We may need to rediscover what Christ calls us to when we lead and manage His Church.
"… That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:29-30
What are some of the overarching themes that pertain to leadership from the Gospels and the major concepts that God has given us? What are we to know, learn, and do?
This endeavor, by no means, is exhaustive or comprehensive; rather, after spending many years teaching through the Books of the Bible and conducting church leadership research, we distilled some key calls that we have forgotten. It seems that many are unknown by the way most churches are managed.
This is what our research has gleaned off the church that is happing now:
- We have a lack of Biblical imperative. We may say we are committed to God's Word; however, our spiritual formation, loose doctrine, and behaviors show us a to be in breach (2 Tim. 3:16).
- We have an empty faith and seem so concerned with what feels good and not what we need by God's Word (1 Pet. 2:2)!
- We have a too low view of God's Sovereignty, we belittle to Him as a mere friend and forget His Holiness and our need for repentance (Rom. 11:22-36).
- We have too much pride and selfish motives and not enough of Christ impacting our hearts and minds (John 3:30)!
- We do not have our people discipled, so they are ignorant of Biblical precepts (Hosea 4:6)!
- We do not trust in the power and purpose of Christ and His Truth; instead, we cater to personalities, political correctness, and trends (1 Tim. 4:6)!
- We spend too much time with entertainment and not enough time of expository preaching (Rom. 10:16)!
- We have a lack of the power of the Holy Spirit or too much of it is faked (John 6:63)!
- We do not teach, exemplify, and motivate a radical transformation (Rom. 12)!
- We are too worried to offend; we end up trying to block the conviction of the Word and Holy Spirit (John 16:8)!
- We do not have good unity or a Kingdom mentality, so we have apathy, gossip, discouragement, discord and strife (Rom. 16:17-18)!
- We have a lack of Fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, …. (Gal. 5:19-23)!
- We do not have much in the way of real consistent outreach and missions or work for social justice (Matt. 5:113-16)!
- We have a lack of a realization that our time, talents and treasures are His, and view our monies only for our preferences (2 Cor. 9:7).
- We are way too busy doing what is not important and missing what is. Our leaders are running into burnout by not delegating what can be done by other leaders like small group leaders, Elders and Deacons (Eph. 4).
- Prayer? What happened to prayer (Matt. 21:13)?
Too many of our churches are failing, because we think it is about us as leaders! We do not have a real transformational faith. We think leadership is from our vision of our personality and ability that lays our legacy, our programs and so forth. Rather, than it is about us pointing the people to Christ as Lord!
We may need to rediscover what Christ calls us to when we lead and manage His Church. We may need to reconsider what we do and how we do it. Is it biblical? Is it what Christ calls success or what the world calls success? Maybe we just need to get beyond ourselves, past our perceived needs and desires and repent. We need to seek Christ first and foremost. Then, we may be able to really lead His people properly where we all need to go. Closer to Him. Closer to one another. Nonetheless, authentic, heartfelt surrendering to Christ as Lord, real discipleship and action of faith needs to take the place of what are we doing (Matt. 6:33; 13; Rev. 10:8-11)!
Do you know who Jesus is? Do your people? Really?
He is the face of God, the One who eternally lives and reveals to us the Father. He is the One who gives you life and the Light of the Word for your salvation! We know God by knowing Christ. We know Him by knowing His written Word that carries to us His living Word. Are you living your life because of Who He is and what He has done for you? Are you forever devoted to Christ as LORD? Does your character reflect Who Christ is and what He is doing in you? Do you believe in the eternal Christ? Are you living up to what you believe with trust and hope? If not, why not (1 Pet. 4:19)?
Christianity is not earned or presumed; it is not learned or reasoned. It is not built or formed or inherited or purchased.
It is something that no price can ever lay hold of--except the price paid on our behalf by Christ! Yet, once we have it, we can learn, reason, inherit His character and eternal life, and continually build upon it. For us to have real effectual transformational faith and a poured-out church, we have to receive Jesus Christ as our own. We cannot receive Jesus through tradition or custom; we cannot receive Him through our parents or our church or our religion. We must reach Him on our own by faith in Him that is real, relevant, and personal. Our faith and knowledge in Christ must be received initially, a move that the Holy Spirit enables us to do before we respond in our gratitude and formation of faith. To be fully renewed and transformed! Only then will we see the work of our Lord more in us and in our church.
Have you surrendered your leadership to the authority and command of Jesus (Gal. 2:20-21) as He called you to be His disciple by how He lived and what He taught?
If so, then you have the precious promise of His abiding presence in your life! As a pastor or leader in Christ's Church, we serve in these themes, by His pleasure and our obedience and awe of His Wonder. If not, we get it very wrong. If we can't do that, what is in the way?
To be a 'real' Christian, to be a leader in His House, the principles of the Gospel must impact us so we are influenced and energized by it. The nature of the Christian life is the joy and excitement of being in Christ over all else, and this should be the biggest motivation so the excitement the Christian receives from our growth becomes contagious to those around us. This is influence. This is leadership. Being in Christ means living our lives for Him with excitement, not merely emotional, rather impacted and transformed, in all times and all places. This is leadership influence--to know Christ as LORD and make Him known before we do anything (John 3:30; Rom. 12:1-3; Phil. 3:1-14).
Here are some of the main leadership calls that Christ gives us as leaders in His Church. Use these tutorials to read God's Word and get centered to be better for your spiritual health and your churches' health for God's glory.
© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/