Kenneth Gangel writes, “The Christian leader understands that he functions to facilitate the ministry of others. He does what he must do in order that they may do what God has called them to do.”
Eph 4:11-12 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
The main call on leadership is found in Ephesian 4: 11 and 12. The fivefold ministry is to equip believers to do the work of the ministry. We, as leaders, are called not to make converts only, but more importantly to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Not to make members for our church or ministry but to make disciples for Christ and release them for ministry. The church as a whole has emphasized making converts, but too many of these saved persons are being left on their own and, when tribulation comes, they falter because they have not been discipled. That is why the American church is so weak. We stopped making disciples and moved into entertainment and “feel good” teaching. We need to go back and train people and release them for ministry so that the kingdom of God is advanced: not just our church or ministry but the Kingdom of God!
Leith Anderson writes “The Church is caught in tensions. Our society is changing, economic, business and political realities are in constant flux. As a people, we feel this pressure ceaselessly. Yet as individuals, we resist change, feeling more secure with a stable environment. This constant pressure from society to change and the tendency for individuals to resist change create tension.
Matt 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
There is no doubt that we live in a time of great chaos. We sometimes wish we could go back to the time when things seemed more stable in our lives. Because of that we sometimes resist change of any kind in our church. We would like to be like a ship moored in the harbor. It is safe, nothing can affect it. But in reality, ships were not made for harbors, but for the open sea where there are strong winds and large waves that bring danger. As Christians, we must do what Jesus told us. “Go”. Not to sit and wait. But to go and preach the gospel to all. We must go outside our church and comfort zone and share boldly the love of God by our actions and words.
Kennon Callahan writes “The watershed question for many people in many congregations is….Do we believe that our best years are behind us, or do we believe that our best years are before us. Either way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
1 Cor 2:9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
As leaders, we must believe in what God called us to do. We must have a passion for the call on our lives. If we do not believe in what we are doing, no one else will. It is our leadership and enthusiasm that people will follow. Too many times, leaders let past success hold them back as they try to stay in an old anointing. God is on the move and we must move with him. We must act on the revelation God gives us today.
Leith Anderson: “Great leaders excel amid adversity. Do not resent tough times. Do not mark off the days until problems will be over. It is in hardship that we learn endurance. It is in adversity that we have our greatest opportunities to lead.”
I remember when I first read James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. I thought I had misread that! It is in adversity that we grow as we learn to trust God for our solutions. Every successful ministry has had some failures. But we learn from our mistakes and move on with God. Ministry will have highs and lows. At one time God is blessing and things are flowing smoothly, at other times things slow down and problems are everywhere. Where we grow most is during the difficult times as God continue to mold us into the persons He needs for the next upward move in our lives. As leaders, we must remain positive as God moves us to new ministries. Many people ask God to make things easy for them. A better prayer would be to ask God to make you a better person.
I am reminded of 2 Thess 1:3-4 as Paul wrote about the Thessalonians: We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
As the Thessalonians we must have a good report as we go through difficult times in our ministry.
Peter Drucker: “There is no correlation between potential and performance. There are lots of people with potential that do nothing with it. What counts is performance. Great leaders do something.
James 1:22-25 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
As leaders, God has called us to be doers, not triers. We are called to be steadfast in our calling. One religious way that I have seen leaders avoid taking action on a problem is this phrase. “Let pray about it” Yes, I say, “Let pray about it” As you know I am in favor of prayer, but most of the time what they are really saying is “let us hope the problem goes away before we meet again”. Yes, pray about it, but act on the problem. Problems do not go away on their own. One must act under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but act we must.
In the next Tips and Tools, I will start a two part teaching on the Spiritual Gifts found in Roman12:4-8. I will be sharing on the positives and negatives of these gifts and how someone with one gift might offend another with a different gift.
Keep your thoughts on Christ and the promises he has for you,
Bishop Bob Coulter
The book I recommend this month is The Richest Man who ever lived by Steven K. Scott