29 Oct Understanding Biblical Leadership
Jesus planned for the church to be the training ground for the citizens of God’s kingdom. He delegated authority, responsibility and His Vision to the church – His called out ones. He plans for the church to be built on Him as their foundation. He also expects that the revelation knowledge of Himself and the Father would be the basis of operations in the church He is building.
He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am? Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros—a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra—a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven.
The seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name! And He said to them, I saw Satan falling like a lightning [flash] from heaven. Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven.
And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of eternal death]; but he who does not believe [who does not adhere to and trust in and rely on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] will be condemned. And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well. So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and He sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them and confirming the message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied [it]. Amen (so be it).
He also promised them the power to get things done: The Holy Spirit.
But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.
His plan to build His Church was to use His sent ones, equip them and release them to do the work.
And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers. His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church), [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead. Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.
How did He do this when He was on earth? They caught the vision, had a strategy and made the commitment.
He took his disciples and trained them with His Word and they saw the demonstration of power and His prayer life! All of these gave birth to a vision in their hearts. They heard, saw and experienced His power, words and intentions. They caught the vision for the church. Catching the vision is a process.
A lot of people have heard but not caught the vision: “Go Create A Forum where My people can Flow with Me in understanding”. That is the Vision that gave birth to the Fountain of Wisdom Ministries.
So when the day of Pentecost was come they had the vision, now they were equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit. This sounds like Abraham’s strategy for winning too.
When Abram heard that [his nephew] had been captured, he armed (led forth) the 318 trained servants born in his own house and pursued the enemy as far as Dan.
He armed the trained servants born in his own house. They were born in the house, they had a servant heart and were trained before they were armed. Giving the responsibility without the training is likened to arming them without training them.
They had the vision. There is no catching of vision without a relationship with carriers of the vision! When the vision is caught, it elicits commitments. The proof of catching the vision is commitment to it! An apostolic vision has the power to birth aspects of the vision in the hearts of those who catch it. Jesus built a relationship with His people before He committed the execution of the vision into their hands.
Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).
If all we know is the vision statement, we will not carry out the vision but will do what we think is right to be done. What is good and what we feel is right may not be what the vision demands. Relationship is the key to vision and grace transmission.
Look at the book of Acts to see strategy and structure born out of Vision. They also had fellowship with one another. In Acts when there was murmuring, their understanding of the vision coupled with the realisation that they had an enemy helped them to come up with a solution that would enhance the vision. They appointed quality leaders to serve tables. They divided their essential works of serving the people and serving the God who brought the people together in the first place and they made progress.
Therefore select out from among yourselves, brethren, seven men of good and attested character and repute, full of the [Holy] Spirit and wisdom, whom we may assign to look after this business and duty. But we will continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
They selected highly spiritual people to serve at tables. This tells me there are no menial jobs in the kingdom, every opportunity to serve is a privilege and an honour!
Understanding Relationships and Leadership from the Bible!
Relationships are opportunities to be a blessing to another person. The highest blessing we can give others is to enhance their relationship with God. Leadership is to serve His purposes in the lives of His people. The honour of leading others is not to show off our knowledge, skill or ability but to serve others. When we truly serve His purposes in the lives of people we are giving ourselves the opportunity to grow in our leadership. Jesus was amongst us as one who served. Relationships should not be built on what ‘I’ can get but what I can contribute to others.
Even when the church was persecuted in Acts 8, they went about preaching the word and maintained their relationship with Jerusalem.
Team Leadership Concept
The New Testament is full of teams of leaders. From when Jesus sent them out in twos to when the church was birthed and when the Apostle would send folks out, they were always in teams of a minimum of two people. Paul ordained elders in all the churches He planted. Apostle Paul had a company, the Jerusalem church had their companions too.
After they were permitted to go, [the apostles] returned to their own [company] and told all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. And when they heard it, lifted their voices together with one united mind to God and said, O Sovereign Lord, You are He Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything that is in them, Who by the mouth of our forefather David, Your servant and child, said through the Holy Spirit, Why did the heathen (Gentiles) become wanton and insolent and rage, and the people imagine and study and plan vain (fruitless) things [that will not succeed]? The kings of the earth took their stand in array [for attack] and the rulers were assembled and combined together against the Lord and against His Anointed (Christ, the Messiah). For in this city there actually met and plotted together against Your holy Child and Servant Jesus, Whom You consecrated by anointing, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and peoples of Israel, To carry out all that Your hand and Your will and purpose had predestined (predetermined) should occur. And now, Lord, observe their threats and grant to Your bond servants [full freedom] to declare Your message fearlessly, While You stretch out Your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage. Now the company of believers was of one heart and soul, and not one of them claimed that anything which he possessed was [exclusively] his own, but everything they had was in common and for the use of all. And with great strength and ability and power the apostles delivered their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace (loving-kindness and favour and goodwill) rested richly upon them all.
[There] a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man from Macedonia stood pleading with him and saying, Come over to Macedonia and help us! And when he had seen the vision, we [including Luke] at once endeavoured to go on into Macedonia, confidently inferring that God had called us to proclaim the glad tidings (Gospel) to them.
NOW IN the church (assembly) at Antioch there were prophets (inspired interpreters of the will and purposes of God) and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger [Black], Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate now for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then after fasting and praying, they put their hands on them and sent them away. So then, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from [that port] they sailed away to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they preached the Word of God [concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God] in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John [Mark] as an attendant to assist them.
I WARN and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honour and splendour) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded): Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonourably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully; Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation). And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror’s crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church)—[giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel]. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favour, blessing) to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
May The Lord bless the works of your hands and grant us speed as we labour together for Him in His kingdom!
Rev. Kola Ewuosho