Spiritual Gifts, pt. 8
The Gift of Leadership
“The special ability to lead, administrate, and organize a portion of the body of Christ in a particular area of service”
Nehemiah is our example:
A. Leaders think differently than followers.
4 ways leaders think differently:
5 things leaders assume:
Resources will come—knows that where God guides He provides… “that’s God’s problem!”
The goal of a leader is not just to cross the finish line, but to get everyone across the finish line!
Anytime a leader tries to do something for God, you can always expect some form of opposition.
(anything God blesses the devil blasts!)
Read entire book of Nehemiah…you’ll see the opposition comes in 3 forms:
Laughter and ridicule—doesn’t feel good to be laughed at for trying to do right
Wrath and indignation—they got down right mad at him for trying to build the wall…when laughter didn’t phase him, it made them mad!
(it hurts when you try to do what’s right and people get mad anyway…but the leader won’t let that discourage them…it goes w/ the territory…the leader is more concerned w/ making God happy than everyone else!)
ill.—man getting on train, forgot pass, conductor wouldn’t allow/can’t you make an exception…you know me/no, I have to see it, that’s the rules/man gave conductor a tongue lashing, embarrassed in front of large crowd, then left…someone asked conductor, doesn’t that discourage you, make you want to quit?…No, not at all/why not?/pointed to window above (boss man)…that’s my boss up there…see what he’s doing?/yeah, he’s smiling at you!/that’s right, and that’s all I care about!
It’s nice for the people in the church to be happy…I like that, but most important is that God is smiling on me as a leader, even if you’re not!
Subtlety and craft—when their laughter failed, and their anger didn’t phase him, they went behind his back and started talking to the people, trying to undermine his authority. That kind of criticism hurts, when they don’t go to the source, but go to everyone else not involved, sowing discord…but constant opposition only makes the true leader more determined! [Bible says to mark those who spread negativity and try to get you to take up their cause]
True leaders aren’t deterred by criticism…it only fuels their fire! (don’t tell me it can’t be done!/it’s impossible!/don’t expect me to let the devil win a victory…not on my watch!)
Balance for Leaders: you need to welcome criticism, whether presented properly (constructive) or not…
Don’t put up a wall of defense automatically…try to learn from it…even if unfair/undeserved/unwarranted…there’s a grain of truth in almost every criticism!
Here’s the problem: most of us would rather be ruined by praise than helped by criticism!
Ill—businessman said, “My competitors have done more to help my business than my friends have. My friends are too polite to point out my weaknesses, but my competitors point them out efficiently and diligently. They have made me search for ways to improve my product and my service. If I had no competitors I would be lazy, incompetent, and inattentive. I salute my competitors… God bless them all!”
A principle here: Go to the source. (Biblical) Take criticism to the one who can do something about it, the one you’re critical of, and them alone.
[Matthew 19 model]
Private criticism (presented to me behind the scenes) will remain private. But go behind my back, talking to others, rallying the troops against me, trying to find supporters…God will make sure it gets back to me, and it then becomes public domain, and I have the right to deal w/ it publicly.
Leaders: you need to be accessible. People should feel free to approach you Biblically.
A great leader won’t let you go behind his back, but will welcome you face to face!
Strong leaders sometimes intimidate—at times people are afraid to make their case to them…so leaders should be careful to have a balance.
The one who stands in the pulpit, speaking strong and dogmatically about how inflexible, unmoveable we need to be doctrinally…the same one should be kind and tender, considerate and humble off to the side, talking policy!
(wise as serpents, harmless as doves)
3:1-? Each wall had 3 gates:
total of 12: valley/fountain/sheep/fish/old/dung/horse/east/mithcad (hebrew)/Ephraim/prison/water(gate) Jewish republicans!
Nehemiah realized he couldn’t do it all himself…so he delegated responsibility…and there’s the difference between a good and great leader:
Good leader: can lead followers
Great leader: can lead other leaders
I know pastors who simply will not delegate…
Go early, set air, unlock, turn lights on, take groceries to ms. ?
Sadly, in some cases, the male ego is involved (self-esteem derived) by being a one man show, having to have hand in everything (micro-manager).
A good leader doesn’t have to be the one who gets all the credit/glory…and should share the credit when it’s due to someone they delegated to.
Yet, the leader should take all the blame (the buck stops here), they take responsibility, but share the credit! That’s how it is in leadership.
One of the best ways you can promote church growth here is to allow me the freedom to delegate.
(I’m willing to risk appearing lazy, if we get more done!)
ill.—hospital visits at WBC: attitude of “I’ve not been visited until the REAL pastor visits me!” [When he did, they thought they must be dying!]
E.Leaders are not afraid of making tough decisions and sticking with them
they’re trying to wear him down!
When a leader knows he’s doing what’s right, he makes the tough decision and sticks w/ it…and you can’t wear him down. (pressure him)
Ill.—Harry S. Truman—I don’t agree w/ all his politics, but I like his leadership. They asked him the secret of his administration (you’d think he’d talk about the organization of it, or experts he picked, his philosophy or his policies, but he said: “My secret is that I made decisions. If I made the wrong decision, and was made aware that it was wrong, then I made another decision to correct it.”
Dangers next time. Lots of them.
Volkswagen slogan: Drivers wanted!
The church of Jesus Christ needs leaders. Leaders wanted! And God has gifted many here to take a mantle for the future!
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