Saturday, November 19, 2011

Caring for the Church – Part 2: Handling Hot Potatoes

Handling Hot Potatoes!
This is a summary of a seminar given by Malcolm Kayes at TOAM2011 , Bangalore
The pastoral and the prophetic go hand in hand. Hosea 12:13. “The LORD used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt, by a prophet he cared for him. Some people think you are either a pastor or a prophet. But Moses was both. You may be stronger in one of them but you need both in the church.
Acts 20:28:   Keep watch over yourself and the flock. Be Shepherd of the church of God which he bought with his blood. So don’t ever apologize for being a Shepherd. You won’t be perfect. You can apologize for making mistakes but not for leading people.

This is our responsibility and our role. God has appointed you to Shepherd his church – be confident in this otherwise you will be hesitant and fearful of people. This is in any context – be it the small group, small church etc.

Discipling and shaping those under your care
1 Vision: Giving purpose for the context always helps. We as church are there for building one another up and for reaching out. So you set the pattern and atmosphere through your vision.

2. Teaching: We don’t lead by coercion. You lead by showing people what God’s word says. You illuminate their conscience through the Word of God. That’s how you lead. The best leadership is inspirational and motivational. Sometimes you lead more forcefully or deliberately ( like what you do with kids)but not always. People must learn responsibility and consequences through an enlightened conscience.

3. Example – This is the best. Are you faithful to others? Leading in a local church is where the rubber hits the road. Encouragement – thanking people who serve. We must always do it. The serving team are heroes – they need loads of encouragement. We must exhort people. The New Testament is full of it. It has its place - privately and publically. We need a positive culture within the church.

 Here are some Pastoral responsibilities and tools
3 levels of care:

1.      Basic – the one anothering in church. A lot of people push onto the church what they do not want to do themselves. Friendship, social times are important. Small groups – is it pastoral or evangelical. You need a philosophical framework for pastoral care. Teach people to do the basics for one another. Your best friend is your best counsellor – they know you best. Be clear about the role of a small group leader – do they care of the people pastorally? If so train them to do that. Let them know what they should pass onto their senior leaders .This has to do with responsibilities and spheres of authority.

2.      Specialist Care – This deals with life controlling issues like unforgivenss, eating, alcohol. Do you have a way of dealing with this? 3 areas of care-1. Fan into flame – helps people with their strengths, gifts or burdens.2. Life shapers – 8 weeks. They have prayer partners to help them.23. Prayer counselling – for charactering relational issues. We have a team of people who spend three evenings with these people initially.

3.      Crises care – this is an emergency situation where it’s all hands on deck,. Anyone available go first eg) a death, accident etc.
Watch out for energy sappers – they want your time but won’t put any effort into changing. They attract attention to themselves and get a lot of attention for others as well. Sometimes they need boundaries and need action points.

Making disciples – we also have leadership training.

Dealing with the weak,  and the wayward.
Some sheep are silly and some sheep are actually wolves.
·        Be prepared to follow hunches /promptings of the Holy Spirit. HE has made you the leader. If someone has a poor attitude or bad body language – don’t get hyper, have a gracious talk. Ask how they are doing and open the door for conversation.
·        Beware of church hoppers – it’s not wrong to leave but it’s more profound that you think especially if they live in the same locality. Sometimes its unresolved issues and you need to check that. Beware of those who want to make a contribution too quickly – those with vitality, vigour. Be careful of those who just lead of out of their gifting and not character. When you have people’s heart – you have their faithfulness, giving, attending and gifts.

Context for admonition:
Be patient and resilient. Sometimes we want quick change. God is patient with us. Sometimes progress is slow. Also be a little thick skinned. It’s not that you are without emotion but you should be able to absorb pain and disappointment and move on. Choose not to be offended. There’s no need to take abuse – stand up but don’t take offense.
Wisdom – discern between big and small issues. Sometimes they are small and sometimes its big. So ask questions.
1 Discern between big and small issues. Sometimes they are small and sometime big. So ask questions. Is this a mistake/sin caused by immaturity or will fullness. This will determine the response.
Is the person a mature Christian or an immature one? Just because they have been in church a long time does not mean they are mature.
Is this person idle, timid or weak .1Thes 5:14 warn, encourage, help and lastly encourage everyone. Different strokes for different folk.
Has the person got a burden or a load? Gal 6:2, 5. We are to carry each other’s burdens. Each one should carry his own load/responsibility. Burden is an unexpected problem. We should help.
We should encourage people to carry their own load/responsibility. Always work towards people taking responsibility for what they should. Don’t create dependency.
Have you heard both sides of the story?

Confronting people – Am I the person to do this or can someone else? You are safe ground if you don’t like doing it. (if you enjoy it you are a danger to people). Be spiritual – have some discernment. Be loving and considerate and have a desire for restoration.
Pray about the timing and be accountable yourself. Beware lest you get sucked in to their sin. Be a person who known’s God’s word to bring God’s truth. Do it as a brother or sister.
Dancing with the wolves? No thanks!!

We need to be apostolic is dealing with wolves. Don’t ignore the trouble makers. Grace does not mean no accountability, authority and discipline. It’s does not mean everyone agrees. A grace church is an environment where we can share our differences.
Rom 16:17-20 Keep watch. This is often repeated in other epistles. These warnings are not light.
Divisive, pulling in opposite directions, complaints, gossip, unteachable. Different teaching, opposing mission. Paul showed little patients with trouble makers.

No comments:

Post a Comment