Perceive more accurately their responsibilities as Christian Leaders.
Move toward accepting God as your co-leader and responsible for results.
See how it feels to turn the responsibility for training over to God.
Experience feelings of leaders to gain better understanding of that perspective.
See themselves as recipients of God’s training, and help others do the same.
Experience Christian community.
Almighty God, you want us to share with others the love and training that you have given us. Without your help we would be lost and confused. We rely totally on you to provide training, guidance and growth. Thank you for the blessing of your love for us and your willingness to have us travel the ultimate road – the road to heaven – that we might receive the ultimate graduation. Amen.
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt. 9:37-38). This is one of the many images that help us understand that we are partners with God in his work of training for our world. We plant, tend, and harvest crops, but God causes the miracle of growth. We can train others, but God produces the growth, the guidance, the change in peoples lives. It is tempting at times to forget God’s responsibility in the leadership process. In this class, let us look at the division of responsibilities in this process, and grow in appreciation of God’s way of using us in his process of Leadership.
Ass almost everyone knows, the Bible contains many examples of human need. Throughout its pages we read of loneliness, discouragement, doubt, grief, sadness, envy, violence, poverty, sickness, interpersonal tension, and a variety of other personal problems – sometimes exhibited in the lives of the greatest saints.
Farmers teach lessons in hope everyday. They toil for days, even weeks preparing the soil for planting. Tilling, fertilizing, planting seeds, and cultivating – all these activities work to prepare, nourish, and protect the crop. And every day, farmers hope – for warmth, but not too much. When the time for harvest arrives, farmers know they are gathering in hopes fulfilled as much as work rewarded.
The apostle Paul knew this. In 1 Cor. 3: 6-7 he wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” As a farmer’s responsibility rests with preparing a crop for harvest, so the Christian Leader responsibility is to “plant” and “water.” God then provides the growth (control, success and thereby the reward). In other words, Christians are responsible for the work and God is responsible for the results.
What Christian leaders, do is prepare the ground for the Great Leader. Preparing the ground means doing the best possible job to create a situation and then waiting on the Lord’s results. It is God who provides emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual growth according to his will.
The Christian leader/trainer is characterized by a personality which radiates sincerity, understanding, and an ability to confront in a constructive manner. These trainers also are skilled in the application of techniques which help trainees move toward specific therapeutic goals.
The word leader/trainer is defined as: to lead or direct the growth of: to form by instruction, discipline, …educate; … to teach so as to be fitted, qualified, proficient, etc; to make prepared for a test, contest, etc., as by exercise, dieting, etc.; to aim at an object, bring to bear. The word train is defined as: to subject oneself or to be subjected to instruction. …; to form habits or impart proficiency by teaching; to associate, or be on friendly terms.
When he was teaching some of his followers one day, Jesus stated why he had come to earth: to give us life in abundance and in all its fullness. Earlier, in what now is surely the most famous verse in Scripture, Jesus had told God’s purpose in sending the Son -” “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus, therefore, had two goals for individuals: abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven.
Leadership is a relationship word. A leader, therefore, is a person whose relationship with others are characterized by service and guidance. connotes “willingness to serve.”
If we take the words of Jesus seriously we are likely to reach the conclusion that a fully abundant life only comes to those who seek to live in accordance with his teachings.
Christian leaders work hard to establish relationships that encourage Christian growth. Christian leaders, however, rely on God for results.
Let us recognize, however, that there are many sincere Christians who wwill have eternal life in heaven but who are not experiencing a very abundant life on earth. These people need training which involves something other than evangelism or traditional Christian education. Such training might, for example, help trainees recognize unconscious harmful attitudes, teach interpersonal skills and new behaviors, or show how to mobilize one’s inner resources to face a crisis. At times such training, guided by the Holy Spirit, can free a trainee from hang-ups which prevent him or her from growing to Christian maturity. For the nonbeliever, such training can serve as a kind of “pre-evangelism”, which clears away some of the subtle obstacles to conversion. Evangelism and discipleship, therefore, are the Christian Leader/trainer’s “ultimate overarching” goals, but they are not the only goals.
In the broadest sense, what you are offering in distinctive Christian leadership is love. Because Jesus Christ lives in you, you are God’s ambassador. You carry the news of his unconditional acceptance and hope-filled training plan and program for a fullness of life. Leadership is a process-like tilling, fertilizing, planting, and cultivating. Processes are verbs and the process of leadership is in your hands.
Living out the knowledge that results – belong to God is living in faith. Such faith has beneficial effects on both the leader and the person receiving the training.
- Caring in Christian Theology (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- The Church As a Training Community (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- …Answers (georgehach.wordpress.com)