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The Steward as a Spiritual Leader A Calling From God Larry R Evans, D.Min. Associate Director, Stewardship General Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "The Steward as a Spiritual Leader A Calling From God Larry R Evans, D.Min. Associate Director, Stewardship General Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Steward as a Spiritual Leader A Calling From God Larry R Evans, D.Min. Associate Director, Stewardship General Conference

2 Quiz

3 Quiz, contd.

4

5 Introduction Part I Spiritual Leadership: The Missing Component of Conventional Leadership

6 “The Theater of God’s Grace” Enfeebled and defective as it may appear, the church is the one object upon which God bestows in a special sense His supreme regard. It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts. (Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 12)

7 The Gift of Influence “Every particle of your strength and influence, every moment of your time, belongs to God. Look not to man as your leader, but to God, the living God. He will put His Spirit upon all who serve Him with whole-hearted devotion. Every part of the being belongs to Him; He has bought it with the life of His Son.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20 p.150.7

8 The Context of Our Leadership The Church and Its Culture

9 The Bride of Christ “The Church is holy and sinful, spotless and tainted. The Church is the bride of Christ, who washed her in cleansing water and took her to himself ‘with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless’ (Ephesians 5:26-27)....

10 The Bride of Christ, contd. The Church too is a group of sinful, confused, anguished people constantly tempted by the powers of lust and greed and always entangled in rivalry and competition.” (Henri Nouwen, Daily Meditation, Oct. 17, 2010)

11 Financial Scandal Impacts World  Financial Scandal revealed in 2001  Largest bankruptcy reorganization in American history  Biggest audit failure

12 Pastoral Sex Scandal Bishop Eddie Long, pastor of a 25,000 member mega church in Atlanta, GA. Had publically campaigned against homosexuality. Church shocked and divided when three “victims” claim that he made homosexual advances/actions towards them.

13 A Courageous Self-evaluation Courageous self-evaluation of Willow Creek seeker-service: Not producing “mature Christians.” Parishioners who convert to Christianity becoming malnourished over time.

14 Innovation Not Adequate Greg Hawkins: “One of the things we discovered really challenged our thinking about the role of the church. We had a long-standing belief that the more involved with church activities people were, the more they’d be growing spiritually....

15 Innovation Not Adequate contd …We found that wasn’t the case. The church was making a big impact on people early in their spiritual journey, but the closer they grew to Christ, the less impact the church was having.

16 Colson on Christianity Charles Colson: “What is Christianity?... Undoubtedly half will respond, ‘A relationship with Jesus.’” That is wrong. The gospel cannot be merely a private transaction...”

17 Colson on Christianity “I even dislike using the words ‘accept Christ’ anymore—because it is so much more than that. Christianity is a way of seeing all of life and reality through God’s eyes. That is what Christianity is: a world- wide view, a system, and a way of life.... It is the most exciting, radical, revolutionary story ever told.”— quoted in UnChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, pp

18 The Church: One of Many Organizations As Jesus was one human person among many, so the Church is one organization among many. As Jesus may not have been the most attractive in appearance compared to others, so there may be organizations run better than the Church.

19 The Church: One of Many Organizations But Jesus is the Christ and appearing among us He reveals God’s love, and the Church is His people called together to make His presence visible in today’s world.

20 The Church: One of Many Organizations This is the essence of our calling as spiritual leaders in the Church. We are not perfect but our ministry is to reveal the One who is and who loves the imperfect and desires to make them whole.

21 Challenges Facing Church Leadership 1. The problem of the Information Age: Information Overload & Compression of Time 2. Trust in leaders and organizations is failing. 3. Some leaders have forgotten how to blush. (Jer. 6:13-15; 8:8-12)

22 Challenges Facing Church Leadership 4. Politicians have replaced statesmen creating a cynicism of leaders in general. 5. Changed lives have been substituted by institutional makeovers. 6. The assumption that spiritual concerns are confined to spiritual realms and do not impact all of life’s concerns.

23 WHAT IS SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP? Is a secular definition adequate for the Church

24 George Barna on Christian Leadership “A Christian leader is someone who is called by God to lead and possess virtuous character and effectively motivates, mobilises resources and directs people toward the fulfillment of a jointly embraced vision from God.”

25 What Is Spiritual Leadership? George Barna: 3C’s –Call -- A call from God –Character -- Qualities of a godly leader –Competencies – Skills of a Christian leader

26 What Is Spiritual Leadership? Henry Blackaby: “Spiritual leadership is moving people on to God’s agenda.”

27 Five Tasks of a Spiritual Leader 1.To move people from where they are to where God wants them to be. (When spiritual leaders have done their jobs, the people around them have encountered God and obeyed his will.)

28 Tasks of a Spiritual Leader 2.To be dependent on the Holy Spirit. [God to Moses: I have surely seen the affliction of My people...So I have come down to deliver them... Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people,... Out of Egypt.” (Ex. 3:7-8) ]

29 Tasks of a Spiritual Leader 3.To be accountable to God. [Leaders assume it is their responsibility to move people to do God’s will. True spiritual leadership is taking people from where they are to where God wants them to be.]

30 Tasks of a Spiritual Leader 4.To influence all people, not just God’s people. [The example of Joseph teaches us that there may not be anything overtly spiritual about building grain storage bins or developing a food distribution system, but these activities were on God’s agenda and he did it through a governmental official who impacted a whole nation.]

31 Tasks of Spiritual Leaders 5.To work from God’s agenda. [It is too often assumed that the role of a leader is to determine what should be done and then ask God to bless their efforts. Whereas the role of the spiritual leader is to first seek God’s will as to where He is working and join Him there.]

32 Henri Nouwen on Being Relevant “Jesus’ first temptation was to be relevant: to turn stones into bread. Oh, how often have I wished I could do that! Walking through the ‘young towns’ on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, where children die for malnutrition and contaminated water, I would not have been able to reject the magical gift of making the dusty stone- covered streets into places where people could pick up any of the thousands of

33 Nouwen, contd. rocks and discover that they were croissants, coffee cakes, or fresh-baked buns, and where they could fill their cupped hands with stale water from the cisterns and joyfully realize that what they were drinking was delicious milk. Aren’t we called to heal the sick, feed the hungry, and alleviate the suffering of the poor?...

34 Nouwen, contd. Are we not called to do something that makes people realize that we do make a difference in their lives?...

35 Nouwen, contd. Jesus was faced with these same questions, but when he was asked to prove his power as the Son of God by the relevant behavior of changing stones into bread, he clung to his mission to proclaim the word and said, ‘Human beings live not by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – In the Name of Jesus, pp.18,19.

36 Part II The Making of a Spiritual Leader

37 Moses: The Statesman Moses was one of the greatest spiritual leaders of all time. What did he learn that could help us? He was a leader who was connected to both God and the people he was to lead but how?

38 The Foundation for a Spiritual Leadership The foundation of Moses’ spiritual leadership began with his introduction to the holiness of God. (Burning bush, Ex.3) Carefulness in speaking accurately for God regardless of feared consequences. (Commands given to Pharaoh, Ex. 7-13) Faith and courage during crisis (Crossing Red Sea, Ex.13,14)

39 The Foundation for a Spiritual Leadership, contd Organization and delegation (The counsel of Jethro, Ex. 18) Confronting apostasy. (The golden calf, Ex. 32) Insistence on the continuance of the abiding presence of the LORD for himself and for his people. (Ex. 33)

40 Moses, the Spiritual Leader 12 Moses said to the LORD, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.' 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people." Ex 33:12-13 (NIV)

41 Moses, the Spiritual Leader 14 The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.“ 15 Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" Ex 33:14-16 NIV)

42 Two Vital Characteristics of Moses 1. Fellowship With God 2.Identification With His People

43 The Spiritual Leadership Dilemma 1. The world view of the secularist and its persistent pursuit of “competence.” 2. The Divine vocation and its persistent pursuit of “irrelevance.”

44 The Pursuit of Irrelevance “The secular world around us is saying in a loud voice, ‘We can take care of ourselves. We do not need God, the Church, or a priest. We are in control. And if we are not, then we have to work harder to get in control. The problem is not lack of faith, but lack of competence. If you are sick, you need a competent doctor; if you are poor, you need

45 The Pursuit of Irrelevance, contd. Competent politicians; if there are technical problems, you need competent engineers; if there are wars, you need competent negotiators.”...

46 The Pursuit of Irrelevance, contd It is here that the need for a new Christian leadership becomes clear. The leader of the future will be one who dares to claim his irrelevance in the contemporary world as a divine vocation that allows him or her to enter into a deep solidarity with the anguish underlying all the glitter of success and to bring the light of Jesus there.” (Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus, p.22)

47 Prophetic Portrayal of the Impact of Spirituality 23 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’ Zech 8:23” (NIV)

48 THE MINISTRY OF A SPIRITUAL LEADER Part III

49 Development & Accountability God’s authentication Encounters with God Character/integrity A successful track record Preparation Inviting others to faithful discipleship

50 Leading The “Three Rules for Success.” –Do what is right. –Do the best you can. –Treat others the way you like to be treated.

51 Leading, contd. These Three Rules Answer Three Questions People Ask About Us: –Can I trust you? –Are you committed to excellence? –Do you care about me as a person.?— Lou Holtz, Notre Dame Football Coach

52 Football Coach vs Spiritual Leader “Leaders can achieve their goals and yet be out of God’s will. Reaching goals is not necessarily a sign of God’s blessing. Spiritual leaders do not use their people to accomplish their goals; their people are the goal.” (Spiritual Leadership, p.122)

53 The Goal of the Spiritual Leader The primary goal of spiritual leadership is taking people from where they are to where God wants them to be and this happens when every member knows how to hear clearly from God and is willing to respond in obedience.

54 Serving Whereas one’s calling comes before vocation, spiritual influence begins with communion with God.

55 Serving Whatever the leader does, however he lives, whatever strategic plans are drawn it all will be measured by one criterion: does it bring God’s people to Himself where He can be known and seen for the love He has for His people!

56 The Leader’s Goal “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.” (Ex 19:4) The ultimate goal was not just a change in circumstances but rather to be brought to God.

57 Finding Victory in Surrender

58 The Leader’s Call for Faithful Stewardship “Systematic benevolence should not be made systematic compulsion. It is free-will offerings that are acceptable to God. True Christian benevolence springs from the principle of grateful love. Love of Christ cannot exist without corresponding love to those whom he came into the world to redeem...

59 The Leader’s Call for Faithful Stewardship “...Love to Christ must be the ruling principle of the being, controlling all its emotions and directing all its energies. Redeeming love should awaken all that tender affection and self-sacrificing devotion that is possible to exist in the heart of man...”

60 The Leader’s Call for Faithful Stewardship “...When this is the case, no heart-stirring appeals will be needed to break through their selfishness and awaken their dormant sympathies, to call forth benevolent offerings for the precious cause of truth.” {RH, December 15, 1874 par. 1}

61 The Tithe Is Sacred “The minister should, by precept and example, teach the people to regard the tithe as sacred. He should not feel that he can retain and apply it according to his own judgment, because he is a minister. It is not his.” Counsels on Stewardship, p.101

62 Responsibility to Instruct “Let no one neglect to give faithful and plain instruction upon tithing. Let there be instruction as to giving to the Lord that which He claims as His own; for the commendation of the Lord will not rest upon a people who rob Him in tithes and offerings. There will be need of often setting before the people their duty on this matter that they may render unto God His own.” Evangelism, p.251

63 The Exhausted Leader The Exhausted Spiritual Leader and the God Who Whispers. Elijah was running for his life. After what happened at Mt Carmel his fear was irrational but it was still fear. God came and spoke to him. (1 Kings 19:2-13) –The Wind –A Earthquake –A Fire –The Quiet Voice of God—He Who Whispers

64 Quieted by God’s Love “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zep. 3:17

65 Quiz

66 Quiz, contd.

67

68 Leadership Without Limits Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph 3:20-21)


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