Posts Tagged ‘Authority’

When it comes to the big questions of life (like who are we, where did we come from, and what is our role in the universe), there is a wrong way and a right way to discover truth. Some have proposed that we accept only truth statements that are scientifically based. This may seem like a reasonable start, except for the fact that the statement itself is not scientifically based, and therefore disqualifies itself. So, are we back to square one? Not at all! There is a way we can discover truth.


loveJust like military leaders in combat, spiritual leaders must know and accept their mission. This is difficult because we tend to focus on “secondary missions,” which are usually more tangible. Secondary missions are important things like running a business, serving in church, loving your family, or leading a small group. The danger is that secondary missions can become idolatry when not kept in proper relationship to the primary mission: loving God and loving our neighbor. When the mission is properly understood, spiritual leaders give themselves to God in all things – the business, the church, the family, the small group, or any other noble endeavor.

[Reflect on how Joanna, the wife of Chuza, may have understood the mission. What secondary missions could she have had?]

Another Growth-Spurt

Posted: July 5, 2014 in Shepherding
Tags: ,

I carried a large stick and hit every stone in my path, pretending to get water out of the rock like Moses. I stood on tables and shouted, imagining that I was Elijah calling fire from heaven. I made-believe I was fighting Goliath like David, when in reality I was throwing pebbles at pine trees. As a boy I dreamed about being a “spiritual giant of the faith.” To me, that was the pinnacle of spiritual leadership – and I wanted to be a spiritual leader.

I still do.

My understanding of spiritual leadership has grown and changed over the years, and in the last couple of months it went through another growth-spurt.

Reflection #1: Spiritual leadership is the context in which leadership is exercised rather than a particular style of leadership.

I noticed that we talk about leadership differently depending on the context and style. For example, we talk about the context of leadership with terms like business leadership, military leadership, political leadership, community leadership, family leadership, and church leadership; we talk about the styles of leadership with terms like tyrannical leadership, servant leadership, creative leadership, thought leadership, and subversive leadership.

[Questions to wrestle with: how do we recognize spiritual situations that require leadership, and what does a spiritual leader do in those moments?]

The modern Christian church and the typical American family have adopted popular business leadership and management practices with inconsistent results; some business practices work well while others do not.

Survey #1: Your Place of Employment

Survey #2: Your Church

Survey #3: Your Family 

This is part of a study which examines why some leadership practices work well, whereas some introduce dysfunction in the church (and the family), and why it is difficult to detect the damaging practices…

Some of you have asked for the personal reflections I shared at the Dioko Family Workshop… well, here they are with the “punch line” first:

When my own “control freak” alarm goes off, I ask myself these recalibrating questions:

  1. Am I acting in wisdom?
  2. Am I radiating the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
  3. Am I (rightly) representing who God is?
  4. Am I cultivating holiness?

So, why have I settled on these 4 questions? Because: as I studied the Christian Scriptures, I realized four truths about healthy control. Healthy control (self-control) is a sign of wisdom. The Book of Proverbs in the Bible backs up this reflection (see Proverbs 29:11). Second, healthy control (self-control) is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (see Galatians 5:23) Third, healthy control is delegated. If Jesus is the King of Kings as the Christian Bible states, then any controlling-authority I have is delegated from Him. Fourth, healthy control leads to holiness. As I submit to the control of God, it leads to right-living in the eyes of God. (Romans 6:22)