Page 260 started with what has become an all too familiar beginning lately as Susan had another seizure in the wee hours of the morning. After she was through the seizure and calmed down, we all went back to sleep for a while. I was awake early, so I spent some time writing yesterday’s page before getting ready for Sunday School and church. Our Sunday School class continued our study from John 13 but didn’t get past the opening verses as we looked back to where we’ve been in the study. It is a fun class with a lot of good discussion and depth as we seek together to better understand the application of scripture in our lives.
After the Sunday School class we had a great time of worship as David continued a sermon series on what we believe as a church. Today’s message was about leadership from a Biblical perspective and covered the following main points:
- We believe all leaders are under one head, Jesus Christ. Throughout the New Testament God leaves no doubt that all authority has been given to Jesus. The absolute authority of Jesus leaves no room for anyone to be in legitimate authority except under Him. No where should this be more obvious than in the church. While that should seem like a given, it is far too easy for any of us to get caught up in our own plans, desires, and dreams to the extent that pride keeps us pursuing them instead of submitting everything to the lordship of Christ. Whether you are a leader in a church, in your workplace, in your home, or within a group of any size, chances are good that you are a leader to someone as you live your life. Godly leadership is delegated by God with the expectation that all of our decisions are made in complete submission to Him.
- We believe all leaders are to serve according to the gifts they’ve been given by God. Just as our physical body functions best when each of its unique parts does the work it was created to do, Christ’s body, the church, functions best when its leaders serve according to the gifts God has given them. Leadership within the church is not meant to be a popularity contest nor an honorary title given to recognize long-term members. If a person isn’t serving with the gifts God has given them to lead in whatever realm of influence they have, calling them a leader won’t help and is a bad idea. It is far too easy to select church leaders based on the world’s standards of getting things done rather than on God’s standard of serving faithfully with the gifts He has given. God gifts each member of the body of Christ uniquely because we each have a part that makes the body complete. A leader serving according to God’s gifting in their life recognizes that they and their ideas are not more important than those they lead — submission to God by all parties is the key.
- We believe all leaders must be guided by the servant-model exemplified by Jesus. It doesn’t require an extensive study of the New Testament to see that Jesus not only taught the importance of serving others, He lived it. Jesus made it clear by His teaching and by His example, that whoever desired to be great must become servant of all. Godly leaders must learn a practice a life of service to more than just those who agree with them but serve everyone in ways that build up each individual for the works of service God has called them to. Serving under the best of circumstances can be difficult, but serving according to the example of Jesus requires an extreme sacrifice that many who desire to be leaders are unwilling to make. The prayer of Jesus in the garden, “Not my will, but thine.”, is the prayer of One who chose to serve all even when it went against His own will or desires. That is the type of example that God calls leaders within the church to follow.
After the church service, I had lunch with my family and then spent the afternoon with a mix of relaxing, retreat location research, and even a nap. By evening I began writing today’s page and doing so has finished out my day. No new photos taken today, so today’s photo is one from last evening’s sunset trip to Lake Michigan.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Sometimes you just keep on keeping on because it is the only suitable option.
- The depth of God’s Word is unfathomable, but the wisdom is available to all who would seek it.
- If your style of leadership looks like that of the world, you are probably doing it wrong.
- There is no leadership that supersedes, or is even equal, to the authority of God.
- God has gifted each person in a way that is meant to benefit the body of Christ as a whole.
- Leadership done God’s way requires that each leader use their specific gifts to serve people.
- To know what leadership ought to look like, we need look no further than the servant leadership lived by Jesus.
- As the sun sets on another day, God continues to reign and showers each of us with His faithfulness.