Sometimes I feel as if the local church needs a healthy theology of healing. I’m not speaking of my local church or any church in particular. I just wonder….

What is the responsibility of the local church toward suffering, sickness?

What role/function does the Bible demand of the local church?

Often the individual enduring the crisis is expected to muster the faith or bare the burden.

Does the local church need a more faithful theology of healing? A deeper exploration of Scripture and a pastoral paradigm of healing within the local church?

I’m close to really researching and writing about this..your thoughts

I cannot believe that I have went through so many courses, conferences, ordinations and never read Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders! It should be mandatory reading for every Christian leader!

I want to share, over the next few days, some quotes and thoughts from this masterpiece. Today I will share from a middle section of his book. He writes about essential qualities of leadership. He lists 8 qualities, I will share two or three quotes from his section on patience.

Patience:
A leader shows patience by not running too far ahead of his followers and thus discouraging them. While keeping ahead, he stays near enough for them to keep him in sight and hear his call forward.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak. Romans 15:1

The evidence of our strength lies not in the distance that separates us from other runners but in our closure with them, our slower pace for their sakes, our helping them pick up and cross the line.

2 Peter 1:5-6 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control patience (perseverance), to patience godliness…
The word never means the spirit which sits with folded hands and simply bears things. It is victorious endurance…Christian steadfastness, the brave and courageous acceptance of everything life can do to us, and the transmuting of even the worst into another step on the upward way. It is the courageous and triumphant ability to bear things, which enables a man to pass breaking point and not to break, and always to greet the unseen with cheer. (Barclay)

Just a few thoughts from this chapter…stay tuned 🙂

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Doesn’t true leadership begin with understanding? Understanding Who (and where) He is? Understanding how finite our perspective really is in comparison? Wisdom drips from this prayer. Most leadership styles prominent today are motivational in their theoretical foundations. Leaders motivate followers toward share aspirations. Nothing wrong with that. However, where is there room for us to come together and discern His will, His kingdom? Space for yielding to His vision? Corporate dying to our plan?
Spiritual leadership is more than merely forming clever words around motivating scriptures. True spiritual leadership is more concerned about hearing God and doing what He says.

Obviously, personal preferences, passions, desires and even agendas creep into play. After all, He did hardwire us, call us and equip us.

But it seems to me that there needs to be more room in our current leadership paradigms for His will, His kingdom and not simply our own ways. I know my prayers have often been, “Lord, bless my plan, incorporate my vision into Your will, Amen.” I just wonder if one of Christ’s other recorded prayers ever drips from our lips?…”Not My will, but Your will be done…” I shrink back from it too. But doesn’t He REALLY know best? Doesn’t He hold my future and the future of those I am serving/leading? (Well, servant leadership, humility, forgiveness, etc are all topics for another post—:)

Your thoughts….

Sports have statistics, businesses use performance reviews; what measurements, if any, should churches use to measure ‘success’? How should churches hold staff, lay leaders and members accountable? Accountable to what? I know many churches count attendance, baptism, membership (and of course the offering) but in what other ways should we measure ourselves?

Just a thought…..share your thoughts…

I’ve often counseled people to strive to be life-long learners. I really believe that we all should continue to learn, grow and stretch ourselves in our particular field and especially in His Word. Well, after completing my doctorate a few years ago I’ve really stunk it up on the continual learner thing. Yeah, I’ve been to conferences, read a book or two and maybe perused a journal or two. But, I’ve not really continued to better myself in leadership, educating others (discipleship).

I few weeks ago my dad mentioned doing a PhD online in leadership. It truly got my juices flowing again. I’ve been reading EVERY school’s academic pages online. Then, the other day, a close friend and colleague mentioned pursuing a PhD in education. You guessed it…I’ve now been investigating Christian education schools and degrees.

Herein lies the problem, I KNOW that both journeys will be of great benefit in my life and the life of our congregation. (I say journey because I am by no means in need of the degree-it’s the knowledge, experience and expertise I need and desire).

Leadership: Well, do I really need to layout the benefits and facts. I will only say, leading change, cultural shift, organizational development, systems, organizational diagnosis and implementation are paramount needs and issues facing most congregations. If our congregation ever sees a leadership transition, this journey would be beneficial. Everything rises and falls on leadership.

Education: Training, teaching, preaching and equipping the Body to do the work of ministry is what being a pastor is all about. Studies show our congregations feel a lack of challenge in their spiritual development. Biblical and spiritual illiteracy are rampid within the church at large. Some of the most drastic shifts and challenges of leading congregational/cultural change lay within shifting models and methods of discipleship and learning.

There you have it. Insight into my current prayers. Your thoughts…I’m I crazy? Which one do you see as the greatest need/benefit? I do have doctorate in leadership, but it’s focus is not leading cultural change. I am totally split down the middle. Jump in!!

I got Chavonda’s permission to post this. Be encouraged that God DOES still heal and deliver!!! Oh, what ONE prayer can do! so more than counselors, Dr.s and medications!!! Praise God!

Hi Pastor Jeremy,

This is Chavonda, you prayed for me Wednesday night after service. Words could not express how I am feeling right now. I have been on a spiritual high ever since Wednesday. I would like to confess and testify that I have been healed and set free from depression. I was so distraught that night that I knew that I really needed prayer. My depression seemed to have been getting worse and I could no longer relate or identify with myself. I felt as if someone else had taken control of my body and mind and I was a robot or a foreigner to my own body. The prayer that you prayed over me was so powerful. The enemy chains have been broken in my life. Like the Bible says he come to steal, kill, and destroy. But God is all Powerful and Mighty and He broke that spirit of depression and set me free. I have not felt this good in awhile. It feels as if I could run a marathon, I am so overflowed with Love and the sense and presence of God around me right now I feel like my heart is about to explode with the power of his love right now. It is a feeling beyond words. Thank you so much Pastor Jeremy for prayer and holding my hand when I was on the floor crying my heart out to God in joy because I knew that it (spirit of depression) was broken and I was going to be alright. IT IS BROKEN!!!!!! HALLELUJAH. PRAISE TO THE MOST HIGH GOD. I HAVE BEEN SET FREE AND HEALED. THANK YOU, THANK YOU , THANK YOU. I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAISE HIM.

-Sincerely,

Chavonda

(By the way, in her follow-up email-she walked two miles, feels even better, praising God all the louder—well you just read it for yourselves 🙂

Pastor Jeremy,

I just got back from a 2 mile walk have not had the strength to do that in awhile it really felt good, but of course you are more than welcome to use my testimony on your blog and you don’t have to remove my name if you want to use my name, then do so. Again, thank you… and like you said many people do need deliverance and I realized that there is a real war in the spiritual realm that’s taking place this very moment, a battle over our souls, between good and evil. But we worship a real God and He is All Powerful. Jeremy you have no idea how I feel right now. I could not even put it in words, for words would not express or do it justice the power of Love that God is showing me, my heart is overflowed with joy and feels though I cannot contain it, its just that powerful. Again, thank you for being a great and anointed man of God and for obeying the calling on your life to be a pastor. God has some great things in store for you and He is going to use you and continue to use you mightly to advance His kingdom. Stay strong in Christ.

-Chavonda

Notes from Lit Conference 2010

 (Rough draft of notes and thoughts from yesterday’s leadership conference..will be posting thoughts next week from Andy Stanley’s conference too) Let me know what you think!!!

Pat Summitt

Make Hard work your passion…its called hard work for a reason.

Learn to empower people—give responsibility and authority away. Risk it. When we empower people powerful things happen.

Most important leadership principle—lead by example

Know when to call timeouts. Huddles are powerful. Her huddles are first allowing the PLAYERS to share what they see. Then the staff talks.

Questions leaders must ask:

                Could you work for you?

                What kind of teammate would you be on your staff?

                Are you passionate?

                Are you raising the bar?

                Do you truly listen?

                Your staff are smart, God speaks to them (after all they do work for you!!)—listen!

Role players are important—Pat was a role player on Olympic Team. (But you can change your role if you are passionate and work hard enough)

Embrace discipline-make winning an attitude. Positive is contagious.

Keep score—its important. Basketball is a game and they keep score..we should be able to measure and critique our ministries.

“I will help you; but you have to start your own engine” Pat Summitt telling her son she would help me make the team he just got cut from.

Demonstrate loyalty. Her secretary has been with her 28 years…loyalty and secure identity. She knows her role.

Used to be “My way or the highway, not anymore….I listen.” Pat Summitt

Team 1st then self.  

Pete Wilson

Has God ever called anyone to do something easy and quick?

God requires us to lead with faith. Task is always impossible, scary, difficult. Causes us to trust.

What would you do if you were ABSOLUTELY convinced that God was with you?

Don’t abandon values to pursue vision. Don’t pursue vision ahead of God.  

Where does your sense of security come from? Attendance? Or God?

Dr. Johnny Hunt

Passion draws and repels people at the same time. Know who God is calling you to be, then please Him.

Problem: our church members are UNDER CHALLENGED! Studies show 20 something’s don’t attend congregations because they are not challenged. (They are spiritual-not churched)

Dr. Chris Stevens

Momentum is a leader’s best friend.

3 kinds of momentum.

Structural momentum. Numbers 3:36-37 Moses dictated the structure. Does your structure hold back ministry or hold it up?

If you are going to build anything that lasts; it must have structure. Lack of structure (nice nurseries etc) will keep you from growing. Parking lot, not preaching may be your biggest obstacle.

Systematic momentum. Numbers 3:25-26 Moses developed a system. What systems help you flow?

                Two momentum killers—indecision and procrastination

Set goals—WHOLE congregation must know yearly goals. (baptize #, launch # groups, # of mission trips, support # of missionaries)

Systems must be obvious, easy, quick. Someone volunteers Sunday, what do you do?

What natural barriers are keeping you from growing?

Spiritual momentum. Numbers 4:4

If an organization grows by 35% it must be totally reorganized. Ken Blanchard.

The number one problem in most organizations is no momentum. John Maxwell

Chris Stevens has PhD in Church Growth—number one element of church growth is keeping momentum. Keep momentum by keeping people excited. Keep people excited by being the most excited person in your congregation. Spend enough time with God that you believe in His vision for your church.

Questions for a Momentum Makeover:

                What is the difference between Big Mo and Status Quo?

                Are YOU motivated?

                Is there any urgency and intensity in your organization?

                What are your momentum killers?

                What is your plan?

                Where are your key leaders?

Dr. Jeremy McGinnis (put in my two cents –I was not a conference speaker–would to be though 🙂 )

                Calling-You are called. If you are saved, then Christ has a mission for you to on. (Great Commission)

                Character-Christ is developing the character (Fruit of the Spirit) within you to accomplish the task. Leadership development begins with personal development. Prayer is the number one leadership tool (I say tool in the most reverent way).

                Competency-you have within you the gifts and skills to lead. God created you in your mother’s womb. Fearfully and wonderfully made. You are the only you in the history of the world. Do what He’s called you to do. You have both natural and supernatural gifts God has placed within you and for you.

                Confidence-it is the missing link between average and great leadership. (faith) Faith without works is dead. Be it unto you according to your faith. I’ve not seen such great faith in all of Israel. Go, your faith has made you whole. It’s ok to be great. Be confident in God’s anointing, calling, Scripture, Spirit and activity in your life. At least commit to failing forward. Calling, character, and competency are all dormant until we are confident enough to act, to step out. At least Peter walked and sunk on the water WITH Christ! I believe but help my unbelief. It’s ok to struggle, but not ok to step!