Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Great STAFF is Made Up of Great LEADERS

Tim Auld, our Executive Pastor here at Grace Church, is taking our ministry leaders and managers through the video teaching of Andy Stanley called, Becoming a Great Staff. In session #1 we learned that a great staff is made up of great leaders. But what is Biblical leadership? We see it presented clearly in Mark 10:32-45.

This passage begins as Jesus and His disciples are walking to Jerusalem during which Jesus announces to them that when they get there, He was going to be betrayed, condemned to death, mocked, spit on, flogged, killed, and then 3 days later rise again. Now how would you imagine these men who had left everything to follow Jesus responding to such shocking news? Would you see them crying? Would you see them begging Jesus not to continue to Jerusalem? So how did they respond? According to verse 23, James and John immediately take Jesus aside and respond with these words, “We want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

Excuse me? Did they not hear what Jesus just said? And what was it that they wanted from Jesus? They wanted Him to promise that when He came to glory that they would be second in command with Him. Imagine the gall of these two that were nicknamed, “Sons of Thunder.” Mark tells us that when the other ten heard about this (I wonder how they heard) they were indignant. Why? It wasn’t because they were offended on Jesus’ behalf. It was because they hadn’t thought of it first.

Jesus calls them all together and reminds them of the world’s view of greatness. In the world, “the large are in charge.” Those who are great rule and lord over those who are underneath them. Then Jesus announces, “This is not to be the case with you who will be those who lead my church that is about ready to be launched!” Now Jesus offers a whole different paradigm for leadership. He is basically saying, “Don’t do it the way it has been modeled before you all your life.” Jesus goes on and says that whoever wants to be great must first be a servant and whoever wants to be first must first be slave of all.

Notice, He does not say it is wrong to want to be a leader. It is not wrong to desire to be great. Nor is He saying that there shouldn’t be leaders. There is a growing popular movement today that says that we should simply level out the organizational chart and make everyone equal in leadership. That is not what Jesus was saying. Jesus was teaching that if you desire to be great, then you must first be a servant. He then gave Himself as the ultimate example. Even though He was the Son of Man, He did not come to be served but to serve others. If Jesus did not come to be served, church leaders are not to be served either. And too what extent is this true? Jesus did so to the extent that He laid down His life as a ransom for many. That’s Biblical leadership.

Based on this, what is the goal of a church staff in order to become a great staff? Stanley says that the goal is a staff culture characterized by mutual submission. What’s that look like? I’ll share more in my blog tomorrow.

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