A Focused Church Leader

The beginning and end of church leadership is the mission. Doug Logan shares two ways leaders can keep focused on the mission.

  1. Cultivate Biblically-Shaped Leadership
  2. Cultivate the Gospel-Structured Mission

We must be committed to making disciples who are mobilized for missional engagement. This comes as we are pruned and shaped by the gospel and then in turn begin the process of shaping those in our charge. We must prepare ourselves by being deeply rooted in the Word of God and spreading truth, hope, and peace.

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Listen Like Jesus Listened

Would your friends and family describe you as a good listener? Though Deepak Reju addresses pastors and challenges them to avoid being a “proverbial fool”, all Christians in all roles can learn from Jesus and the scriptures to patiently and lovingly listen to others.

Just think about Jesus. Think about his conversations. How engaged he seemed. How much he listened to others, and asked questions in response. How skilled he was at drawing others out, and communicating his sympathy for a person. What would Martha, or blind Bartimaeus, or the woman at the well, or the disciples say about Jesus?

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A Calling Comes After a Question

Our desire to receive a calling from the Lord when facing a big faith decision, in some ways, comes from a good place. It reflects in us a desire to be certain of God’s will, to not stray from obedience and to make the best decision possible.

What it can also reflects in us is a preoccupation with the wrong kind of questions that we ask God.

If we really should assert that God calls people today through specific dreams, revelations or circumstances, we also need to assert that God’s call to us, often times comes after a question that we ask him. A calling usually comes after a question. We may ask God “Should I move to this new place?” or “Should I marry this man or this woman?” or “Should I take this job?”.

Despite this we will often complain that God hasn’t given us any calling or affirmation. In our circumstances, God seems silent. He hasn’t spoken us in our dreams. No voice or instruction is heard. But could it be that we are asking the wrong question?

In Peter’s life he asked Jesus many questions, but one of the most profound questions was in a boat on the sea of Galilee.

‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

While this was not an explicit question, what Peter was asking was Jesus to reveal himself to him. The questions we often ask are very different from Peter’s.

While we expect God to accommodate our insecurities by sharing with us his secret plan, all that Peter wants is simply to know Jesus. He just wants Jesus to be revealed to him. Peter’s question is a question asked by a genuine God-seeker.

In response, he receives a calling.

‘Come,’ he said.’

God may be silent in your life today, because you are preoccupied with the wrong questions. Instead of asking God to make our circumstances clear, why not ask God to reveal Himself? Instead of asking whether you should go on a One Year Challenge, perhaps you could ask the following questions:

  1. What is God’s heart for the world?
  2. Am I doing everything I can to obey the Great Commission?
  3. Jesus, where do you want me to meet you next?

Or we could even ask what Peter asked:

Lord if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.

The answers may vary, but the calling will be clear. That God desires us to make disciples of all nations. Don’t despair if God hasn’t made it clear yet! Maybe God has already made it clear, instead maybe we are not asking the right questions!

When God Opens or Closes a Door

How do we discern whether God has opened a door or closed a door in our lives? Dave Peterson shares with great wisdom how God may use circumstances in our lives to lead us and direct us where to go.

Acts 13:1-5 is a great example of the group effort between the Holy Spirit, the leaders of the church, and the two who were to go through a new door of ministry, Paul and Barnabas. The Spirit called. The leaders responded. The church sent out.

It is a picture-perfect example of a clear open door. Yours might be more messy. But seeing the coincidence of Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and good counsel from mature believers is a pretty safe direction.

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