Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “Jesus”

Our God, a Recruiting God

The following was done by Doug Nuenke some time ago.  I’ve kept it for some time in my files as a reminder on the biblical basis for recruiting.

“From the beginning of time, our God has shown Himself to be committed to inviting men and women to join Him in His kingdom enterprise.  We don’t need to search further than the first chapter of Genesis to see this method at work in the lives of Adam and Eve.  As divine image bearers, they were invited to join God’s work as multipliers, fillers, subduers, and rulers of the earth.

“God is continually inviting His people into a close relationship with Him, and to a task.  For example, God invited Abram to a relationship of blessing and to a faith venture of leaving his homeland to go to a place God would show him (Genesis 12).  God invited Moses to join Him on a world-changing rescue operation, promising the blessing of His presence (Exodus 3).  Jeremiah was invited to join God’s purposes for his life as a prophet to the nations.  God assured Jeremiah that ‘I am with you and will rescue you’ (Jeremiah 1:4-10).  The apostle Paul was interrupted in the course of his life by a compelling invitation from God.  It made no sense, and who would have picked Paul, the murderer, to join God’s task?  Yet Jesus appeared to him, promising His involvement in Paul’s life, and inviting Paul to join Him in turning people from darkness to light (Acts 26:12-19).

“Year after year, throughout the centuries, God has been an inviting God, a God who recruits men and women to join Him in His kingdom endeavors.  Jesus did the same when He said to potential disciples, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).  Again, we see God inviting people to Himself and to a task worthy of their lives.

“What do we learn about God’s recruiting of individuals?  First, God invites people to join Him in His enterprise, for His glory.  His invitation is not so much about us as it is about Him and His purposes.  Second, God’s invitations are compelling and have an imperative tone. We can never invite with the same compulsion, yet we can help people discern God’s compelling invitation.  Third, God’s recruiting is personal.  Though He has plenty to say to us as a community of believers, His invitations are directed to us as individuals.  Finally, we see that God’s recruiting involves the promise of His presence and involvement.

“In organizations, we must make the distinction between the task of marketing and the task of recruiting.  God models both of these. Marketing is the public disbursement of who we are and what we are about.  It involves broad communications of a person or organization’s mission, vision, ethos, and character.  God communicates broadly, in this marketing fashion, through His creation, through His mighty acts, and through His miracles and wonders.  The Lord Jesus’ life on earth communicated in a broad and public way, the character and mission of God.  Recruiting, however is personal. It is more relational and directed to the individual.  Recruiting happens most effectively at a local level, and engages men and women where they live, pointing them toward God’s invitations and callings on their lives.

“Our God is a recruiting, inviting God. As God’s people and God’s fellow workers, we join Him in the recruiting process when we help our student, staff and alumni friends listen for the next step in which God is inviting them to join Him.”

Indignation — Now I’m REALLY Ticked Off!

Emotions – they’re morally neutral–not good bad, or purple.  All of us have them and some of us are better at recognizing and expressing them in a healthy way.  When it comes to what we would perceive as those emotions that are considered “negative” emotions, it’s what we do with them that matters.

Anger is one such emotion that is often seen as a negative emotion.  We mistakenly believe that if I am more mature or more spiritual that I’ll somehow be freed from this feeling of anger.  Just becoming a little “ticked off” as someone or something raises the blood pressure and we can feel “frustrated.”  It’s anger but at a somewhat lesser degree.

But if the person has broken a trust, betrayed a confidence placed in them, or their failure leads to major negative impact, we can move beyond frustration or anger and move to indignation.  The root English word is the same we use for the color indigo – a purple, reddish color.  Have you ever been so angry that you turn purple-red and feel like you are ready to explode?  That’s indignation!

In Mark 10:13-14 (NIV) we read the following about Jesus’ emotions:  “People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant (emphasis added).  We explored this in last week’s blog.

But if we continue to read in the same chapter we find this said about the disciples in Mark 10:41 (NIV):  “When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.”  The Zebedee boys had tried a pre-emptive strike to move ahead of the other 10 in the coming Kingdom.  We note that this was at the very end of their 3+ year training period with Jesus as future leaders.  And here we see that 2 of them wanted to jump ahead of the other 10.  Not a good way to win friends or influence people!  Well, they could claim it wasn’t really them.  Matthew’s account tells us that it was their mother who did the asking on their behalf (see Matthew 20:20 ff).

There were great emotions being expressed on Jesus’ leadership team.  He showed His indignation to The Twelve and they expressed their indignation with one other.  Yet with all of this the leadership team held together.  There was no fracture or lasting division.

Good teams can share strong feelings with each other and still work together well.  This comes from a foundation of trust and confidence that we are all working together towards the same ends.  Our team goals are not preempted by our personal goals.

So, is it safe to share how your really feel on your team?  Are strong emotions being expressed in appropriate ways without sin?  Can we be “gut-level honest” or are there areas that are just too sensitive to share how I really feel?

3 Temptations for Leaders

This is what the LORD says:   “Maintain justice and do what is right.…  But what is right?  How do I know if it is right or wrong?  As leaders we are frequently making judgment calls where it is not black or white, rather it seems as if most of these decisions are “gray.”  What standards or grids can we use to help us?  Here’s one simple guideline  –  if the devil is involved, it’s wrong!

Let’s look at the temptations that Jesus faced and see what lessons and applications we can make for ourselves.

3 Temptations of Jesus/Leader      Luke 4:1-13

 1)  Self-Gratification     –        vs. 3-4

3The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”  4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.

This is the temptation to use resources for yourself, instead of the work.  Leaders often have special access to leadership accounts or resources that others don’t have.  Many times there is also a lack of oversight or accountability for these accounts and it can be very easy to justify an expense that is personal and say it was for the work.  The ability to say no to this type of temptation is key for further responsibility in the Kingdom.  See Luke 16:9-11 and Nehemiah 5:14-19.

2)  Self-Promotion        –        vs. 5-8

5The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”  8Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.

The second temptation of Jesus is also a common one leaders face – that is, the temptation to use our position and influence to promote ourselves.  This seeking of power or position or influence flows from a misguided sense of ambition.  Many Kingdom leaders are self-flagellating out of the misconception that any kind of ambition is wrong or bad.  But in the NT we find that there are two types of ambition.  The bad type is self-seeking and wants to gather attention to ourselves.  Our English bibles often translate it with the words “selfish ambition.”   See Philippians 2:3-4.  But there is a good ambition, one that seeks to promote Christ and the Kingdom, rather than self.  Paul mentions this in Romans 15:20 when describing his own ambition.

3)  Self-Glorification     –        vs. 9-12

9The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” ….12Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.

This last temptation is seeking attention for ourselves, turning the spotlight on us, or taking credit for something that was the work of others.  It flows from an enlarged ego that is a common trait among leaders.  Want to know if you are in a danger zone for this?  Here’s a simple test – how much do you talk rather than ask questions and listen?  See 1 Samuel 15:12.

Leadership is not about you, but others!  Beware of these common temptations and pitfalls that have removed others from the race!

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