a) So busy, your devotional life dissipates (Luke 10:38-42).
(1) Mary Loved To Sit At Jesus’ Feet And Hear His Word (Luke 10:39, 42). All three portraits of Mary in the gospels show her at the Lord’s feet:
(a) As noted earlier, Mary sat at His feet, listening (Luke 10:38–42).
(b) When Jesus came to Bethany after Lazarus’ death, Mary fell at His feet, completely broken over the tragedy (John 11:32).
(c) During a Passover meal just before Jesus’ death, Mary poured fragrant oil on His head and feet, and wiped His feet with her hair (Matt. 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; John 12:1–8).
(2) Mary knew where her service for the Lord started, at the Feet of Jesus.
We read of only one person washing the feet of Jesus & that was Mary "Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”" (Luke 7:36-39, NKJV)
(3) The disciples had it backwards; the argued over who was the greatest in the kingdom and Jesus had to show them by example (John 13).
b) You love the ministry more that the Lord.
(1) Being busy serving the Lord, does not mean your relationship with Him is right.
Remember the church at Ephesus "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write… “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent." (Revelation 2:1-5, NKJV)
c) Spending time with the Lord (Mark 6:30-32).
(1) God Is More Interested In the Minister That the Ministry.
(a) The reason God has you in the ministry is because He loves you. He really doesn’t need your expertise of skill. He could raise up rocks to preach if He wanted.
(b) Your personal fellowship with Jesus is vital. Spend time in prayer and the Word—not to study for sermons, spend time with Him to know Him.
(c) Knowing Him is far more important than serving Him. He wants your heart.
(2) Jesus took His disciples to a secluded place so that they might rest after their labors. He wanted to discuss their ministry with them and prepare them for their next mission. “If you don’t come apart and rest, you will come apart.” Even God’s Servant-Son, Jesus needed time to rest, fellowship with His friends, and find renewal from the Father.
(3) Mark 3:13-15 – Jesus appointed the twelve that they might be with Him. We must spend time with the Lord before we go out to preach, teach & to do anything for the kingdom of God.
(4) Luke 6:12-13 – Jesus continued all night in prayer to God before calling the twelve. Jesus Himself had a prayer life (Luke 3:21; 5:16; Luke 9:18, 28-29; 11:1; 22:32, 40-46; Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35).
(5) The Lord reveals Himself to us as we spend time with Him.
When God was raising up Samuel we read that "All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, because the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord." (1 Samuel 3:20-21, NASB95)
(6) In order to have “ministry by incarnation” not by “imitation” we need to spend time with the Lord. He will reveal Himself to us “by His Word.”
(7) You do not want to be giving someone “old manna”, it needs to be fresh.
2. Blessed Are the Flexible For They Shall Not Be Broken.
a) Interruptions are opportunities (Mark 6:32-44).
(1) In ministry there are not interruptions, just opportunities to minister the love of God to others. If our lives are guided by the Holy Spirit, we need to be open to hearing and obeying His voice as he speaks to us from His Word. Walking in the Spirit implies an openness to have one’s schedule rearranged
(2) Having experienced interruptions many times in my own life and ministry, I marvel at the patience and grace of Jesus! What an example for us to follow! Jesus seen the need, was moved with compassion, & met the need. The Very Opposite Was True Of the Disciples.
b) The response of the disciples.
The Disciples Had Two Suggestions For Solving The Problem: either send the people away to find their own food, or raise enough money to buy a bit of bread for everybody. As far as the disciples were concerned, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and nothing could be done!
(1) Tell Jesus What To Do (Mark 6:35-36)
(2) Get Rid Of The Very People God Wanted Them To Help (Matt.15:21-28; Mk.10:13-16; Lk.18:15).
(3) Tell Those Who Needed Help To Be Quiet (Mark 10:46-52)
(4) Do Nothing About It—that is what the Priest and the Levite did when they saw that battered Jew dying by the side of the Jericho road (Luke 10:25-37; Prov.3:27-29; 1Jn 3:17-18).
(5) They Were Blind To The Needs Of Others (Philippians 2:3-4).
(6) Note this: After Jesus met their need that is when He sent them away (Mark 6:46).
3. Know who you are and what God has given you to do.
a) It free’s you to serve (John 13:1-5).
(1) Jesus Knew That the Father Had Given All Things Into His Hands: all power and authority and glory and honor—all beings both in heaven and earth—all administration (ministry) and rule—all judgment and responsibility for saving the universe.
(2) If You Know Who You Are, You Don’t Have To Prove Anything.
(a) When you’re at peace with your past (I know where I’ve come from), and secure in your future (I’m going to heaven), (it really frees you) you can love in the present.
b) The style of Jesus vs. the style of Satan.
(1) The Style of Jesus:
Paul writes "Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross." (Philippians 2:6-8, NLT)
(2) The Style of Satan
God says "How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north." (Isaiah 14:12-13, NLT)
(3) God Has The Final Word:
Look what God says about Jesus "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name," (Philippians 2:9, NKJV)
About Satan” Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. “(Isaiah 14:15)
4. Power of the Spirit of God.
a) Beginning in the Spirit (Galatians 3:1-3).
(1) Don’t be self-sufficient, trusting in yourselves or others.
Remember what Jesus said in Matthews gospel> "Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples." (Matthew 26:31-35, NKJV)