Are we experiencing a crisis in leadership?

As a Christian leader, this writer’s leadership capabilities have always extended themselves to non-Christian environments as well Christian environments.  The writer does not think that it is possible for a Christian leader to work in a non-Christian environment and not bring these skills to the table.  Christians bring the Holy Spirit with them where ever they go.  As a former public school administrator, praise and worship leader, leader of an online Christian ministry this writer ascertained that the qualities of a Christian leader are the same qualities of any servant leader. According to Don Howell, “New Covenant servant-leaders learn, by imitating their servant-Lord, to abandon their own agendas and preferences in order to seek the good of their fellow servants.” [1]  Due to a lack of understanding of this construct presented by Howell, we are currently seeing a more intense interest in the topic of leadership.[2]

Is it possible that we are experiencing this intense interest in leadership due to a lack of,

. . . . theology [ during] leadership development. [Or, could it be due to a lack of emphasis within the framework of sermons, mentorship, and leadership development in the body of Christ? The best place for leaders in non-Christian environment to be provided leadership training is within a theological framework.] Both are endorsed in the Scriptures and both are needed for a thriving flock. From this context, leadership can be developed in the Church based upon this integral Biblical leadership to be extended into other areas of leadership theory and development.[3]

Justin Irving proffers a model for effective servant leadership practice which is research based.  He stated,

The Biblical call to servant-oriented behaviors—a call most dominantly seen in the example and teaching of Jesus—is a call that is not only Biblical, but also is demonstrably effective. As leaders take up the call to walk the servant-oriented pathway of Christ, it is my hope that the model presented and described in this reflection provides practical insights for present and emerging leaders as they seek to implement servant leadership practices in their work with followers, teams, and organizations.[4]

The writer’s question to her brothers and sisters in Christ is this?  Are we experiencing a national crisis in leadership, in almost every venue, because of the manner in which leaders are being trained?  Based on the readings of current events this spring and current empirical research, the writer’s response is, yes.  What is the Christian’s response to this crisis?

” Pray for kings. Pray for everyone who is in authority. Pray that we can live peaceful and quiet lives. And pray that we will be godly and holy.” )1 Timothy 2:2 NIRV). That is simple enough is it not?  We have a responsibility for this crisis in leadership.  Maybe we are not praying enough!

Bibliography

Banks, Robert J., and Bernice M. Ledbetter. Reviewing Leadership: A Christian Evaluation of Current Approaches. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004.

Crowther, Steven S. “Integral Biblical Leadership.” Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 3, no. 2 (Summer 2011): 1-128. Accessed March 16, 2015. http://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/jbpl/vol3no2/JBPL_Vol3No2.pdf.

Howell, Don N. Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003.

Irving, Justin A. “Leadership Reflection: A Model for Effective Servant Leadership Practice: A Biblically Consistent and Research-Based Approach to Leadership.” Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 3, no. 2 (Summer 2011): 118-28. Accessed March 16, 2015. http://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/jbpl/vol3no2/JBPL_Vol3No2_Irving_pp118-128.pdf.


[1] Don N. Howell, Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003), 19.

[2] Robert J. Banks and Bernice M. Ledbetter, Reviewing Leadership: A Christian Evaluation of Current Approaches (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), Location 128, Kindle.

[3] Steven S. Crowther, “Integral Biblical Leadership,” Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 3, no. 2 (Summer 2011): 60-75, accessed March 16, 2015, 

[4] Justin A. Irving, “Leadership Reflection: A Model for Effective Servant Leadership Practice: A Biblically Consistent and Research-Based Approach to Leadership,” Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 3, no. 2 (Summer 2011): 127, accessed March 16, 2015, http://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/jbpl/vol3no2/JBPL_Vol3No2_Irving_pp118-128.pdf.

 

Trust

““But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.””  (Jeremiah 17:7-8 ) [1]

This scripture reminded of something that a person shared with me. She was talking to a person who is to put it mildly, “conflicted” in all of her relationships. She made the following statement, “I trust no one but myself!”

I felt a pain in my heart when I was told that. Why? Because that statement included God!!! How can anyone survive without trusting him absolutely? True peace comes from knowing – really knowing him. Not reading about him. Not hearing about him. Not even experiencing some euphoric experience during a church service, but having an intimate relationship with the God who is above all gods.

I am not eliciting any atheistic responses at this time thank you very much. Why? The reality is that everyone worships something. It is either an ideology, one’s self, or nature. But we all worship something. What is more we all have what God calls “Freewill” to worship whatever we want to worship – or claim that we worship nothing. We all reap what we sow in this world. It is not possible for human beings to be “good”. Again, no great debate today.

Trust is not earned!! God trusted us when he sent his one and only son to die in our place!  “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ).  We did not earn that trust either. “ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord (Ro 6:23 )  Neither could we ever earn it. Why? “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Ro. 3:23 ).

God has told us throughout the Bible that we must,

  1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart    and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him,
        and he will make your paths straight (Pro.3:5-6 NIV).
  2. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Ps 9:10).
  3. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. (Ps 13:5).
  4. But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isa 43:1).
  5. Read the rest of the trust scriptures here.

It is close to impossible for us to have a permanent horizontal relationship of love and trust with our fellow man when we do not have an intimate vertical relationship of trust and love with of Heavenly Father.  If you do not know the Lord and want to be in his presence.  If you want to experience internal and eternal peace.  Just ask him to come into your heart.  Confess your sins and he will forgive them.  Then the relationship of trust that lasts forever will begin. You have a Father who knows your heart.  Just call out to him.   Say this prayer (The Sinner’s Prayer) and enter into the best relationship that you have ever had.  It will also completely change your relationship with others too.

 

I have a maker
Before my heart,
before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought,
He sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call

I have a father,
he calls me his own
He’ll never leave me,
no matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call
He hears me when I call

 

Notes

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 2009).

 

Sin of Silence Video

According to William Fay and  The Sin of Silence is a sin of omission that most Christians are not aware of,

The Sin of Silence Debate has flourished about which of the wounds inflicted on Jesus actually caused his death. Among the many wounds he received were lacerations, punctures, abrasions, and contusions. In a sense we can say that none of these killed Jesus. The wound that killed him was silence. No one spoke up for him. When Jesus was arrested by the Roman soldiers, his loyal disciple, Peter, did not run away but followed at a safe, silent distance as Jesus was marched to the high priest’s house. The soldiers took Jesus inside, and Peter joined a group of people warming themselves by a fire. Several people in the crowd recognized Peter as one of Jesus’ followers. They questioned him. “Weren’t you with Jesus?” But Peter denied it. “Sorry, I don’t know him.” Before morning, before the first crow of the rooster, Peter had denied Christ three times. As we read this account, we shake our heads saying, “I’m glad I never did that.” And though most of us have never said, “I don’t know him,” we’ve still found a way to deny him. We deny Jesus by never opening our mouths. We deny him with our silence. We should be excited about sharing our faith. We are living in a time when biblical prophesies are being fulfilled right and left. Yet most of us remain silent. In the meantime, one hundred thousand churches will close their doors this decade. Why? Because those church members chose the sin of silence. Watch out for the signs of a dying Christian life. Ask yourself, Am I sharing my faith? Do I have only Christian friends? Do I hang around the dead, the diseased, and the lost? If you and the members of your church have forsaken your duty to reach back into the world, I can promise you your church will start to divide, to backbite, and to fight over nonessential Christian issues like hymnal selection and carpet colors. You will become keepers of a Christian aquarium instead of fishers of men. Your church will be on the way to spiritual death. In fact, I can prophesy to any church or to any believer without fear of being in error that if you choose not to evangelize, individually or collectively, your church will fossilize. Perhaps we have forgotten what happens to those who have not been born again. Before I made my commitment to follow Christ, I lived what I now call the “lie of the middle.” Somehow I believed I wasn’t that bad, that I was in the “middle” and therefore deserved to go to heaven. That was a lie. The Bible states that either God is your father or Satan is your father. Either you are in a relationship with Christ, or you’re not; either you are born again, or you’re not. You are either God’s child, or you are God’s enemy; you are either storing up wrath, or you are storing up mercy; you are either heaven-bound, or you are hell-bound. No one is in the middle. No one is “almost there.” Those who have chosen to reject Christ are condemned. It is wrong to believe a loving God will not send unbelievers to hell. Think of the cross, where Christ laid himself down and bore our sins. This act demonstrates the unbelievable love of God. But what about the justice of God? When Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, became the bearer of the sins of the world on the cross, he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). He said, “I am counted among those who go down to the pit…. I am set apart with the dead, … whom you remember no more” (Ps. 88:4–5). Scripture makes it clear that God turned his back on Jesus Christ. He heaped all of his waves of wrath on his own spotless Son. Why? Because a holy God cannot look at sin, whether it is committed by you or placed on his only Son. We must quit believing the lie that you or anyone you know who is not born again is not damned. We must refuse to believe God will allow our unbelieving friends to bypass hell and join us in heaven. There are only two kinds of people reading this book: Those who talk about the lost. Those who talk to the lost. My concern is not who you are now. My concern is who you will become after reading this simple approach to evangelism. Perhaps you have been a member of the first group. My hope is that by the time you have finished this book, you will have joined the second group. But, still, some of those in the second group are only willing to throw hints, instead of life preservers, to those drowning in the sea. Many Christians tell people they love the Lord. They offer hugs and tell people they’ll pray for them, yet they only share hints of gospel truth. Sometimes they put those silver fish and “Honk If You Love Jesus” bumper stickers on the back of their cars. And if they are made of braver stuff, they go to football games and hold up posters with the words “John 3:16” painted in large red letters. [1]

I do not want to continue to commit the sin of silence do you?  I am such an introvert that I don’t want to talk to people whom I do not know.  I would rather walk the blank than do that.  However, after reading this book, The Lord convicted me of my sin of omission.  The Great Commission is a lifestyle that we are all called to: Read this devotional: https://urnottheonlyone.com/2015/03/08/jesus-is-calling-are-you-listening/

GREAT COMMAND AND COMMISSION

Will you join The Lord my friends and make disciples of all nations, starting with the people whom you know, the people who are in your concentric circles (You can purchase the book here).

Concentric Circles of Concern

Concentric Circles

1: Self Circle

2:Family Circle

3: Relatives Circle

4: Friends Circle

5: Neighbors and Associates Circle

6: Acquaintances Circle

7: Person X

“Now,” I said, “I believe that God holds you responsible for everyone he brings into your sphere of influence. Many of us come to study evangelism to go from Circle 1 out to Circle 7 to salve our consciences because there are ruptured relationships in Circles 2 through 6 that we prefer to skip over. “When we have ruptured relationships horizontally with people, we also have a ruptured relationship vertically with God. It is not that we do not know the Lord. It is just that he is not really Lord of our lives. We are not willing to let him be Lord of everything and accept, love, and forgive people on his conditions. “With Person X, our lifestyles do not have to be consistent. We can talk to Person X and then be on our way. There is nothing wrong with telling Person X about Jesus. We are supposed to do that. God will bring many strangers into our lives. However, if we cannot tell people in Circles 2 through 6 about the Lord, we are hypocritical. We are play acting. We are unreal people. If our relationship with the Lord is genuine, we will want to share the good news of Christ with those closest to us.” [2]

NOTE

[1] William Fay and Linda E. Shepherd, Share Jesus without Fear(Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 6-8.

[2] W. Oscar Thompson, Carilyn Thompson. Ritzmann, and Claude V. King, Concentric Circles of Concern: Seven Stages for Making Disciples (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1999), location 325-343, Kindle.

 

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