This message was preached by Tim Davies at the Regions Beyond Leaders meeting in Mumbai. Please click here for the audio link.
USING THE GIFT OF LEADERSHIP TO RAISE LEADERS:
1. Great in zeal
3. Great in wisdom
4. Know the peace of God
5. Full of faith
All these are needed when we have to bring through leaders.
1. Romans 12- Zeal- this is the Paul identifies. Leadership is just one of the gifts. It’s neither the first nor the crescendo. It’s tucked between acts of mercy and giving.
We nee to lead with conviction, zeal, passion and whole-heartedness.
Isaiah 9- The zeal of the Lord shall accomplish it. The passionate heart of God will see it right through.
The disciples remember this prophecy when Jesus is in the temple courts with a whip. People with zeal make an impact.
So Paul, when he talks about leadership, he says to do it with zeal. We need to lead with passionate energy.
When it comes to bringing other leaders through a number of things can sap us.
If you are not fully convinced that this is something you need to do, you will not have zeal.
Why aren’t we convinced to invest in leaders?
a. Because in the short term, it’s easy to do it by yourself. They may not do it well. I’ll have to sort out their mistakes. It’s easier but its short term and un biblical.
b. Our own insecurities can be exposed. What if the standard does not go down but goes up?
c. Lack of faith- we are not planning for anything different than now- no expectation of change. The certainty of change will force you to make leaders and change will force zeal. Where faith is present we will act with zeal.
d. Would they want to be disciple by me? If I make the ‘big ask’, i.e. to be disciples, etc, will anyone want to come with me?
These things and others sap zeal. This is where the leadership gift needs to be bold. We lead in teaching. People want to give their lives for something the leader has faith for- where they are excited, convinced that there is something you need to do.
Are you convinced? Is not, you have believed the lie of the enemy.
2. Joy- Hebrews 13: 17- it is not an advantage to be led by miserable leaders.
Philippians 3- “Rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.” There is a great protection in joy for a happy church. A whole lot of temptation falls to the ground when you are full of joy.
If we are full of joy, other people will desire it because there is no status to be obtained. So we want to be joyful in our call of others to join us. Jesus called people by name- that was a happy moment.
3. We need much wisdom to lead- we need leaders who are not faddish but we need wise leaders. What does James say? In chapter 1- we can ask for wisdom. In chapter 3- he defines this wisdom in verses 13-18. In verse 17, he gives a beautiful description of wisdom - “Pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” Wise decisions come when selfish ambition and bitter jealousy are killed.
If Jesus needed to spend a night in prayer when choosing leaders, this is a good list to keep before us when choosing leaders.
Jesus had an assorted bag of leaders. You had a zealot and tax collector along with fishermen. We need to be open to reason- willing to hear a different point of view.
Gentle and peaceable- it’s large hearted. It’s very secure and happy to have other voices.
4. Leadership needs to be great in knowing the peace of God- School would be great without children. Sometimes we feel like that about church. But when it is a leader who causes this, it touches our own heart.
One reason we have lost zeal is because we have decided to keep people at a distance. We need to find our strength in God. (Psalm 131: 1-2)
There is a place to go where we can say we do not understand but I have quieted my soul and all is well. We need this as a leader- we need to know this place when the storms come in, where it is not contested by the enemy.
We exercise this when we draw others into our world of leading so we have no fear of being let down, betrayed and misunderstood.
Jesus knew this- in his fellowship with the father.
5. Faith- we are doing this when we expect change and extreme faith for what we do not fully see. We are clearly leading into an unseen future.
Isaiah 51: 1- here the rock is Abraham. He was one and then was many. We are made of the same stuff as Abraham. God shows Abraham the stars and then he believed. We don’t know how long the pause is. Picture that moment- no stories of the Red Sea or the cross then and God speaks into his spirit and he believes. We have been made of the same stuff. We are made for those great leaps of faith.
So we believe God for individuals- to bring people through. It stirs faith in them and without faith it is impossible to please God. It’s not a management tool. This is a part of the same promise. Jesus is the seed of Abraham. We carry the promises of Abraham to believe for descendants who will be like the stars. When we are praying for individuals in the church and call them to join the team, heaven watches those moments- they are moments of faith and God loves it. Jesus said when the son of man returns, will he find faith? Jesus is looking for faith and responds to it. When my zeal and faith live up with the zeal, joy and wisdom that comes from heaven we can achieve a lot.
John 14:12 is the most freeing statement- “Even greater things than these.”
1 Corinthians 12: 21-22- “on the contrary, those parts that cannot be seen are indispensable”. The weaker people that God gives is to raise up are the ones we cannot do without. If we can get that we will unlock the world.