Friday, October 29, 2010

Surrendered Servant = Leadership?!?!

Last night at our elder meeting, Pastor Doug took some time to lead our elders in prayer and study. He spent some time talking about the concept of servant leadership. He made many great points, but there were two concepts that came together that ministered to my heart last evening.

The first one dealt with "surrender" being the key to servant leadership. At first I kind of brushed this comment off as "ya... no brainer". But, as he began to unpack this concept he started talking about how worry and stress can at times consume us as leaders which is an example of our own arrogance because we reach these levels of worry and stress when we leave God out of it all. This is anything but a surrendered life. The need to literally surrender every area of my life on a constant basis will lead to true Christ like servant leadership. I imagine I will spend a lifetime of growing in these lessons.

The second concept dealt with us only being able to "give leadership as we allow God to lead us." Again, my initial reaction was "ya... no brainer" and yet the above example proves how prone I (and all of us as humans) am to give God portions of our life to reign and lead while clinging on to others. For example, is God really leading my life as a whole if I am clinging on to pockets of worry and stress? The resounding answer is of course NO because of a lack of surrender.

At the end of the day, I will only be able to lead people for Christ and in Christ if I am willing as a leader to moment by moment surrender all that I am at the feet of Jesus and allow Him to lead me. This is also why accountability in the life of a leader is important. Nothing in our flesh wants to surrender to the One who willingly surrendered His life on our behalf. Words like surrender and servant aren't used often with the word leadership in our culture and yet that is the life we are called to live as Christ followers who give leadership in the church, our homes, our marriages etc...

I guess becoming a surrendered servant first may just be the quality someone aspiring for leadership in God's kingdom should possess. Other leadership skills can be taught, but this issue of the heart must first be caught.

Friday, October 22, 2010

How Great Are You Lord and Other Friday Musings...

It is Friday noon and it has been a very busy week and it's time to decompress a bit and post some Friday musings...

First, I found a great CD I hadn't listened to for quite some time. It's Robin Mark's "Revival in Belfast" CD and it's now in my itunes library. Here is a song I've listened to over and over all week long:

How great are You Lord
How great is Your mercy
How great are the things
That You have done for me
How great are You Lord
Your loving kindness
Is filling my heart as I sing
How great are You Lord
How great is Your love
It reaches to the heavens
How great is the heart
That sought and rescued me

Secondly, enjoyed a great Team Huddle on Monday as we talked about and shared on the concept of "remaining under" our trials.

Thirdly, been a good week of multiple meetings with the elders and others to keep discussing the future of Grace Church. It is Christ's church, so I believe with all my heart that the future cannot help but be bright.

Fourth, excited to be doing a wedding this weekend. Always a fun time to connect with a bride, groom and families on one of the most exciting days of their lives.

Fifth, I enjoyed meeting for the first time, Christian and Bonnie Beuggert. Their family partners with Grace Church to take the good news of Jesus to Bangkok, Thailand. Looking forward to hearing a bit from them on Sunday morning.

Finally, glad to know Christ as my Savior and all the blessings that come from being found in HIM. Have enjoyed some good times of discussion in the pastoral letters with my fellow pastors as we grow in our Lord together through times of accountability and prayer.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hupomeno - Remain Under

I have recently started a new book entitled "When Life is Hard" by one of my favorite authors, James MacDonald. This past week I got hung up in Chapter two where he referenced James 1:2-4.

In that particular passage, there is a great word that is used two times. It is the Greek word "hupomeno" which literally means "to remain under".

There is little doubt that each of us will face difficulties in life which tests our faith. Our human tendency is to look for coping mechanisms when faced with trials for the weightiness and burden that comes with them can sometimes be overwhelming. The author did a survey of some people in their church and they found that there were four primary human responses to trials. They were; I want to complain! I want to lash out! I want to bail! I want to fold under the pressure!

As I reflected upon these four statements, I realize that I have responded to trials throughout my life with each of those at different times. In fact, there is one that jumps off the page as my natural reaction to trials which is "I want to bail".

While we can all sympathize with one another and our natural human responses, God's desire for us is to "hupomeno" (remain under) the trial so as to grow in our staying power which in turn all us the time needed to grow in real Christ like transformation.

So... whatever your current trial, let me encourage you from God's Word to "remain under" your trial for this testing of your faith we bring about godly transformation if you and I will let it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Good, Great and Chief Shepherd

"The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." (Psalm 23)

I give thanks again today for the truth that Christ Jesus is my...

GOOD SHEPHERD (John 10:1-18)

GREAT SHEPHERD (Hebrews 13:20-21)

CHIEF SHEPHERD (1 Peter 5:1-4)

I do not need to walk around in the "wilderness of want" because of who I am in Christ Jesus and this is true for His church as well.