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Christian Leadership

Christian Leadership: A Conversation with Phil Sallee and Eric Knox

This Sunday, two of the church elders talked with us about what Leadership means, using the passage Matthew 20:20-28.  In this section, the mother of James and John had asked that her sons get important places in Jesus' kingdom.  His response showed that they didn't understand how the kingdom works.

Appointment:  True Christian leadership is directed by God.

Jesus said that the places of honor would go to those for whom they were prepared.  God appoints us to leadership.

Church:  As an example, our church's men's group began when two men met with one man who needed counseling.  They didn't set out to lead anything, but have served more than 50 men since then.

Ephesians 2:11 -- God prepared good works in advance for us to do.  Our role isn't to "make it happen," but to serve, to look for God's direction.

Home:  Pray over decisions and seek God's will.  Are your goals God's goals?

Business:  Seek God's guidance in your workplace.  It takes humbling ourselves to listen to God's direction.

Here Eric told a story of an answer to prayer that began with him being fired. 

Jesus said, "You don't know what you're asking."  Some answers to prayer come with great difficulty.

Humility:  True Christian leadership is not self-promoting.

"The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them.  Not so with you."

Church:  Humble leaders point others to God, not to themselves.  Are we willing to take the job that is needed?

Home:  Recognize the strengths of your spouse and family and your own weaknesses.  It's not a competition -- you're part of a team.  We're all better when we point each other toward God.  Parenting - and life - is a team effort.  Defensiveness is opposed to humility.

Business:  Allow God to raise us up (Luke 14:10).  Even popular authors on leadership acknowledge the importance of humility.

We don't have to strive to be successful.  Trust God and pray for direction.  Allow God and others to promote us.

Is it okay to seek a promotion?  Yes, at times.  But never in order to lord it over others.  Check your attitude.

Service:  True Christian Leadership enables others to succeed.

"Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave."

Church:  At Gateway, we serve our way into leadership.  Deacons are small group leaders and team leads.  The term "deacon" comes from the Greek word for "servant" used here.  We want to see ourselves as servants of Christ.

Home:  Husbands lay down your life for your wife. (Ephesians 5:25)  Serving our children does not mean putting them in control.  But the home is a good place to teach our children about service.

Business:  True leadership is found in serving others.  Leaders enable others to succeed.  When we demonstrate servanthood at work, we're serving Jesus (Colossians 3:23).  Jesus was the ultimate servant leader.

Conclusion:  "Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Our example is Jesus.  He still serves us today as an intercessor.

To lead is to serve:  "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave."

We are all leaders in some capacity.  May we serve all the more heartily!

Spiritual Growth - Inspiring Examples in Philippians

This week, March 4, 2018, Pastor Ed Allen continued his series studying Philippians with the passage Philippians 2:19-30.

This passage doesn't seem as inspiring, but Paul includes two examples of Christian service.  If you were writing a letter and including people as examples who touched your life, who would you include?

More important, whose letter would you be in as an example of someone who touched their life with Christian service?

[As it happens, we have many opportunities at Gateway to touch the lives of others, especially children!  We will begin having two services each Sunday beginning Easter Sunday, April 1st.  So we actually need twice as many volunteers.  

We had an opportunity to walk around and meet people and check the four tables with volunteer opportunities - which will also be up next week.]

Paul offers Timothy as an example because:

1)  Timothy understands and practices Christian unity (verse 20 - No one is like-minded with me like Timothy.).

2)  Timothy was principally concerned with the cause of Jesus Christ (verse 21).

This matches Paul - he, too, measured his circumstances by whether they advance the cause of Christ.

3)  Paul had mentored Timothy in the faith (verse 22).

Mentoring and being mentored helps us grow in our faith.

Paul offers Epaphroditus as an example because:

1)  Epaphroditus was well-known to the Philippians.  He was a more real world example for them (verse 25).

2)  Epaphroditus was a fellow soldier with Paul (verse 25).

This was not casual spirituality.

3)  Epaphroditus was an "apostle" and minister to Paul's needs (verse 25).

He was a "sent one."  He had a special calling and he accomplished it.

Honor people like this and follow their example.

We need examples in our lives.  We need people like that, who minister to the needs of others.  We need these people.  And we need to be this kind of people.

Who would you put in your letter?  Who would put you in their letter?