This message was preached at the RegionsBeyond India Leadership conference 2016.
This message was preached by Colin D'Cruz who leads Word of Grace.
Leadership redefined- some things I have learnt in regions beyond
These are some things that I have picked up, few things we put into practice. Not every church has caught all of these, but we are all on a journey together.
Q. How do we learn something?
Different people learn in different ways. For me it’s through reading, watching and experiencing. All these conferences, there are so many words to be absorbed. Each time I go somewhere I get a little bit. We’ve embarked on this journey with Steve and each time I got a little bit.
These things need to be looked at in a new dimension.
1. Sacrificial servant leadership-
John 13:3-5 “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” Jesus was a servant leader- the Son of man came not to be served.
Here we see that Jesus was secure in who he was. That enabled him to be sacrificial in his servant. In India we want to serve those above us. When the boss says something, we run to do it. The new way of thinking is, can we serve those who are our peers and those who are under us. Even those who may betray us or leave us?We’ve seen this amongst us- Gary and Nicky, Steve and many others. Let’s be eager to serve everyone. It demonstrates the humility of Christ.
2. Multicultural multi-generational:
Eph 2: 15- “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations”. Gal 3:28- “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”. The flavour of church we want to have is first of all to be multicultural. In South Africa, which has been a segregated nation, the goal is to plant churches which have all three. Truly multicultural! When Steve went to Clarens, apartheid was still existence. We are breaking down barriers of all sorts. We have so many nations in our nation.
Who is an Indian?? The tendency is for one community to stick with another. The new community that Jesus has fashioned is one that is with every community is accepted. Every year we hear of people who are killed for marrying people of other castes.
We are all one in Christ.
It’s also multi-generational- it’s not that the old guys get to do everything. Everyone has a role to play. It’s not one leader all his life. When we have conferences like HUB and Masterbuilders- we have 4 generations preaching. 70s, 50s, 40s, 20s. This is what we want to see.
3. Uplifting the poor:
Luke 4:18- “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor...” 1 Sam 2:8- “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honour.” We want to see the gospel reaching the poor. Not just the cities but the villages as well. We don’t just want people saved but want to see them valued. One nation has been amazing at this. People from the slums have been saved and are serving and performing on the stage. It’s not just salvation, giving them a role to play in church but empowering them economically as well. We need to have more than what we just need.
Is not earning just for ourselves but sharing with others as well. Economic empowerment to bring dignity to their lives is important. We have a long way to go in that direction. This is the same issue across the world. There is a huge issue of empowering the poor. We need to do something about this. We need the businessmen to do something about this.
4. Prayer and seeking the presence of God-
what fuels and energizes us, is being in God’s presence. Worship is not a time to sing a few songs and wait to get into the real important thing. We’ve had people who consistently come late, and hope to just make it for the word. The worship is as important. Throughout the New Testament, they gathered around the presence of God. We have to be a people who love the presence, encouraging the prophetic. Trusting the Holy Spirit to do his work in the lives of people.
One of the things Steve said is- In Clarens where people spoke different languages is to pray and worship together.
5. Being there for one another’s success:
What does this mean? Sometimes we can just mouth the latest slogan. Being there for one another’s success can be misunderstood- it’s not that everyone is there for your success. But it is that we are there for other’s success.
Churches can have jealousy, selfish ambition, etc. But we need to be people who a
Joseph’s brothers were not there for his success.
Gen 37:19- 20- ““Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.””. His brothers sought to kill him. They didn’t celebrate his gifting. That can happen in the local church setting as well.
When someone is gifted, instead of celebrating it, we put them down. Jonathan was going to be the next king. But when he saw God’s hand on David, he loved him and protected him. Who do you want to be like? Joseph’s brothers or Jonathan?
Another example is Barnabas- he was the son of encouragement. When Saul, the destroyer of the church, was born again, the apostles were afraid to accept him into their midst. But Barnabas took him along.
You can be an encourager. Barnabas also took John Mark- who deserted Paul and Barnabas. When he returned, Paul said we don’t need him. Paul went with silas. Barnabus took Mark in. Barnabas never wrote a book of the Bible, but he encouraged 2 men who wrote 14 books of the Bible.
Being there for one another’s success is something we need to do- to accept someone else’s gifting, celebrating them, helping them flourish in their gifts, operating in an atmosphere of grace.
Even at a church level- we need to say, how can I help another church succeed. We can get caught up with building our local church, but what about building another church? Donald has this prophetic- we’ve come here as church, but it is about working together.
6. Cultivating a spirit of generosity and giving:
In Regions Beyond, there is such a spirit of generosity. Steve would talk about a particular situation and people would give towards it. We might not have much, but we can give something.
7. Local mission but global commission:
We are involved in the gospel in our area, our city and nation. But it is also reaching the nations. Colin Nickels- bloomfontain- the ideology of apartheid began here. The African national congress also started here which brought freedom to South Africa. But there is a problem- the city is segregated. As they are planting there, we are with them. We can pray, some of us can visit them. To partner with them as you would like people to partner with you. Together, we can do it.
8. Deep Heart friendships and committed relationships:
We want to see friends building the church together. It is in spending time together. Eating and drinking, having fun together. Jesus did that. We want to have fun times together. We think fun things are not spiritual. Let’s be people who enjoy all the things God has for us. In that, friendships begin to get formed. This will include being vulnerable and sharing our weaknesses with close friends who can share your struggles and are there for one another.
Being accountable- people who are holding us account for God’s call on your life, for our abilities. We need friends who will encourage in God to push us towards the goal. This is very important.
In a group like this, we can meet many people but not be connected with anyone. So let’s get to really know one another.
Overarching all these points is grace. We do this because of the grace of God upon us. Without it, we won’t be able to do any of these things. Amen.