Tag: Jesus

A Contrast in Leadership

Throughout the Bible we find numerous contrasts made by various people.

Jesus talked about the contrast of light and darkness, building on sand or the rock, dividing the saved from the lost.

James talked about the rich and poor, wisdom from above with earthly, natural, and demonic wisdom.

Paul also contrasted the flesh and spirit, the strong from the weak, along with life and death.

These are only a few of the contrasts seen throughout the New Testament.

Our leadership needs to be strikingly different from everything else. When the Word is our foundation, Jesus our Lord, God our Father, and heaven our focus, then our leadership will be strikingly different.

Spiritual Formation

Social justice, human dignity, community awareness, liberation, and other issues often come to the forefront of a discussion about spiritual formation.

However, our participation in these alone does not result in spiritual formation.

Spiritual formation must involve the following:

1) God: There is no spiritual formation without Him.

2) Holy Spirit: We don’t know the full depths of His activity, but He is essential to spiritual formation.

3) Jesus: The cornerstone to our spiritual house, and without Him there is no formation.

4) The Word: This book guides us in the spiritual formation needed to complete and perfect us for every task.

Spiritual formation requires all four.

The Light of Leadership

Jesus claimed to be the “Light of the world.” He further told His disciples, “You are the light of the world…,” concluding the thought by saying, “Let your light shine…”

There can be no doubt that Jesus planned for His followers to reflect His character, virtue, and example in a world that does not welcome the light and often attempts to extinguish it.

Katelyn Irons challenged us with this thought, “Shine with all you have. When someone tries to blow you out, just take their oxygen and burn brighter.”

For leaders, it’s about leading out of being. The light is who we are, not just what we do.

Committed Leaders

Never commit to things you cannot do.

Oddly enough, material does exist that emphasizes the fake-it-until-you-make-it approach.

We should always be willing to grow and improve by moving outside our comfort zone, but the idea here involves areas we know we cannot do. For example, when someone invites us to dinner and we know we cannot make it, instead of saying no, we delay the inevitable by saying “maybe.”

Jesus taught the need for our yes to mean yes, and our no, no. Jesus added that anything beyond these is of evil.

It is critical to our leadership to be a person of our word.

Rise Above

We are all familiar with phrases like, “Don’t sweat the small stuff” or “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” John Burroughs said it this way, “Rise above the little things.”

Jesus also emphasized this thought with a bit of a twist when He taught us not to worry about food, drink, or clothing, but to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Mt. 6:25-33).

The challenge before leaders is determining the difference between the big and little things. When we understand the matters that are trivial, we can implement ways to rise above them and focus on matters of greater significance.

Learning From The Past

The past introduces a number of challenges to life. Regardless of the good or the bad, our past often influences who we are and the direction of our future.

The only way to win with the past is to learn from it – good or bad – and use the lesson to help shape a better direction for the future.

For Paul, nothing was more valuable than knowing Jesus. The value of knowing Jesus gave Paul purpose and direction. He did not allow his past to dictate the direction of his future. Instead, he was able to reach forward with hope in the resurrection.

A Successful Definition

Success is often defined by popularity or profit, and a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.

Perhaps our definition should not be about “what” determines success, but “who”.

Jesus said if someone gains the whole world and loses their soul, the level of success is not worth it.

When God determines success, then we are on the right path. Can we measure success by a strong Christian family, leading others to Christ, helping someone in need, giving hope to the hopeless, lending a hand to a friend, growing in our knowledge of God’s word, and developing a close relationship with Him through prayer?

A Winning Combination

Paul identifies the need for Christians to have the same mind that was in Christ (Phi. 2:5), but what is that mind?
Notice the phrases that characterize the mind Paul wants all Christians to possess.

1) Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.
2) With humility regard others as more important than yourself.
3) Do not look out for your own interests.
4) Look out for the interest of others.

These four phrases are summed up in the life of Christ: a selfless humility that puts others above self.
Jesus and others is a winning combination for leadership.

Biblical Resolution…Part 1

The Gospel of Matthew highlights Jesus instructing the disciples in what to do if a brother sins against you. He
said to “go to them in private.” Conflict could be more easily resolved if we took this approach.

Of course, Jesus continues with taking two or three witnesses, if they do not listen to you. However, the most powerful part is found at the end, “if they will not listen to the church.”

Imagine the power of an entire congregation on your doorstep to resolve the conflict.

His point is not about discipline, but about restoration. Let’s seek reconciliation.

Leading by Priority

Kingdom priority relates to the church Jesus built.

How much priority do we place upon God’s kingdom? When we look at our brothers and sisters in Christ, what priority do they see in that relationship?

When a need exists among our family, do we place an urgency upon that need?

With all the negativity surrounding the church today, where do we rank our response to kingdom priority?

As we read about unity, forgiveness, and demonstrating compassion, how are our priorities seen?

The way we treat people establishes how our priorities are seen and it demonstrates the reach of our influence as leaders.