Monday, October 23, 2017

Up Front Leadership

Series = Rethinking Leadership
Focus = Spiritual (Biblical/Christian) Leadership
Touchstone verse = Matt. 5:13-16
We are called to be salt and light, to make an Eternal difference
We are called to lead people to Christ and the Kingdom

5 Styles of Leadership
1)  Upfront  (common definition, and most recognized)
2)  Stealth  (inconspicuous, not apparent, leading from behind)
3)  Servant  (influence through service)
4)  Shepherd (influence through nurture)
5)  Team ( "better together")

(1)  You will have a primary leadership style (preference), BUT
(2)  You'll lead with a combination of styles - example:  family.  Sometimes style is determined by the situation.
And, IF you are serious about M.A.D, (making a difference), then
(3) you'll employ all 5 styles (models)

The Perfect measure of Leadership = Jesus - So, we'll examine His leadership.
But will look at other Biblical and extra-Biblical characters as well.

 I.    Upfront Leadership - upfront, visible, calls the shots, leads people

1) is a spiritual gift - Rom. 12:8
2) able to rally followers:  gather, inspire, motivate
Biblical examples:  Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Peter, Paul

 Divide this Leadership style into 2 groups - The Haves and the Have nots

I.  Haves = people with this gift/ability...  Ought to

1) Recognize and Admit the gift.  (is a valuable GIFT with great Potential.  Example:  John the Baptist
2)  Step up and employ the gift - 1 Cor. 12:7  BUT!!! according to scriptural methods (not world's view)
3)   Develop the gift.  How to know if you have it?  Trial/error/look behind!  If no one is following, probably don't have it!

II.  Have Nots ... (without the gift)  ought to:

1)  Recognize and Admit that it's not a natural gift.   (not easy for some ppl!)  Following Christ means being brutally honest with yourself sometimes.
2)  Step up and practice upfront leadership when necessary!   ie:  perhaps during a wreck, parenting, vocation, position (teacher/Sunday School teacher), & God's calling - example:  Gideon - Judges 6:14-16
3)  Step back, step down when it's not necessary
BUT, because sometimes it is necessary,
4) develop your ability - example:  Queen Esther - Esther 4:14

Notes & Observations:

A.)  A Biblical leader must also be an able follower.  If not a follower of Christ, then have no business as a leader for Christ!

B)  Biblical leadership must be greatly tempered with humility.  Example:  John the Baptist - "who are you?"  Knew exactly who he was and who he was not.
If not willing to serve, then not fit to lead in God's Kingdom!

C)  Biblical leadership is not about me as a leader ... but about Christ and the Kingdom.  John The Baptist -John 1:35-37, John 3: 25-26, 30
If cannot graciously step down, then have no business stepping up!!!

Want to M.A.D. - make a difference?  for Christ? 

Are U willing to Step up? 
                       Step down?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Qualifications for Deacon

Question:  here at OBC, what is the difference in deacon and trustee?
Answer:  1)  in function/ practice - not much
              2)  in recognition - A LOT!!

Deacon = 1) a Biblical office
therefore  2) found in Christian churches throughout history, the globe

Deacon is 3) recognized as a Representative of  (a) the local church and b the Christian faith - 1. Tim. 3:7

Since we're in a series on leadership, we'll look at the Biblical references and qualifications for deacon - Acts 6 and 1 Tim. 3

Acts 6:1-7 - deacon = servant
1 Tim. 3:8-12 - Deacon became an office in the church.  
About a 30-year span between these two.

Note:  1)  the Greek word for deacon - servant
          2)  the transition - to an office  
                                      to a position in the church
          3)  the office/position/job = Servant Leader
or a servant (of the church) who leads

Question:  regarding these passages:  Is this a 1) check list?  or 2) a general description?

IF is a check list - then it would disqualify Elijah, Samuel, David, Hosea, Daniel, Paul, Christ

IF is a general description (of character), then = "this = the type of person ... for this office"

So ... we're going to make a list from these passages.
But, as we do, NOTE THIS

Christians differ in gifts, calling, service, ministry, BUT the Moral Standard / general character is the SAME for all God's Children!!!

God doesn't have a different moral standard for recognized leaders as for everyone else.

Point:  as we review the list, should be asking 2 questions:
  #1.  How does the deacon candidate measure up?
  #2.  How do I measure up?

Acts 1:6-7 - choose 7 men:
a)  from among you - because you know these people
b)  Known to be - reputation)
c)  full of the (Holy) Spirit
d)  full of wisdom - and acts accordingly

The process:  selected by the people, approved by the Apostles

The job = to Serve as Overseers - 1 Pet. 5:2   (servant leaders)

1 Tim. 3:8-12 - (note:  vs. 8 - "likewise") men.....
a) worthy of respect
b) sincere
c)  not indulging in much wine (controlled by, influenced by) - Eph. 5:18
d) not pursuing dishonest gain
e) doctrinally solid
f) tested
Married??? if so, with wives who are ...
a) worthy of respect
b)  not gossips
c)  temperate
d)  trustworthy
e)  husband of 1 wife
f) managing his household well

2 Closing Questions:   

#1.  How does the deacon candidate measure up?

#2.  How doe You measure up?  - this isn't just for leadership positions

NOT as a deacon - NOT as a recognized and appointed officer of the church.  You may never be put in that position..

BUT as
   (1)  a servant --- of god and the Church
   (2)  a servant - who attempts to influence others (toward Christ, godliness)

You might say, "influence others???  I can't even get my own act together!!!"

Answer = That's part of the development process

So, where are you in your Spiritual pilgrimage?   Your influencing ministry?  Your leadership development?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

5 Styles of Biblical Leadership

Matt. 5:13-16 - believers = salt of the earth

Christians called to M.A.D (make a difference)/M.A.E.D (make an Eternal Difference)
Therefore:  Leadership  is important (should be considered, explored, examined)

BUT - As Christians, we're called to a Biblical style of leadership - (which often differs from the world's view/definition)

Examples:  1)  the Christian's goal concerning leadership should not be a recognized position.  Matt. 20 - James and John were seeking a visible position.  
Jesus' answer - Matt. 20:25-28 - servants 

In Biblical leadership:  
2)  The Christian's goal should be changed lives and an eternal difference.
Matt. 4:19 - process/ goal/ sequence
        a)  win souls
        b)  build disciples
        c)  develop leaders ... WHO WILL ... win souls, build disciples, develop leaders, etc., etc.
Quote from John Maxwell - Leadership Bible Intro: - "A legacy that does not include people has no eternal value"

3)  The measure of great leadership is not the number of followers but the impact on lives.

World says:  "great leader?"  many followers!"
Bible view - "great leader?  BIG DIFFERENCE!!
Illustration:  Facebook, Twitter ..... "how many friends?  followers?  vs. How much DIFFERENCE?

Not only will goals differ,  styles often differ also.

So.... 5 Styles of Biblical Leadership 

#1.  Upfront Leadership  (most familiar/most recognized)
Example:  Moses - upfront, visible ... authoritative, calls the shots, leads people
On one hand this = legitimate and powerful Leadership Style
On the other hand, this is NOT most people!!!  most are not called to OR gifted for this style.

 #2.  Stealth Leadership - leading from behind.  Being a major influence without an obvious position.
Example:  Abigail (1 Sam. 25) 
steered David, became wife, influenced kingdom 

#3.  Servant Leadership - M.A.D. through Service (meeting needs)
Example:  Joseph - Potiphar --> Prison --> Pharoah?  MAD for Israel?
Note:  Jesus' teaching - Matt. 23:11-12
          Jesus' example (footwashing) - John 13:14-15, Phil. 2:5-7 

#4.  Pastoral Leadership - influence though nurture and caring
How often "sheep/shepherd" refer to people/leader in Scripture
Jer. 3:14-15   Matt. 2:6   1 Pet. 5:1-4
Example:  Mother Teresa at the Prayer Breakfast - overshadowing the President!!!

#5.  Team Leadership 
 Example:  Jesus - chose 12 disciples, but never designated 1 to take over leadership when He left them and went to heaven.  Why?  They were a leader team.  "we're better together"
"Body of Christ" - 1 Cor. 12:12, 27 - everyone is part of the body of Christ if are a Christian.

Called to - serve together, pastor together, influence together , lead together, M.A.D. together.

Example:  if you are called to OBC, we need you! and you need us!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Re-thinking Leadership

Matt. 5:13-16 - Biblical, Christian leadership. 
Principles will bleed over into secular, but that's not always the reverse.   These apply not only in church setting, but throughout the week in any setting.

Question:  Wanna be a leader?
Answer:  (of many) - NO .... but do want to M.A.D.  (make a difference)
If you are a Christian, answer should be - wanna M.A.E.D.  (make an eternal difference)

Response to that:  IF you want to make an eternal difference, THEN you must influence PEOPLE!  - people are the only thing that are eternal.
This = guide, direct, point the way, lead the way....    which = leadership.

When we say "leader", often think - out front, visible, vocal, bold, take charge, call the shots.
However, that is NOT the only style of leadership.

Look at leadership by:

#1.  Numbers -  example:  small child lost in forest.  You find.  = small group, but BIG Difference.  Life changing.  Leadership not determined by the numbers led but by the impact

#2.  Profile - (visibility, recognition)
There is:  (a) up front leadership
also        (b) leading from behind - "stealth" - example:  on large ship - steering wheel or rudder

#3.  Ability
On one hand, is a "gift" - Rom. 12:8 - which = few!!!
However, Potential = unrealized, undeveloped, unrecognized ABILITY!!  - can be much greater than the gift.
It is not necessary to have the ability, IF have the potential.  As a Christian, have the Holy Spirit to enable and use that potential!

#4.  Opportunity - in... church?  home?  job?  community?  .....
(for the Christian) with opportunity comes responsibility - which makes leadership a stewardship issue!!!

The Primary element in Christian leadership (if you could choose only 1 component, ingredient, feature...)
That 1 would be .......... Service or SERVANTHOOD - sets us apart from secular leadership
Matt. 20:20-28 - upside down kingdom.  Can't be a leader in the Kingdom of God without being a servant.

Later - an additional look at that ... John 21:15-17 - feed my sheep

Who do we Serve? - and/or why do we lead?  (many good answers.  Here are a few:_
1)  love for Christ - take a leadership roll
2)  Obedience to the call
3)  response to the need

How do we Serve? and/or How do we lead?   (many good answers.  Here = As a shepherd .  Example:  Jesus "sheep without a shepherd"
1 Pet. 5:1-4 - the most fundamental aspect of leadership = servanthood 

This is called Leadership:  from a Biblical View

IF you've accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, THEN you have the:
 a) Potential for leadership
b) Opportunity for leadership
c) Responsibility for leadership

Leadership is a stewardship issue - we will answer for what we do or don't do with what we have been given!