Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Be Relentless

You know there is a barrel of words that can be used to describe what a "leader looks like," well, this word may have been on the bottom of the barrel, but it really jumped out for me, the word is RELENTLESS.

In Paula Broadwell's  new book All In: The Education Of David Petraeus, Broadwell describes the Four-star general-turned-CIA director as RELENTLESS.

Just the title of the book "All In," describes the General as one who was "sold out," some may be familiar with the term "All In" as a phrase used in poker meaning--- to wager one's entire stake.

There are times as leaders when we have to put the "pedal to the metal" and just "take off", be on the "attack," and just be "All In."

How about if we take this principle of being RELENTLESS and apply it to our pursuit of God; have you ever heard people testify that they “tried” Jesus but it didn’t work; something else eventually fills the gap for them?

Well the Apostle Paul never gave up in his own personal pursuit of Christ---The object of the apostle's life—that for which he sacrificed everything: country, kindred, honor, comfort, liberty, and life itself, was, that he might know Christ (Philippians 3:10).

As a Christian leader (a husband, father, mother, wife, son, daughter, manager, director,) be RELENTLESS in your pursuit of God, be "All In," wager the entire stake; which in this case is your "life."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Leadership And Narcissism

Leadership And Narcissism!

Leadership Journal (fall 2010, JR Kerr.) featured an excellent article on "Pastoral Narcissism," here are a few highlights from that article.

The main thrust of the article is that community provides the cure for personal ambition. When the "whole" is the concentration and not the "parts" then there is no room for personal ambition and self promotion.

When leaders view the church as a platform to build their own personal brand of ministry they then have lost the Biblical vision of their calling to serve the community through the use of their gifts.

Another form of narcissism that leaders in the Church face is the fear of making hard decisions so that no one ever gets offended.  Let me frame this in the context of the pastor not confronting open sin as the shepherd of the people of God. Leaders in the Church must place the purity of the "whole" above their own need for personal approval.

I want to emphasize that the New Testament letters of the Apostle Paul overwhelmingly put community above individuality. This is a tough concept to understand in our 21st century culture that places the emphasis on the "individuality of the person," rather than good of others.

While Christ died for us as individuals---it seems that the New Testament letters of Paul frame Christ's death as for the "body" (Eph.5:25; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:1-2;). 

So, the best cure for narcissism would be a renewed emphasis on the "whole" instead of the individual "parts."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We Need More Shepherds In The Church

Most leadership models in our Churches look like this:

Taken from Gordon Fee's " Listening To The Spirit In The Text"

I believe that the Biblical model - without clergy at all, but with identifiable leadership, consists of leaders who are part of the whole people of God

The New Testament presents leadership more in terms of shepherding and tending to the household of faith, than it does to ruling and  dictating.

Christ is the head of the Church: "He is the head of the body, the church"—Col. 1:18.

Leaders in the Church function under Christ:  "not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock" ---- 1 Peter 5:3.

 Leaders are to function as servants: They kept in their heart what Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28). 

Gordon Fee in his book, "Listening To The Spirit In The Text" tells us "that the leadership in the New Testament people of God is never seen as outside or above the people themselves, but simply as part of the whole, essential to its well-being, but governed by the same set of "rules." 

Many have been hurt by leaders in churches that have assumed for themselves an authority that the Bible never gave them.

To those who have been hurt and wounded by the arrows of vain, prideful leaders---let me invite you to come and get a fresh glimpse of our savior. Come to him and be healed by the anointing of His love.

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