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Leaders: A Work in Progress

February 3rd, 2012 by
Posted under Sermons

We are leaders under construction by the Lord, for the purpose of leading people from here to eternity. We will always be learning through life experiences, and through mistakes.

Statistics reveal that we need Servant Leaders in the Church:

80 % of the Churches claims to be Christian

If the measure of success for church is winning souls and then discipling them into mature Christians then Our church is in trouble:

from the book Today’s Pastors:

1. Many regular attendees are not truly Christian in the biblical sense. A majority of the people who attend Christian churches are not Christian, even those who have been attending the same church for nearly a decade.
2. Regular attendees are ignorant of the basic tenets, Dogmas, or Doctrines of faith. Lay members, despite fairly regular attendance by about half of the population, remain largely ignorant of the basic tenets of faith and are at best moderately committed to building a community of believers who are devoted to serving Christ with passion, urgency, and abandon. From their perspective, churches are only moderately helpful in dealing with life, and they perceive the influence of the Christian church on the decline.

A recent survey says:

1. 60 percent of all Filipinos attend church at least once per month.
2. 12 percent of Filipinos read their Bible
3. 25 percent of church members admit they never pray
4. 23 percent never read their Bible
5. 60 percent never give to missions
6. 70 percent never assume responsibilities in the church
7. 85 percent never invite anyone to church
8. 95 percent never win anyone to Christ

these statistics are very revealing. From observing them we can say that the church is not doing it’s job very well. I believe the number one reason is that Christians are not being the leaders that they are called to be. It’s a lack of leadership!

The success of the church to fulfil the Great Commission lies in servant leadership. It’s the way of God.

1.When God wanted His people delivered from an oppressive pharaoh, He used a leader named Moses.

2.When he needed Jerusalem’s wall rebuilt, He used a leader named Nehemiah.

3.When He wanted His people to experience a golden era, He used a leader named David.

4.When He wanted to build a temple, He used a leader Solomon.

5.When he needed a statesman-prophet, He used a leader named Isaiah.

6.when He needed a fearless church planter, He used a leader named Paul.

7.And when He needed  men to start an Unida Church here in Winnipeg, He used men like Resty, Andy, Mannix, Glenn, Jp and many more.

Throughout history, whenever God has needed someone to initiate, organize, and carry out an important project, He has called upon leaders. And since His priority from Pentecost to today has been to build a redemptive communities that would flourish in the midst of resistant cultures, it makes sense that He would turn to leaders again. After all, who’s going to cast the vision of or creatively imagine the future for a biblical functioning community? Who’s going to uphold the value of prayer, make sure the sacraments are honored, and insist that spiritual gifts are in use throughout the church? Who’s going to coordinate ministries, establish small-group structure, lift high the importance of worship, and inspire the church to reach out spiritually to lost people
Leaders are God’s servants equipped by Him to fulfill a specific purpose. In Romans 12:8 gives us instruction that we need to lead with diligence.
“…If it is leadership, let him govern diligently.” Are you gifting leadership?
Let me make an observation “Everyone of us at one time or another are thrust into a position of leadership.” The question is, “What will you do it when it happens?” Are you building a life of leadership? Leadership lives by these principles:

The foundation of leadership is character
The nature of leadership is servant hood
The motive for leadership is love
The measure of leadership is sacrifice
The authority of leadership is submission
The purpose of leadership is to lead people from here to eternity
The glory of leadership goes to God
The tools of leadership are the Word of God and prayer
The privilege of leadership is growth
The power of leadership is the Holy Spirit
The model of leadership is Jesus Christ

Leadership must be built in the church and we all need to understand that all of us are leaders under construction( hindi pa tapos ang Panginoon sa ating lahat). We must allow God to build us into leaders. This means being willing. Leaders are made not born – they are made through God’s teachings and through our mistakes if we learn from them and through life experiences.

I. Leaders are built by learning about God and His ways. In other words leaders are developed by doing their homework.
a. We as leaders are under construction by God and the more we learn about Him the more we develop.
i. II Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (NIV)
1. King James says “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2. Studying the Bible develops you into a leader.
ii. Ezra – developed into a mature leader because he studied.
1. Ezra 7: 9b,10 “…for the gracious hand of his God was on him. For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching it’s decrees and laws in Israel.”
2. Ezra found favor with God and received God’s assistance and blessing because he did his homework.
a. He studied God’s word – devoutly -wholeheartedly.
b. Then he taught others what he learned. Why because this was the key in seeing peoples lives changed. This was a key to motivating the people to return to God and put Him at the center of their lives.
c. There needed to be a new awareness of God in Israel.
d. There needed to be revival in people’s heart if they where going to rebuild the temple.
e. Ezra publicly chapter 9 reiterated what he learned from the Word of God and shared it with the Israelites.
3. Ezra’s study and homework ushered in a revival in chapter 10 we are told.
a. After he finished teaching he then starts praying, confessing and weeping before the house of God listen to what happens Ezra 10:1 “While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites-men, women and children-gathered around him. They too wept bitterly.
i. Then the nation repented and corrected their mistake by making it right.
ii. Ezra a leader who did his homework lead a nation to national repentance and put God back in the center of the nations daily life.
b. All great leaders do their homework!
c. We as leaders have the responsibility to draw closer to God by studying his word and learning more of Him.
d. We as leaders never totally are done being built by God until the day we go home to be with Him.
i. We are to be constantly learning and growing
ii. Quote “Once you are through learning you are through.”

T.S.- Not only are leaders developed through study but also through mistakes !
II. Leaders are under construction by God even through mistakes (If we allow Him the freedom to teach us through them).
a. Yes, leaders make mistakes!
i. To err is human wrote Alexander Pope in the 18th Century. I say to err is human to forgive is divine.
ii. Let me  expressed this same idea in more specific terms: I make the average number of mistakes. Maybe 150 or so on a busy day. Most them are not terribly serious. Putting too much sugar in the coffee cup forgetting that I am a hyperglycaemic. Forgetting the key outside the door knob, Spelling harass with two R’s frying not opening the airvent, and a lot more.
iii. Yes humans -leaders make mistakes. We goof up, and create mess. We mishear, misinterpret, misjudge, misread, misspeak, misspell, misunderstand, and yes make the mistake of sinning.
iv. Truth everyone has blown it! Even the great Apostle Paul shares insight on the issue of mistakes
1. Romans 7:14-25
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

b. The act of making mistakes is common even the great men of faith talk about this shortcoming.
Everyone makes them. In fact, making mistakes is so ordinary, so basically human, some eventually start to just overlook mistakes without batting an eye. We Even get to point sometimes were we just accept our mistakes as being right not wrong.
i. The key to understand is mistakes will happen but admit them for what they are – wrong. Repent of them and then learn from them.
ii. Also learn a lesson that history teaches us – Learn from others mistakes as well.
iii. Peter made the mistake of denying Christ but in Mark he repents of it and Christ restores him. Then look in the book of Acts at man who was given a second chance by Christ and he burst forth to become one of the great Apostles                                                                                              Leaders cannot walk on water but they can learn to swim.
Leaders need to understand that they are not God. Listen to a conversation between God and a leader.                                                                          God is saying; Listen up!” Your not God I am, do it my way!”

Leaders are built by doing their homework, by learning from their mistakes and others and also by going through life experiences.

III. Leaders are built and developed through life’s experiences
Leadership is a process of growth
Leadership is not something you are born with leaders are built a step at a time. It’s like any construction project. You build a brick wall one brick at a time. The more brick you lay the more experienced you become. So it is with leadership – a leader is built one lesson at a time. They are built one experience at a time. Each one of these experiences and lessons teach him/her something more about being a quality leader. Leaders need to understand that they are developed by humbling adversity, humbling mistakes and life experiences.
1. Quote: Leadership is an art, something to be learned over time not simply by reading books. Leadership is more tribal than scientific, more weaving of relationships than amassing of information. (Preaching Today)
2. Jeremiah has a promise from the Lord that he would give Israel and also us the church, shepherds after his heart, who will lead with knowledge and understanding (3:15).
3. The key is to have both knowledge and understanding. You need a balance of both. It’s not a one time blast but a slow developmental process.
How does Your Garden Grow?
Any good gardener knows that beautiful roses require careful pruning. Pieces of a living plant have to die. It cannot just grow wild. We cannot simply “celebrate growth.” It is more than to be regretted, it is tragic that we seem to have lost the insight that growth in Christ requires careful pruning. Pieces of us by our intentional action need to die if we are to become the person that is God’s vision. We are not cutting away a cancerous, but making room for intended growth. (Christianity Today.) John 15:2 “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
1. This is life – We go through life and Holy Spirit continues to prune us into an image like Jesus. He teaches us and corrects us throughout our life. Every life experience brings the opportunity of growth toward maturity in Christ.
2. James 1:2-4 tells us “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when ever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”
3. Our goal as leaders Colossians 1:27b-29
i. From NIV “…God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of his mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
ii. From Another translation 1:28-29
“So, naturally, we proclaim Christ! We warn everyone we meet, and we teach everyone we can, all that we know about him, so that, if possible, we may bring every man up to his full maturity in Christ Jesus. This is what I am working at all the time, with all the strength that God gives me.”
I am a work in progress.
Quote “Everything rises or falls based on leadership!”