I had the opportunity to preach in February at The Seacoast Vineyard in Myrtle Beach . Here is the video of the service. Let me know your thoughts and questions.
Here is a letter I sent to a close friend after our discussion during a break time at a conference.
Thanks so much for listening to me share about our new assignment we have received from the Father. (I had shared how Pandora and I are called to plant a network of “micro-churches” starting in Market Common at Myrtle Beach. “Micro-churches” are churches of 12-20 people meeting in home, businesses and public places. They gather periodically into one gathering for praise and celebration. See a two page summary on the strategy by CLICKING HERE.)
As always your strength as a networker shone through and you began to look up some good contacts to share with me on your phone who you know would be keen on working and sharing with us.
I appreciated you also sharing how God was leading you to be part of leading a large church. I celebrate with you in God’s assignment! It is such a great gift of God’s grace and mercy to let us play a role in the great work he is doing.
Then you went on to describe being in a gathering of church leaders and how the missional community/house church guys were beating up on the large church leader in the room. You mentioned how they used the “rabbit” and “elephant” illustration found in the missional community literature as a stick to beat up on the large church leader. My heart joins you in grieving this needless fighting.
When will ministry leaders wake up and see that God’s Spirit is creative and loves to use many different ways to reach and make disciples of those far from God. He uses large churches, micro-churches, churches led by men and churches led by women, churches with loud music and churches with very quiet music, churches that use one language and churches with many languages. God loves those who remember the history of the church and those running into the future and building bridges for where they see the culture going.
Jeff, I believe those who engage in defending their format of practicing church are often feeling defensive and threatened deep inside. They lack a certainty they are simply servants carrying out the next assignment the Father has given them. They tear down or devalue the works of others in order to gain an assurance they are okay.
I want to cry out, “Look around — go visit the church in Egypt, Iran or China. Visit the urban poor and the affluent new neighborhood. Go to the islands and then go walk a mountain trail to an isolated village. Visit a refugee camp where new people are arriving daily and families living there are living out a cultural family pattern of a new child every year.” In this kind of world we should celebrate that God can organize disciples of Jesus to work like salt and light in any setting.
There are lost people who the Spirit will convict and draw as they sit among thousands. There will be lost people who will need a friend who comes and eats in their home, respectfully absorbs their life story, and helps them connect God’s good news to the bad news going on in their life.
Comparing, competing or tearing down the work of another of Christ’s servants is not new. See Paul’s attacks described in 2 Corinthians and Philippians to remember there is nothing new in Satan’s deceptive strategy of turning the church to devour one another.
Instead of using our energy and creativity to attack how someone else is doing church let us spend time in giving thanks for them and interceding for their fruitfulness.
Let us practice Roman 14 and 15.
“Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. . . . Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”
I look forward to taking a walk on the beach together and praying for one another!
A fellow servant, Roy
One of the ministries God has assigned to me for this chapter of my life is to coach congregational and non-profit ministry leaders. After a recent appointment I was reflecting on what I had contributed. I recalled what the person had validated as being very helpful. I wrote in my journal to remind me to work at getting better at offering effective coaching, “Be very careful to translate inspired intention into concrete action.”
It is so easy to get excited and enjoying being flush with new thoughts and energy that only spin in one’s head or verbally spew out to those around us but fails to answer the questions, “So what are the next 2 to 3 steps that you need to take?” and “When will you begin these actions?”
Change only occurs as we act on our intentions. Faith in the power of God’s Spirit requires we risk; step out.
What has God made clear and stirred up desire to see occur? What is you next action needed? WHEN will you begin?
Praying gives sense, brings wisdom, and broadens and strengthens the mind. The prayer closet is a perfect school teacher and schoolhouse for the preacher. Thought is not only brightened and clarified in prayer, but thought is born in prayer. E.M. Bounds
We are too busy to pray and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results. R.A. Torrey
If you are asked, as an outside consultant, to examine any kingdom enterprise, you can determine the effectiveness by listening to how the leaders are praying. Our prayers expose what we really believe and are a great predictor of where the time, money, and energy of the leadership is going.
What we pray about gets our attention!
What we pray about sets our priorities!
What we pray about is what we do!
A leader who wants a group to behave differently should begin with helping them pray differently. Prayer is not all we do, but if we are not praying, all we do will make little difference.
Prayer is the most important tool God has provided to lead the leader and to influence the people.
From Chapter One (page 27) LIFE GIVING LEADERSHIP, 2016.
After reading every passage where Jesus speaks about leadership I crafted this definition to attempt to capture his heart.
LIFE-GIVING LEADERSHIP IS RESPECTFUL INFLUENCE UNCONDITIONALLY IMPARTING BLESSING AND OFFERING DIRECTION.
Jesus would challenge us with kingdom leadership being upside down from the world’s way of defining leadership.
Start on page 15 in LIFE GIVING LEADERSHIP and read how each word in this definition challenges our cultural (inherited from the world) views of leadership.
Good theology will always be
REDEMPTIVE — Christ centered — filled with faith and hope; anchored in Christ’s atoning death, the certainty of His life giving resurrection and confidence in our coming King.
RELATIONAL–Love and Grace generously given just as we receive in abundance every moment of every day from Christ’s hand by His Spirit.
For More see: LIFE GIVING LEADERSHIP (purchase from Amazon in paperback or Kindle)
The goal of life is to receive and give the LIFE that God offers in Christ….
“JOY IS THE SERIOUS BUSINESS OF HEAVEN.” C. S. Lewis
I am declaring an END to
I am writing to share Good news. God wants you to be receiving LIFE.
There is too much life taking leadership when God’s will is that leadership be life giving to the leader and followers.
From Preface of LIFE GIVING LEADERSHIP published 2016
It has been my honor to walk alongside leaders of churches and ministry organizations for over 30 years.
Sometime the places where these leaders are living is growing quickly and are full of messes like having your granddaughters come through your home like a storm.
Sometimes the place is struggling with plateau or decline and the messes are more like a neighbor’s dog who makes all of their potty dumps right where you walk.
I wanted to write a short book to assist leaders in gaining a clear perspective on how to approach and deal with the messes!
A Summary Outline of THE MASTER PLAN OF EVANGELISM, Robert E. Coleman reprinted over 63 times since its publication in 1963.
I first read Coleman’s book in 1973 during my college days at East Tennessee State University. I was involved in CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). I wrote this summary after going through the book in an action group; our small discipleship groups on campus. It stayed in my journal and has been like a North Star to orient me through over 40 years in parachurch and congregational service. His book is still in print. And a version with a small group study guide in the back is also still accessible. Let’s make sure our main thing is Jesus’ main thing! Roy King June 26, 2015
Steps to building and sending people to the world:
Luke 6:13- People were Christ’s method.
No evidence of haste just determination.
No big impact at this time, just investing in people willing to learn.
Jesus does not neglect the masses, but realizes that victory will never be won by the multitudes.
Matt. 28:20 He was with his disciples.
He let them follow him, and this was his initial requirement.
Lk. 8:10 Knowledge was gained by association before being understood by explanation.
IT TAKES TIME.
Discipleship involves the sacrifice of personal indulgence.
Matt. 11:29- He required obedience.
Lk, 16:13 -The surrender of one’s whole life to the master in absolute submission to His sovereignty was required.
Mt.27:3-10; Acts 1:18, 19 Few would pay the price.
Obedience to Christ was the means by which those in his company learned more truth.
Obedience was modeled by Jesus as he lived in absolute obedience to the Father’s will. Jn.5:30, 6:38.
Jn.20:22 He gave himself away.
- He gave His peace Jn.16:33, Matt,11:28
- He gave His joy. Jn.15-11,17:13
- He gave the keys to the kingdom which the power of hell could not prevail against. Matt.6:19, Lk. 12:32
- He gave them His own glory so could be as one with the Father. 17.22, 24
- He gave them a compulsion for evangelism. Jn. 17:18, 19 As the context reveals, His sanctification was in an area of commitment to the task for which He had been sent into the world, and in dedication to that purpose of evangelism, He continually gave His life “for their sakes”. “The ministry of the Holy Spirit is God in operation in men’s lives.” ( pg. 72)
Jn. 13:15 He showed them how to live.
- The practice of prayer Lk, 11:11, Matt.6:9-13.
- The use of Scripture Abide in His word Jn.15:7.
- Training to the task of evangelism Jesus did not use fancy classes or tools, only a teacher who practiced with them what He expected them to learn.
Matt.4:19- He assigned them work. He provided them with a vital experience with God and showed them how he worked, before telling them they had to do it.
Their briefing instructions. Lk.9, Matt.10, Mk. 6
- Go to the most susceptible audience Matt.10:5,6
- Move with the movers Matt.l0:ll, Mk 6:10; Lk.9:41
- Expect Hardship.
- Remember- They are one with Christ. Matt.10:40-42, John 13:20 “Think of this identity! The disciples were to be the actual representatives of Christ as they went forth. So clear was this association that if someone gave a child a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, that act of mercy would be rewarded.”
- They were sent out 2 by 2. Evangelism set up Christ for his ministry Lk. 10:l
“Christian disciples are sent men-sent out in the same work of world evangelism to which our Lord was sent, and for which He gave His life. Evangelism is not an optional accessory to our life. It is the heartbeat of all that we are called to be and do.”
Mk. 8:17- He kept check on them-
He gave instruction, assignments and then regrouping to iron out problems.
Jesus used mistakes and failures for learning Mk.9:17-29,Mk.6:30-44, Mk.8:10-19.
Plan of teaching:
- Constant check-up.
Jn.l5:l6-He expected them to reproduce. (Jn.17:20, 21, 23)
“His whole evangelistic strategy, indeed, the fulfillment of his very purpose in coming into the world, dying on the cross, and rising from the grave depended upon the faithfulness of his chosen disciples to this task.”
A barren Christian is a contradiction. A tree is known by its fruit.
“The only hope for the world is for men to go to them with the Gospel of salvation, and having won them to the Savior, not to leave them, but to work with them faithfully, patiently, painstakingly, until they become fruitful Christians savoring the world about them with the Redeemer’s love.”
“The criteria upon which a Church should measure its success is not how much the budget is increased, or how many names are added to the roll, but rather how many Christians are actively winning souls and training them to win the multitudes.”(pg.113, 114)
Conclusion: The Steps Summarized
- Begin with a few
- Stay together
- Give them time
- Group meetings
- Expect something from them
- Keep them going
- Help them carry their burdens
- Let them carry on
- Their personal spiritual relationship with Jesus is priority
- The price of victory comes high.
THE Critical Question for you to answer, “Can I trust the character/heart of the person/s over me even when I have good reason to not trust their competence in handling the situation we are facing?”
If you answer, “No” to that question; pray and ask God if you should leave the position. The Bible warns of the danger of leaders with corrupt character creating a wake of destruction. OR …At least know how to pray and be very cautious.
If you answer “Yes” realize that the poor exercise of competence can still sink the organization, wound people including you, and generally make a mess. The lack of or poor communication or a hundred other poorly executed skills related to leading, managing and empowering others still spells poor supervision.
Skills can be learned and practiced and improved in many cases if a supervisor is humble and teachable.
SO — what do you think and do?
Think — I should not assume that someone over me knows how to lead me well. Your supervisor/s are not mind readers and often do not have a good feel of what you need to carry out your responsibilities. They are too concerned about their own work to know yours well. They often hired you to do what they do not have time or desire to do.
Do — Inform the supervisor/s what you need to be empowered and effective in your responsibilities. List your vital contributions to the organization. Then describe what you need now or in the near future to be effective. Sit down and discuss the list — even when it includes items such as, “Limit surprises that disrupt my day or week… they confuse my priorities and push me out of clarity into crisis reaction.” Be honest but realistic about the nature of the workplace. Lead UP the way you want to be addressed by someone UNDER you.
Remember that you work FOR them. Do not assume that you know their preferred work language. Ask questions and then be diligent to lay down your own preferences, if necessary, to use their language. WHAT IS A WORK LANGUAGE?
Examples of questions that uncover work language or style?
- How do you prefer to communicate? (face to face planned meetings, as you walk by, e-mail, text, phone, etc.,)
- How do you prefer to address conflict? (write up summary and then ask to meet to follow-up, over lunch, etc.,)
- How do you prefer to evaluate results? (standard reports of benchmarks, surveys, daily tasks accomplished, etc.,)
- How do you prefer to handle personal non-work issues in my life? (leave it at home, let’s have coffee, at weekly meeting, etc.,)
Bottom Line — We are ALL developing competence in leading UP to those over us and DOWN to those under us. Stay humble and ask this question, “What am I doing that is making your job more challenging or difficult?” Then listen, act on what you hear and follow up in a few weeks to see if you have improved.
WHAT IS HELPING YOU TO LEAD UP OR LEAD DOWN?