Monday, May 22, 2017

Biblical Leadership

How can we minister to a hurting world when so many people are in pain? Do it the way Jesus did. Start small and build deeply! Then call each of them to find some people to equip the same way they were equipped. Before long that small group had become a large movement. 

In the Old Testament we can see how God revealed His plans for taking the Kingdom back for evil. Take a look at Moses and why he decided to delegate. See Exodus 4:

Moses was killing himself until his father in law, a pagan priest, said he was on the road to burning himself out. Like any good consultant, Jethro told Moses the truth about what his egotistic desire for control would do to his people. It will burn them out as well!

We need more people to adopt the discipleship and multiplication process. But it is hard work. It makes us reduce our need for control. That is the biggest barrier!

It also requires us to place large events in their proper perspective, at the bottom in the Kingdom.

I read a blog last week by a well-known church researcher and consultant. He focused on Eight Ways Pastors are ill prepared to head a church. Several can be boiled down to an lack of training and ability to work with people.  Included was an inability to equip, train or disciple members. I agree. Those are not taught or emphasized in most Bible schools and seminaries.

The responses were many and many were defensive. Not a few blamed the people for being unsaved wolves rather than sheep, blind, stubborn, rebellious, etc. It came down to blaming today's Christians for being much worse than in past generations.

From my brief studies of Church History I cannot agree that believers today are worse than ever. Are they worse than those in Germany that supported the Nazi party? Are they worse than the slave owners of America? Are they worse than the pagans in the First Century that raped, pillaged and burned Christians before they were saved?

As my Dad was fond of saying, "Gary Ray, sin was not invented in this generation. It has been around a very long time. Leading and Pastoring has always been difficult." It is important that we not give up doing good.

Exponential growth of Christians into maturity is critically important. Recruiting and equipping the laity is hard work but very rewarding. I was a layman that was discipled by a defrocked Presbyterian Minister who taught me how to pray, lead small groups, do Pastoral hospital visits, do Bible studies, and so forth. The laity we recruited and trained came out of drugs, sexual perversions, stealing, homelessness, etc.

It was hard. It was very hard and it was thankless! In fact, despite staying up all night to minister to these people after working all day and feeding them the last thing in the fridge they complained about Karen and my lack of commitment. That is what immature people do! Dozens of these young people became outstanding husbands and wives and solid Christians. Some even went to seminary. It was exponential healing, change and growth.

Do you have any nominations for exponential leaders from your life?Who led you to Christ and who equipped you?

I am going to repeat my focus on this man. Who would you say was the most influential Christian leader in history? I have asked this question many times in a variety of places, including this blog. I think it is a most provocative issue that cuts across the grain of Christianity. It scares most Pastors so they refuse to discuss it. 

I have asked people at seminars and seminaries; churches and church elder boards; sermons and solo pastors. I get some rather interesting answers. Here are a few of the nominations.

  • Mark (He wrote the first Gospel)
  • Peter (The Rock on which the Church is built)
  • Mary (The mother of Jesus)
  • Paul (The great preacher to the gentiles and writer of many books)
  • Luke (He wrote more of the Bible than any other person)
  • James (Brother of Jesus and wrote a book)
  • Luther (He started a revolution)
  • Mohammed (Without him, Christianity would be much bigger)
  • Billy Graham (A modern evangelist of repute)
  • Bill Bright (Founded Campus Crusade)
All of these nominations are worthy of fame, fortune and many books but they are not my pick. I nominate a man that gets little contemporary press. He did not write any of the books in the Bible nor did he have the gift of oratory. He operated behind the scenes with power, wisdom and incredible influence. 

Without him, there would have been no Paul, no John Mark, no Luke and no gentile church and no missions to the gentiles. He was a multiplier and is lost to history because he had few big audiences and most of us fear his approach. It was the same as Jesus. 

And, it was more than what Jethro told Moses!

Our web has some good books to help your train and equip others into maturity. When you open that link you will see a book on witnessing to Muslim neighbors. It is a fantastic book. Donna Thomas, one of the most successful Missionaries of the last century has a book for you. My Mentor Dr. Richard Walters has a couple of great books that will help laugh your way out of legalism!

The book that has an anonymous author and a title about the Threads of God tells how a married couple retired and took the equipping tools from our church across the whole country. Want to be inspired?  Go see them. 


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