You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘leadership’ tag.

| by Brandon Cox

Recently, I had a phone call with a young leader convinced he was no longer qualified to lead because he’d messed up in a way that pretty much every man on the planet has messed up repeatedly. Then, I received an email from a pastor wanting to know if he was qualified to lead when he still struggles with sins of the heart and mind.

First, a disclaimer… Paul made it clear in the pastoral epistles that those who desire to be overseers must live lives that are above reproach. Certainly, no one can actively serve as a pastor who is secretly harboring or openly flaunting unrepentant sin, and often confession of certain sins sidelines our ability to lead with credibility.

But what about those weaknesses that are common to man? Not the scandal that brings reproach upon the cause of Jesus, but the sins which arise out of our struggle with the flesh and with humanness? I love this summary from Robert Coleman in his classic work, The Master Plan of Evangelism:

“Our weaknesses need not impair discipleship when shining through them is a transparent sincerity to follow Christ.”

Perfection isn’t the requirement for those who wish to lead. Progress is. Still, our lives as leaders are indeed always on display. Coleman also said,

“When it is all boiled down, those of us who are seeking to train people must be prepared to have them follow us, even as we follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). We are the exhibit (Philippians 3:17f.; 1 Thessalonians 2:7, 8; 2 Timothy 1:13). They will do those things that they hear and see in us (Philippians 4:9). Given time, it is possible through this kind of leadership to impart our way of living to those who are constantly with us.”

1. Focus on progress, not perfection. Make sure you’re growing in the art and skill of prayer and the study of God’s word.

2. Keep a short account with God by confessing sin quickly and agreeing with God about the sinfulness of your sin.

3. Refuse to minimize, rationalize or justify sin.This is a dangerous Pandora’s box.

4. Own your weaknesses and lean hard into the grace of God on a constant basis.

5. Shift your focus from keeping God’s rules, which you can’t do on your own, to staying in close relationship with Jesus.

For the rest of the post…

Bonhoeffer’s wisdom on leadership endures. |

Leadership Development According to Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Does your church have an intentional development plan to disciple and deploy believers to live out the Great Commission? Are you providing strategic pathways and opportunities for your congregation to participate in church planting so that they can be a part of the Kingdom of God invading into every crevice of society both locally and globally? Or, does this happen haphazardly when someone approaches you and they say that they feel called to ministry?

Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38 HCSB)

All Are Called

When I look at those verses, I see them as a call to pray for more harvest workers. But as a pastor and as a church leader, I also see them as a call to disciple my congregation into being harvest workers for the harvest that exists around them both locally and globally.

As a result, while a once-a-year sermon that challenges your congregation to consider full-time ministry may be helpful, it can actually create more harm than good. This sort of sermon unintentionally creates a culture that says some are called and others are not. But the reality is that all believers have the same primary calling—to go and make disciples of all nations. What we do to earn money is a secondary issue, not a primary one!

Instead of merely hoping that your preaching will stir some to see their primary vocation and calling as being harvest workers, what if you actually created intentional environments and training opportunities to call people into this reality? What if everyone in your church saw their primary vocation as being a harvest worker, where some would get a paycheck from the church if their role was to be an equipper of others (Ephesians 4:11-13), and others would get their paycheck from an employer, while serving passionately on the worship team, children’s ministry, or leading a small group? Then we would definitely see more churches get planted.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In Eric Metaxas’ epic biography of the pastor, martyr, prophet, and spy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we read about the ways that Bonhoeffer trained people for the call of ministry. Although, as the first head of the seminary in the Confessing Church, he was focusing on training individuals for full-time pastorates, there is much that we can glean from his methods that relate to our discussion at hand—training all people to embrace their first and foremost vocation as a harvest worker.

Before we get to those points, here’s a bit of background to understand why Bonhoeffer was starting a new seminary. The main reason Bonhoeffer moved back to Berlin to run the Confessing Church seminary was due to the fact that German Church seminaries had gone apostate. The German Church was compromising on theology and allowing itself to be shaped and formed by Hitler’s anti-Semitism.

This was also at a time in history when the savage bloodbath known as the Night of the Long Knives had just occurred. As a result, Hitler was quickly gaining power while the divide between the German Christian Church and the Confessing Church continued to rapidly widen.

When it comes to creating intentional environments and training opportunities to encourage people to embrace their first and foremost calling as harvest workers, here are three things that we can learn from the way that Bonhoeffer designed and ran this seminary.

Disciples before Ministers

Bonhoeffer was deeply inspired by the Sermon on the Mount and he believed that Christianity would look and be radically different if believers would just merely live it out. So he called his students to see themselves, not as theological students, but as disciples intentionally living out the Sermon on the Mount. “Bonhoeffer was interested in a Holy Spirit-led course adjustment that hardly signaled something new” (Metaxas, Bonhoeffer, 263).

Since theological education in his day produced “out-of-touch theologians and clerics whose ability to live the Christian life—and to help others live that life—was not much in evidence,” Bonhoeffer wanted to train an army of harvest workers who were first disciples before they were ministers (Metaxas, Bonhoeffer, 263).

For the rest of the post…

What Would Dietrich Bonhoeffer Say to Anthony Weiner?

“It is essential for the image of the Leader that the group does not see the face of the one who goes before, but sees him only from behind as the figure stepping out ahead. His humanity is veiled in his Leader’s form.”

by PAULA BOLYARD

Bio

AnthonyWeiner

Our modern generation often displays a profound misunderstanding of the real nature of leadership. Our culture sometimes prefers to elevate entertainment idols or rhetorical phenoms to positions of leadership, regardless of their qualifications. We tolerate deeply flawed, immoral men as our leaders because they manage to accomplish some good or they can “bring people together.” We fail to count the cost of the ensuing long-term cultural rot when we tolerate immoral, unethical leaders who answer to no higher power than themselves.

This is not a modern problem. In January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany, ushering in the Third Reich. Just two days later, a 26-year-old theology professor named Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave a radio address titled “The Younger Generation’s Altered Concept of Leadership.”  Eric Metaxas describes in his book Bonhoeffer that the radio broadcast was disrupted before Bonhoeffer could finish — it is unclear whether Hitler’s henchmen were responsible — but it addressed, almost prophetically, the yearning of the younger Germans for the wrong qualities in a leader.

For the rest of the article…

The Relevance of Costly Grace

By: Eric Metaxas

Eric Metaxas

Today is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s birthday. Since my book on him was published three years ago, fascination with the young German pastor continues to grow. The interest is so great I’ve recently been asked to do a ten-city Bonhoeffer tour.

I have to ask myself: Why are so many people intrigued by Bonhoeffer? The answer, I believe, is that the message of Bonhoeffer’s life is hugely relevant today—especially when it comes to the growing threats against religious freedom.

Thoughtful people see the handwriting on the wall: First there’s the HHS mandate, which demands that religious organizations buy insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs.

Then there’s the case of Pastor Louie Giglio, who was forced to step down from giving the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration. Why? Because many years ago, he preached a sermon saying homosexual practice was wrong.

If you work in corporate America and hold to the traditional Judeo-Christian view of marriage, you’d better keep your mouth shut. Or you might be fired or have your business boycotted.

And now, the Boy Scouts may finally be yielding to the enormous pressure put on them to allow openly gay men to participate in Scouting—including as Scout leaders.

In effect, the state and the culture at large are seeking to compel us to put aside our religious beliefs. If we don’t do something now, it will be too late.

And this is why Bonhoeffer is so relevant today. Please listen to these words from my old boss and dear friend Chuck Colson:

Under persecution, Bonhoeffer discovered that, even though God’s grace is freely given, it also extracts a high cost. It was costly grace that led Bonhoeffer to continue teaching and preaching the Word of God even though the Nazis tried to suppress his work. Costly grace led Bonhoeffer to stand against a turncoat church that mixed Nazi doctrine with Christian truth….Costly grace led Bonhoeffer to attempt to smuggle Jews out of Germany, even though it led to his arrest…Along with other faithful believers, Bonhoeffer signed the Barmen Declaration, which boldly declared their independence from both the state and a co-opted church.

As I said, today is Bonhoeffer’s 107th birthday.

For the rest of the article…

December 2019
S M T W T F S
« Nov    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Archives

Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.