Excellence in Leadership

Excellence in Leadership

  • Most church leadership is based on authority, that the leaders have authority over the members and the activities of the congregation or larger group.
    • All the passages in the New Testament which use the word “authority,” including those which have used other English words for the same Greek word.
      • Christians have authority over themselves. (1 Corinthians 8:9)
      • Christians have authority to eat the sacrifice (Hebrews 13:10)
      • Christians rule over the nations with Jesus (Revelation 2:26)
      • Christians have the authority to eat of the tree of life (Revelation 22:14)
      • Apostles have the right to be supported (1 Corinthians 9:4 – 18, 2 Thessalonians 3:9)
      • Apostles are the authorities of edification (2 Corinthians 10:8, 13:10)
      • Prophetesses were to wear head coverings to illustrate their submission (1 Corinthians 11:10)
    • “Power and authority” emphasizes the strength to enforce.
    • The 1 Corinthians 8:9 reference generally is translated “liberty” because “authority” in that place would have challenged existing church “authority.”
    • No one other than apostles were given authority in the church
    • People have a hard time conceiving of any organization that has no authoritative functions.
  • Spiritual Leadership (Luke 22:26 – 27): Servant, lower position
    • 2 Timothy 2:24 – 26  Gentle, patient, humble
    • 1 Thessalonians 2:1 – 12  Gentle, nurturing, brotherly, encouraging, comforting, admonishing, no greed, no desire for praise
    • 1 Corinthians 2:3 – 5  Faith  in the power of God
    • Ephesians 5:25  Gave Himself for her
    • John 13:3 – 20  Foot-washing scene
    • Mark 10:45, Matthew 20:28  The most successful leader of all time was a servant
    • Ephesians 1:15 – 19, Philippians 1:3 – 6, Colossians 1:3 – 6  Those farther along this path
    • Consensus, hearing from everyone (Acts 15)
    • Liberty
      • 1 Corinthians 9:19  Made myself a servant to all
      • 1 Corinthians 10:29  Why is my liberty judged by another’s conscience?
      • 2 Corinthians 3:17  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
      • Galatians 2:4  To spy out our liberty … in Christ
    • All Christians should be taught to seek out those whose faith has a strong history, and follow them.
      • Hegemony – following another because it makes sense to do so.  (Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24, 1 Thessalonians 5:12 – 15, Matthew 2:6, Luke 22:26, Acts 7:10, 14:12, 15:22)
      • Instructions to followers: Ephesians 5:21, Galatians 5:13, 1 Corinthians 12:12 – 31, 1 Peter 5:5
      • Commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).
      • You do not need that anyone teach you, but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things…you abide in Him (1 John 2:27).
  • In what ways does the body resemble Jesus?  These topics should dominate our teaching.
    • Righteousness  (Ephesians 4:20 – 24)
    • Holiness  (1 Peter 1:13 – 16)
    • Love  (1 John 2:6)
    • Unfading glory (2 Corinthians 3:18)
    • Evangelism  (2 Corinthians 5:17 – 20)
    • Knowledge  (Colossians 3:9 – 10)
    • Character  (Romans 8:29)
    • Commitment  (Romans 6:4)
    • Suffering  (1 Peter 2:21 – 22)
    • Faith (Romans 3:26, 12:3, Revelation 14:12)
  • When does the body resemble Jesus?
    • Hebrews 12:22 – 24  Past tense:  the Christian audience of the first century already matched this description while living on earth.
    • 2 Peter 1:2 – 7  Obtaining the divine nature.  If it were only future, then the diligence of v 5 – 7 would be meaningless.
  • Motivations for good behavior:
    • We are the Temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16 – 7:1)
    • Unrighteousness is not “fitting” (Romans 1:28, Galatians 5:1 – 14)
    • John 17:20 – 23  “That the world may believe that Thou sent Me”
    • Malice and wickedness spoils sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:8)
    • Displaying the power of God (2 Corinthians 4:7)
    • Works of the flesh are contrary to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16 – 25, Colossians 2:18 – 3:10)
    • We are no longer slaves of sin (Romans 6:1 – 18, 8:13)
    • Everyone who has this hope purifies himself just as He is pure (1 John 3:3)
  • How can we be prepared for God to provide the faith mentioned in Romans 12:3?
    • (Romans 16:17)  Note those who cause divisions…and avoid them
    • (1 Corinthians 5:11)  Do not keep company with “excuse makers”
    • (1 Corinthians 6:18 – 19)  Flee immorality…You are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
    • (1 Corinthians 10:11)  These things happened to them as examples…
    • (1 Corinthians 10:14)  Flee idolatry
    • (Philippians 3:17, Hebrews 13:7)  Join in following my example, and note those who so walk
    • (Philippians 4:8) Let your mind dwell on these things: true, noble, just, pure, lovely…
    • (Colossians 3:1)  Seek those things which are above
    • (Colossians 3:16)  Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly
    • (1 Thessalonians 5:11)  Comfort one another and edify one another
    • (1 Thessalonians 5:21)  Test all things; hold fast what is good
    • (Hebrews 10:25)  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together
    • (Hebrews 12:14)  Pursue peace with all men, and holiness.
    • (1 Peter 2:2)  Long for the pure milk of the Word
  • Allegiance to one another (Romans 12 – 15) rather than to “the church.”
    • 12:3  Not to think too highly of oneself
    • 12:15 – 16  Rejoice together, weep together, associate with the humble, be humble
    • 12:18  Live peaceably
    • 13:10  Love does no harm
    • 14:1 – 23  Receive the weak in faith
    • 15:1 – 13  Please neighbors while building up, be like-minded
    • 1 Peter 4:8  Have fervent love for one another
  • Allegiance to God rather than to “the church.”
    • “Whom do you trust?  The God in heaven or the god behind the house.”
    • Galatians 3:2  Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law or by the hearing of faith?
    • Hebrews 10:19 – 25 (3:13)
    • Knowing and trusting His promises.
    • Confidence in redemption and forgiveness.
    • 2 Peter 1:2 – 11  Partakers of the divine nature
    • 1 Peter 2:2  Long for the pure milk of the Word
  • Ephesians 4:12 – 16  Objectives of spiritual leaders
    • Equipping all for service
    • Building up the body
    • Unity (or Jesus’ proof failed)
    • Knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8)
    • Consistent (or Jesus’ proof failed)
    • Fullness (Colossians 2:9 – 10)
    • Stability
    • The body edifying itself
  • What do we all teach? (2 Corinthians 3:12 – 6:10)
    • (3:12 – 16)  Our understanding never fades, but shines on outsiders constantly.
    • (3:17)  We have liberty from hierarchy, sin, death…
    • (3:18)  We see the character of Jesus developing.
    • (4:1)  We receive mercy (so fix what ails them)
    • (4:3)  Some will never see (Romans 1:24, Ephesians 4:17 – 19, 1 John 2:9 – 11)
    • (4:7)  We demonstrate the power of God
    • (4:13)  We have the same Spirit of faith as Jesus
    • (4:15)  Gracious character promotes thanksgiving
    • (4:16)  Hope
    • (4:18)  Focus on the unseen.
    • (5:1 – 8)  We earnestly desire to depart this life
    • (5:11)  We fear for the destination of outsiders
    • (5:14)  The love of Christ compels us
    • (5:16)  We regard no one according to the flesh
    • (5:18 – 20)  We are ambassadors for Christ
    • (6:3)  Cause no blame to the ministry
  • One-Another Attitude
    • Romans 15:14  Admonish one another
    • 1 Corinthians 11:17 – 34  The Lord’s Supper
    • 1 Corinthians 14:46  Let all things be done for edification
    • 1 Corinthians 16:20  Greet one another with a holy kiss.  (2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Peter 5:14)
    • Ephesians 5:19  Speaking to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs
    • Colossians 3:16  Teaching one another in songs and hymns and spiritual songs
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:18  Comfort one another
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:11  Therefore comfort one another and edify one another
    • Hebrews 3:13  Exhort one another daily
    • Hebrews 10:24 – 25  Stir up love and good works…exhorting one another
    • James 5:16  Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another…
    • 1 Peter 4:10 – 11  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
    • Ephesians 5:21  Submit to one another
  • Our practices have essential purposes:
    • Singing:  Romans 15:9 (2 Samuel 22:50)  I will give thanks to you among the Gentiles…
    • Attendance: 2 Corinthians 14:26  Let all things be done for edification – to build faith
    • Sharing:  2 Corinthians 8:7  See that you abound in this grace [sharing] also.
    • Lord’s Supper: 1 Corinthians 11:30  …many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
    • Praying:  1 John 5:15  If we know that He hears us, whatever we ask…
  • Character change is accomplished by the Spirit.  How do we access that power to change?
    • Luke 11:13  Ask for the Spirit
    • Endeavor to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18): redeem the time (v16), understand the will of the Lord (v17), sing about God (v19), give thanks (v20), be subject to one another (v21).
    • Know the Word (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
    • Pray (Ephesians 2:18, 6:18, Romans 8:26)
    • Walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25)
    • Use God’s power rather than ours (1 Peter 4:10 – 11)
  • Those who lead by faith (Hebrews 13:7) grow faith.  Important attitudes
    • Philippians 4:8, Colossians 3:1 Meditate on what is true, noble, just, pure…
    • Hebrews 12:14  Pursue peace with all men
    • Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 6:18 – 19, 10:14 Avoid bad stuff
    • Philippians 2:4, Romans 15:2  Focus on the needs of others
    • Acts 17:11  These were more noble…searched the Scriptures daily to see if these things were true.
    • 2 Corinthians 4:13  I believed, therefore I spoke
    • Colossians 3:16  Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly
    • 2 Timothy 2:15  Rightly dividing the Word of truth
    • 2 Timothy 2:23 – 26  The Lord’s bondservant … must be able to teach … in humility correcting those in opposition
    • 1 Peter 2:2  Long for the pure milk of the Word
  • Objectives of faith
    • Transformed into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8:29)
    • At a rate God knows you can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13)
    • Faith develops into good character into love (2 Peter 1)
    • God adds faith as needed (Romans 12:3)
    • God adds gifts as needed (Ephesians 4:7, 1 Peter 4:10)
  • Four Greek roots from which we get design, mimic, type, and graphic, 35 in all.
    • Avoid the bad behaviors which God judged: Jude 7, 2 Peter 2:6
    • Copy the suffering and patience of the faithful of old: James 5:10 
    • Copy the behavior of Jesus:
      • 1 Timothy 1:16 Patience toward Saul (Paul)
      • John 13:1 – 17 Leaders serve
      • 1 Peter 2:21 How to handle suffering
      • Ephesians 5:1 Walk in love and sacrifice
    • Copy the behavior of Paul:
      • 2 Timothy 1:13  Sound words in faith and love
      • 2 Thessalonians 3:7, 9 Teachers ought to work
      • 1 Corinthians 4:16  Mimic Paul’s teaching style
      • Philippians 3:17  Not considering the flesh, pressing upward, emphasizing unity.
    • General:
      • 1 Peter 3:13, 3 John 11  Imitate good
      • Hebrews 6:12, 13:7  Follow successful faith
      • 1 Thessalonians 1:6 – 7  Follow the power of the Spirit
      • 1 Thessalonians 2:14  Overcome suffering as the churches of Judea
      • 1 Corinthians 11:1  Follow Paul’s teaching
      • 1 Timothy 4:12  Imitate Timothy’s speech, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and purity.
      • 1 Peter 5:3 Willing, eager, often without pay
      • Titus 2:7 Imitate Titus’ works, integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, and sound speech
      • Hebrews 12:1 – 2  Does not say “example,” but…
  • How does one become a leader?
    • Not by authority.  Each Christian has authority over himself (1 Corinthians 8:9)
    • Demonstrate the power of the Spirit by overcoming and transformation (1 Thessalonians 1:6 – 7)
    • Show successful faith (Hebrews 6:12, 13:7)
    • Service (John 13)
    • Patience (1 Timothy 1:16)
    • Note: doctrinal purity is subjective
  • Does a lack of authority figures not create chaos in the church?
    • Natural leadership demands organization.
    • Leaders who stagnate should not be followed.
    • True leaders harmonize.
    • Leaders must trust followers.
    • Churches tend to focus on the building and the money.  True leaders care little for either.
    • Natural leaders will become so frustrated by spiritual leaders that they will leave.
    • If you should lead, followers will follow.
  • The leader’s goals:
    • Depend on the Spirit
      • “Asking for the Spirit” Luke 11:13, Ephesians 5:18
      • What is the function of a facility?
        • Assembly ≠ worship
        • Cost effective?
      • What is the function of organization?
        • Communication between members (daily)
        • Necessary details
      • When God drops an opportunity in your lap, go…
    • Build up the faithful
      • Who will teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2)
      • Grow up (2 Peter 1) to be useful and fruitful
      • The assembly is for believers, not for evangelism
      • Teach:
        • Access to the indwelling Spirit
        • Promises
      • Our practices are illustrations, not objectives
      • Comfort, encourage, make joyful, be realistic
      • “Burst bubbles” gently and patiently
    • Priesthood of all believers
      • Not artificially through shared ignorance
      • All believers mediate between the world and God
      • Romans 12:1  Also, we are all sacrifices (celebrations of forgiveness) like Jesus.
        • Priests also answered questions and taught.
        • 1 Corinthians 14:26  Each came prepared.
      • Human training is a part of the work of the Spirit
      • My “gift” is what I formerly could not do, not what I was already talented to do.
    • Build fellowship around Christ
      • Fellowship is a connection between spirits without regard to location.
      • Make Jesus on earth real as a model of the character we should have.
      • Make the unseen God (Father, Son, Spirit, Word) real as in 2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18, 5:16.
      • Connect all teaching to Jesus and the purpose of creation.
      • All believers are connected through Jesus.
    • Recognize our places in the body
      • The body includes all believers, living, deceased, and angelic (Hebrews 12:22 – 24).
      • The line is narrow between liberty and division.
      • How can I relate to the entire body?
        • The body is not an organization but spirits
        • The gospel is for individuals, not groups
        • Relate to those who cross your path.
      • 1 Corinthians 12:18  Have I chosen my own place or has God?  How do I know my place?
    • Build unity on the basis of love
      • Perhaps on the basis of faith (trusting God)?
      • We connect with others through Jesus based on God’s recommendation, not because of affection
      • Fellow believers are family members.
      • The members of a congregation need to know each other and be involved in each other’s lives to be a family.
      • Plan for and expect family loyalty
      • Be emotionally committed to the family.