WISE INTENTIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Volume 13, Number 2– FEBRUARY, 2019
Greetings. Here where I live we are experiencing all aspects of winter – bitterly cold weather (50 – 60 degrees below Celsius), major snow storms, ice storms and then temperatures above zero Celsius resulting in freezing rain. The only constant about this crazy winter weather is that we are in winter. Though our weather can be constantly inconsistent, our faith and journey with Jesus can be a steady development, even on the rough days we face. Keep looking to Him, keep your mind on the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to speak into your life. Mike
IDOL OF POWER PART 3
Why do we desire to be in ministry, to be called pastor or spiritual leader? It is very likely we became involved in ministry because we felt a genuine call or leading from God to serve Him. With people surrounding us, looking to us for direction and some words from God, we can become wrapped up with ourselves. Wow, I must be something special from God because people are coming to me for help and guidance from God. What may have begun as an innocent, pure motive to serve God, has become more of an ego trip and power hunger journey.
Why do we want people to say “Amen” when we are preaching? Why do we change our voice when speaking? Is it of pure motives or we will attract more people to hearing us? God gives us vision and that is a part of leadership. Is the vision God has placed on our hearts more of Kingdom building or building of me? If you think that this will enhance my legacy, who are you serving, God or yourself? I am not picking on anyone. I personally must ask myself these questions.
Charles Colson said, “The lure of power can separate the most resolute of Christians from the true nature of Christian leadership, which is service to others. It’s difficult to stand on a pedestal and wash the feet of those below.” Charles was part of the inner circle of powerful men in President Nixon (USA) administration in the early 1970’s and after becoming a believer while in prison, founded Prison Fellowship.
To lead and have power over someone is intoxicating. To tell someone what to do or create little “minions” like me is inviting. Power leadership has destroyed many people to include Christians. Maintain the mindset of be a servant in your leadership.
Why do guys love to focus on the concept of their wives submitting to them? Why are cultures and especially religious cultures focused on male dominance and the wife being treated more as a piece of furniture than a treasure given to a man from God? To conquer as it said in 2 Samuel 11 that in the spring of the year, kings went out to war or battle, gets our testosterone pumping.
Even the way we speak of our marriages, to sexually conquest is power. When we are involved sexually, we can allow those encounters to be looked at as conquest. For a guy to be looked at as weak, can be debilitating to our egos. Absent fathers set up our children, especially sons to fail because they do not see how a father/husband should properly use the power given to the husband to serve his family.
Power is perhaps more spiritualized than any other idol of leadership. We can spin the power trip to “we are God’s anointed one” to being formally called “Man of God” or “Father”. As guys, we love those accolades. We feel more like a man and like God because He is all powerful and mighty.
“Toxic power shows up when we leverage our personality or intelligence in preaching to generate an artificial response in our congregants. It shows up in our vision casting, when guilt and shame are the primary motivators we appeal to in order to get people engaged.
We see toxic power at work when we relate to people in our congregation as resources to use in accomplishing our goals, rather than as people to love. It is on display when we tailor our ministerial vocation to our personal strengths in order to hide areas of weakness from congregants. Toxic power is at work when our evangelism strategy is to reach the powerful, influential, and wealthy in the community, rather than the weak, marginalized, and poor. We see it when our tools for ministry are not primarily Scripture, prayer, and faithful presence, but are instead worldly business practices and techniques.
Abuse of power comes from acting independently of the one who entrusted the power to us. Whether we abuse power by wielding it like a sledgehammer or abdicating it, we abuse not only a person, but also our Lord’s trust, for He gave us the power in the first place.” (Dan Schaeffer) An interesting quote from Dan to chew on.
YOUTH MINISTRY – WHAT LEGACY WILL I LEAVE?
As a young person, you have goals of what you want to do with your life, to include family and what kind of job you would like. Plus, you want to be remembered. Our nature wants to be remembered by who we are and our accomplishments.
Let’s take a quick survey. How many remember your parents? The truth is 100% that if your parents did not have children, you would not either. (Ha!). Now, how many of you remember your grandparents? Probably a good number of you. How many of you remember your great-grandparents? Fewer would be the responses. Rarely have I found anyone who remembers their great-great-grandparents.
Presently I have five grandchildren, two of which are under three years old. If I died today, the likelihood of the younger two is great that they would not remember me. As societies increase in longevity, the probability of knowing one’s great-grandparents increase. Reality-wise though, within about two generations or so, you and I will have pretty much been forgotten. This could be depressing for those of you who want to be remembered for many years. The truth is few of the one hundred billion plus people who have lived on this earth will ever be remembered for a long time.
Should we go hide under a rock and just exist. No, of course not. It is no accident that you and I have been placed on this earth at this time and place. You are a part of a nation or people group and, “And he (God) made from one man (Adam) every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us (Acts 17:26-27).
God knew from before the beginning of time when and where you would exist. He has gifted us with talents, abilities and spiritual gifts that we are to use for His glory. If you are a Christian, you sought God as He sought you and He found you. Now with what God has given us, we can be used by God to draw people to Him. What you say, how you live your life, how you treat others and how you pray, draw people either toward God or push Him away.
A current song by Casting Crowns (Only Jesus), challenges the listener to consider what legacy we leave with others. In the song we are told by the world to “make a name that the world remembers, to build a name for yourself”, to gather as many trophies and our own kingdoms as we can but all that “will crumble into dust when it is all said and done”.
They ask the question, “Was my life the proof that there is only One whose name will last forever?” Our prayer should be that we don’t want to leave a legacy in sense that people will not remember us, but only Jesus. We are challenged to live every second for Him and to live the Truth to the ones we love.
We need to give our very best, pursuing excellence in everything we do in life. Our dreams, goals, jobs, families and lives should point whoever we touch to Jesus. God has placed us in this world for such a time as to represent Him to friends, peers and family who have not sought forgiveness of their sins, their wrong-doings to Jesus who will forgive them as they intentionally work to turn away from what they do wrong.
Does your and my life point people to Jesus? That is the legacy we need to pursue.