Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “leader development”

God’s Discipline

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11  ESV

Just as a loving parent disciplines their child, so too does God discipline his children.  God’s discipline is hard and painful, but it is pain with a purpose.  God disciplines us to make us more like Himself, more Christlike.  

Our response to the Lord’s discipline can be one of two choices.  We can submit to it and reap the benefits, or we can resist it.  If we try to run from it, God will raise up new opportunities to teach us the lessons He intends.  He loves His children too much to let them go undisciplined.

  • God disciplines all His children because He loves them.  What do the following verses say about God’s discipline? — Job 5:17-18;  Psalm 119:65-68; Proverbs 3:11-12
  • God’s discipline is designed to build Christlike character into our lives.  What do the following verses say about the results of God’s discipline? — John 15:1-2; Hebrews 12:10-11; 1 Peter 1:6-7

Question to ponder:  Is there an area of disobedience in your life that is bringing God’s discipline? 

Passages for further reflection:  Deuteronomy 8:1-5; Job 23:10

Follow-up: Helping New Christians Grow

For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed–God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 1 Thessalonians 2:5-8 ESV

When someone trusts Christ as their Savior their sins are forgiven, and they are born again.  That is, they are born a second time, born spiritually, into God’s family.  These new believers are spiritual babies and as such, need special care.  They must be loved, cared for, fed, and protected to insure healthy spiritual growth to maturity.

Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, called follow-up “spiritual pediatrics.”  It is helping another believer grow in the basic foundations of their walk with God.  It means imparting God’s truth, as found in the Bible, to others.  But in addition, it is the giving of oneself, motivated by love, to another so that they may know God intimately.

  • Trusting Christ, salvation, is the beginning of a spiritual growth process that continues our entire life.  What do the following passages say about growing in Christ? — Philippians 3:12-14; Colossians 2:6-7; 2 Peter 1:5-9
  • Helping another believer grow in Christ is a great privilege and responsibility.  What is said in the following passages about helping others grow in their relationship with God? — 1 Corinthians 3:5-15; 1 Thessalonians 2:7-13; 2 Peter 1:12-15

Question to ponder:  Has God placed someone in your life and leadership for you to help them grow spiritually in Christ?

Passages for further reflection: 1 Corinthians 3:1-2; Colossians 1:28-29

The Greatness of Knowing Christ

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8 ESV

God could have created humans on any third rock out from any star amidst the billions in His vast universe and then hidden Himself away, never to be heard or seen.  He could have retired to a corner of His creation and we would never have known Him.  But God desires a relationship with the people He creates.  He does not want to hide from us, rather, He wants to build a deep, intimate friendship with us.

God came to earth in the form of a man, Jesus, that we might know Him better.  One day, those who believe in Him, will see Him face-to-face and fellowship with Him forever.  We will reign with Him over all of His creation!  Yes, it is the greatest privilege a person can have–personally knowing the living God!

  • Jesus is God incarnate, God in the flesh.  What do the following passages say about knowing God through Christ? — John 14:5-11; Hebrews 1:1-3
  • Through belief in Christ as our Savior, we enter a personal relationship with God.  What do the following passages say about our relationship with God? — John 15:14-17;  Romans 8:12-17

Question to ponder:  How does your deepening friendship with God impact your leadership?

Passages for further reflection: John 12:44-46; John 16:12-15

God’s Grace and My Good Works

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV

No one can work for their salvation; it is an unearned gift from God.  God does not grade on the curve; His is a pass-fail course.  In His perfect justice He has said that all ‘fail’ because of sin.  But the Good News is that all can ‘pass’ through belief in Jesus as their Savior.

Though we can’t earn our salvation by doing good deeds, God does expect believers to do good.  These good works are the result of our gratefulness for all He has done, not a seeking to earn His favor for our salvation. By doing good works, believers bring honor and glory to God.

  • We are saved by the grace of God, not by doing good deeds.  What is said in the following passages about salvation and good works?  —  Galatians 2:15-16; Ephesians 2:8-10
  • God desires all believers to do good to others.  What is said about believers doing good works in the following passages?  —  Matthew 5:16; Hebrews 13:16; 1 Peter 2:12

Questions to ponder:  What good work does God want you to do today?

Passages for further reflection: Acts 10:38; James 2:17-18

By God’s Grace

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

God’s grace is an unearned gift!  It is His unmerited favor granted us through faith in Christ as Savior. Motivated by His love for us, God acted to deliver us from our deepest problem–sin and its consequence.  His grace caused Him to die for us, freeing us from sin and its penalty–death (Romans 5:8).

But God’s grace is more than a past gift; it is a present power within each believer.  It is not a license to live as we want, but rather the power to live a life that is pleasing to God.  Whatever paths in life God calls us to travel, we can be certain that His grace, His power will be sufficient to see us through.

  • God’s grace moved him to offer salvation to all who believe in Christ.  What is said about God’s grace in the following passages? — Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Having been saved by God’s grace, believers have been called and empowered to live lives that honor him.  What do the following passages say about a believer’s life and lifestyle? — Galatians 5:13-18; Titus 2:11-14

Question to ponder:  How does God’s grace motivate you to want to live for Him?

Passages for further reflection: Acts 15:6-11; Romans 5:15-17

Sexual Purity

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 ESV

Sex is a wonderful gift from God, but like many of God’s gifts, Satan tries to pervert it.   God has set a limit on the expression of this gift–no sexual intercourse outside of the marriage relationship.  Satan tempts us to seek sexual fulfillment before marriage or with someone other than our spouse.  But God says, for your greatest joy and fulfillment, wait until you are married and don’t violate your marriage vows.  Sex intimacy is to be with one partner for one life!

Sexual sin can be in our minds in the form of lust as well as the physical act.  We are commanded to flee from sexual immorality.  When the imagination does battle with the will our imagination is always the winner.  We must run from sexual temptation–avoid it!

  • Lust is sexual immorality of the mind.  What do the following passages say about lust? — Matthew 5:27-30; 1 John 2:15-17
  • Sexual purity is God’s design for His followers.  What is stated in the following passages about living a sexually pure life? — Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Question to ponder:  What can you do to flee from sexual immorality in your life and leadership?

Passages for further reflection: Galatians 5:16-21; Colossians 3:5

Safe and Secure

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 ESV

Security is not found in the absence of danger, but in the presence of the Lord.  Once we have trusted Christ and become a member of God’s family, He promises never to leave us or forsake us.  Nothing will separate us from Him; we are safe and secure in His care.

Jesus promises to be with us forever.  Though we still encounter trials and difficulties, He will be with us in the midst of them and see us through.  We need not fear that He will forsake or abandon us.  He will be faithful to us, even if we are unfaithful.  What amazing love!

  • God will never leave us!  What do the following passages say about God’s commitment to us? — Matthew 28:20; John 10:27-30
  • One person plus God is a majority!  What do the following passages say about the security we have in the presence of God? — Romans 8:31; Hebrews 13:5-6

Question to ponder:  How does the fact of Christ’s presence with you always effect your daily attitude and activities?

Passages for further reflection: Proverbs 3:23-26; 2 Timothy 2:11-13

The Other Side of the Door

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 ESV

Illness, injury, aging, and death are all enemies of our physical bodies.  But this will not always be so.  For believers, there is the hope of the resurrection from the dead when we will be given new bodies that are free from these enemies.  We will all have heavenly, eternal bodies that do not age, weaken, or die.

The fact of the resurrection of the dead is the great hope for followers of Jesus.  Jesus’ resurrection was the demonstration to us that our hope is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:13-14).  Death is no longer a terminus, but rather a junction – a doorway to a new life with a new, perfect body.  What a wonderful reality awaits us on the other side of the door!

  • Jesus rose from the dead as proof that what He promised us will come to pass.  What do the following passages say about Christ’s resurrection? — John 20:24-31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
  • Just as Jesus rose from the dead with a new, eternal body, so will His followers.   What is said in the following passages about the resurrection? — John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:35-44; 2 Corinthians 4:13-18

Question to ponder:  How does the reality of death and the hope of the resurrection impact your daily life and leadership?

Passages for further reflection: John 5:24-26; John 6:38-40

Touched

And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all. Luke 6:19 ESV

And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. Luke 8:45-47 ESV

Can you imagine having your every waking moment with crowds of people pressing and pushing to try and touch you? It seems that one of the main functions of the Twelve was crowd control for Jesus. They seem to have gotten quite good at this, for Jesus had to correct their zeal to allow the little children to approach Him. “But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.'” Mark 10:14 ESV

Now you don’t have this exact same experience as Jesus, but Kingdom leaders do have many reaching out and trying to ‘touch’ them. Your leadership authority has the power to change the lives of those you touch. You can truly make a difference in the life of an individual or a family by the decisions you make. By hiring new staff, transitioning people into new roles and positions, and asking people/families to uproot and move all have short and long-term consequences. It should be sobering to think of the power to impact lives for good and bad as we execute our leadership responsibilities.

Perhaps you feel as though many are seeking your ‘touch,’ wanting your advice and counsel, pressing you to make some important decision, or create an exception to a policy for them. As the leader, you have the power to do good, to do what is right and bless others because of the positional authority vested in you. The careful exercise of this leadership power should cause us to remember the Golden Rule of Leadership (Luke 6:31) – Lead others the way you want to be led.

Jesus’ touch was used many times for healing. He touched those with leprosy, the blind, the sick, and even the dead. All who were touched were changed for the better. What a legacy of good!

What’s your legacy from those who you have touched through your leadership? Are you leaving a trail of blessing and good in the lives of those you touch?

With a Little Help from My Friends

As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. … They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.    Luke 19:29-30,35 NIV

It’s Sunday morning of the Passion Week and Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem. He comes riding on a young colt which has been obtained for Him by two of His disciples. Note what happens when they bring the colt to Jesus for His triumphal entry into the city. They put their cloaks on its back and then, they “…put Jesus on it.”

Jesus had to have some help from his friends in getting onto the back of the colt. Probably a hand up or maybe someone knelt, and He stepped on their back in order to get onto the back of the colt. Jesus had help in mounting the back of the colt. He accepted this help in getting the colt and in getting on.

For some Kingdom leaders, accepting the help of others is difficult. We tend to be the ones who are always helping others. To admit that there are times when we need others to help us or when offered, accept the help from others, can be challenging for some. Remember how Peter responded when Jesus came to him and wanted to wash his feet? We read in John 13:6-8 (NIV), “He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”  Peter then quickly changed his mind and willingly accepted Jesus’ act of service.

Why is it so difficult to accept other’s help? Perhaps it’s a sense of self-sufficiency rooted in our pride. It feels good to help others, but to be helped means I can’t do it alone. I need the resources of others and in accepting their help I admit that I’m not capable myself. Kingdom leaders like to use their leadership resources to bless and help others, but to be helped means I’m needy.  It can be a rude awakening to acknowledge that leaders too need the help of those they serve.

What needs do you have that you are not willing to admit?  What needs do you have that you are not willing to ask others for help with?  What needs do you have that others have offered help, but you are unwilling to accept their help?

Even Jesus needed a little help from His friends!

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