Session II Transforming “IT”... A Leader’s #1 Responsibility
How each member of your congregation sees himself/herself gives rise to how your congregation sees itself (“IT”), kirche or ekklesia. Just as the #1 role of the Holy Spirit is to convict people of sin (John 16:8) and thus to transform the way they see themselves, your #1 role as your congregation’s leader is to transform your congregation’s “IT”.
Vacated from the world Preserving the Past Damper Behave Serve us Maintenance Control Institution Vehicle to the world Shaping the future Amplifier Believe Serve others Mission Release Inspiration Kirche Rector - Manager Ekklesia Rector - Equipper
Leading such a radical transformation of “IT” will be possible only if you have personally answered life’s four basic questions: 1.Who am I? 2.What are my choices? 3.What is really important to me? 4.What are my goals?
Hebrews 11:24-27 Who Am I? 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. What Are My Choices? 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
What Is Really Important to Me? 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. What Are My Goals? 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
Moses was able to lead one of the greatest congregational transformations of all time... “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God...” (1 Peter 2:10) because he had answered life’s four basic questions. Have you?
Bridging the 18” gap, transforming kirche minds into ekklesia hearts, can only be done incarnationally by a transformed leader. Are you? - A Hard Truth - Being in a leadership position does not qualify you to lead an ekklesia!
11/19/43 11/13/55 12/20/55 Death Jeremiah 29:11 Matthew 25:23 1/23/94 7/1/70
Are you personally prepared to lead a radical change of “IT”? 1.Are you the primary caregiver in your congregation? 2.Are you a micromanager? 3.Are meetings important to you? 4.Are you willing to perpetuate programs and events that lead nowhere? 5.Are you threatened by gifted leaders? 6.Do you have a desire to please everybody?
“IT” has momentum so even if you answered “no” to every one of these questions, the odds of turning a true kirche- minded congregation into an ekklesia- hearted congregation are stacked against you... Oil and water Ownership Longevity 7 last words “The traditions of dead generations weigh like a nightmare on the minds of the living.”
“ Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated - the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.” Hebrews 11:36-38 The personal cost could be high...
... too high unless you have died to yourself! “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous...” Joshua 1:5b,6a God’s purpose for your life is always greater than the problems in your life. And the problems you’re facing now have an eternal purpose.
A transformed leader is at heart a missionary living for “Him and them”. “The approach of the Celtic missionaries was essentially gentle and sensitive. They sought to live alongside of the people with whom they wanted to share the good news of Christ, to understand and respect their beliefs and not to dominate or culturally condition them.” Ian Bradley, The Celtic Way, p.74
“As the rector of a congregation, you are not called to be missionary to the world; your role is to transform the members of your congregation into missionaries!” Chuck Owens
“Today we are very much in danger of producing “midlander” mentality and emotions: those of safe people who have never been all at sea or experienced the ‘cliffs of fall' (as the poet Gerald Hopkins described the mind’s mountains of grief.) We avoid being frontiersmen and women in case we are shot at by our own side if we dare to cross boundaries. Yet in reality, life is ever taking us to the edge of things. Borders may be hard to see or define, but we forever cross into new lands.
“Frontiers are still exciting places and everyone should be encouraged to explore them: the borderlands are there for us all to enjoy.” David Adam, Borderlands, p.viii Stability favors the status quo - it’s the “promised land” for kirche-minded folks. Chaos favors entrepreneurship – life in the borderlands is the “promised land” for the ekklesia-minded
Your community doesn’t need another kirche – what it needs is an ekklesia within which: Churched people would be comfortable bringing their unchurched friends and family members; Unbelievers could hear the life-changing truth that God loves them and that Jesus died for their sins.
Session III Exporting “IT”... A Congregation’s #1 Calling