Leadership Factors

                                                Rev. E. Anderson

CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP COURSE

Study 17    STRATEGY IN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP   part one

JOSHUA 5: 13- 15; 6

PLAN: Whilst the statement is true, “God’s best methods are men”, He does have methods and plans by which things are wrought out and accomplished. Any study of God and His ways will make obvious that He is not without His plans and procedures. He does act and work according to a strategy even as the great outworking of the scheme of salvation reveals. He cannot be charged in any way as being careless and haphazard in His thoughts and doings and the same should apply to those who are involved in Christian leadership. He is not guilty of wishful thinking but with an omniscient mind He operates in establishing definite and wise purposes that run according to order and schedule. Those who work in association with the Lord will discover that He wills to make known His ideas and operations to those who are in His employment. It is imperative to be in on what God thinks and plans and this is a possibility that can become a reality – e.g. Moses – Psalm 103: 7. An intimate accord with Him will ensure that His mind, design and arrangements will be communicated.

WISDOM:  It is highest wisdom to have a strategy because it saves from a waste of time, energy, resource and failure. The word ‘strategy’ has to do with true insight and foresight and embraces the matter of tactics, procedure, timing, approach, involvement, proposals, organization, design and personnel. It means possessing both the short and long term view so that the proper and perfect direction can be taken with the ultimate positive results at the appropriate time.

Illustration: It is very much connected with warfare. A dictionary definition puts it: “the art or science of the planning and conduct of war.” An enormous amount of prior planning for instance went into the Normandy landing on D. Day., and the subsequent movement forward to regain Europe from its wicked domination.

To be really successful as far as God is concerned, it is essential to be aware of what He has arranged and detailed for both life and work. It must be ever known that it is leaders working with God and being instructed and informed by Him on all matters. Divine strategy has to do with God who is the perfect and absolute strategist. Far better to wait on and for Him until He has communicated His plans than rush ahead and work our own schemes and schedules.

Illustration:  Joshua found out on two occasions that problems were created because of the failure to seek Jehovah for counsel – 7:2—9; 9: 14. He had previously a revelation of the Commander in Chief amongst them and it would have been wise not to assume matters on the surface but to have looked to the Lord for the way ahead and the answers.

“It is not enough to ask God to bless what we have devised and decided to do; instead we should first find out what he desires to be done and then fully align ourselves with His purpose” – G. Krallman

AREAS: God does not need to be up-dated in any way but knows the special circumstances of each generation and situation and has His apt leaders to cope and deal with all the varying factors. There was a strategy for getting Israel out of Egypt, a different one for bringing through the wilderness and another one for entrance into the Promised Land. He had two unique leaders to effect the differing conditions. It shows that God is up to whatever is taking place and due to occur. As we keep up-date in relationship with Him He will keep us up-date with His strategy for the now and what lies ahead. Our success and effectiveness in Christian leadership is to be found in knowing, depending and working according to His plans. Strategy can, in some degree, be best answered by the following searching questions.

1/.  THE WHERE OF DIVINE SERVICE

It is apparent that this is of utmost concern with regard to God. He wants His servants strategically placed, that is, to be in the right place and position of leadership and the proper location geographically. This should not be left to guesswork or mental assumption: it should be known. Studying the detailed life of Christ our example, He knew where He had to be privately and publicly as He conducted His ministry. He was ready to be prompted from above in order to carry out His role and work. It can be seen in Luke 2: 49 where He “must be about His Father’s business” and in John 4: 4 where “He must needs go through Samaria”. 

It is  possible to trace this factor in the book of Acts with the leadership of the Christian Church. The Holy Spirit was keen to inform and direct at the individual level and the effect of it being followed through brought growth and blessing on a much wider front.

  • In relation to Philip in the work of evangelism – Acts 8. He was exercising a dynamic and dramatic ministry in Samaria in terms of preaching the Gospel and so much was happening in terms of salvation, healing and response – v6. It would seem so much was taking place that made it obvious he was the right man with the right ministry in the right place. The situation was further established by the added ministries of Peter and John when the people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit – vv14-25. It was a great place to be in and Philip must have felt that he had arrived and was in the centre of God’s will fulfilling his calling. But he was called to leave that scene of success and go into the desert a place of utter contrast. From the crowd to a remote area but he knew the rightness of the voice and responded. There was a one big fish to catch in the desert, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ethiopea – v27. He learned to discover that the private arena of service was just as important as the public amongst the crowds.
  • In relation to Peter and the expansion of the Gospel and the Christian Church to the Gentiles – Acts 10. It was to be a great shake up for this apostle and leader to discover that the Lord wanted to take him into a region and amongst people who he thought were not within the domain of God’s grace and favour. He was quite comfortable being and working with his own people but this was to be shattered in a divine visitation and vision. There came the point where he had to move from his prejudicial notions and spirit and from the locality where he was placed and respond to a divine directive – v20. As he arrived at the place he was somewhat shocked to see the avid interest of Gentiles in the things of God. The Holy Spirit was soon to confirm that he was in right place preaching the Christian Gospel as he witnessed the working of God.

Illustration:  The ministry of David DuPlessis of South Africa was similar. He was so full of bias and prejudice but God called him to move out and pioneer a new trail in outreach to the Catholics at a very questioning time in the Christian Church – see his book -‘The Spirit Bade me Go.”

  • In relation to Paul and Barnabas, they discovered that there was another ‘where’ besides Antioch that the Lord had in mind in missionary career and ministry – Acts 13 onwards. It had been obvious that the time spent with the assembly had been right in the growth of the work and the development of their persons and ministries. It had become quite a fruitful place and a real ‘comfort zone’ but the Lord had other things in mind. There was a big world outside waiting to be evangelized and touched in a significant manner by leaders who had proved their metal and worth. He chose the experienced ones from that thriving place to go to where He would direct their lives and potent ministries. Reading Paul’s life and testimony it is evident that he regarded the ‘where’ of service as being vital and important.

The Christian Church in its leadership ever needs to be sensitive to and aware of the directives of God on this line as to where. Being in the right place is fundamental to being successful in the matter of service. There is His assured presence when the leader is located aright and with it comes the sense of His peace, power, opportunity and achievement. It is imperative to know that where we are accords with His will and purpose. It goes a long way in the success of life and ministry.          To be continued

                                           gozo

 

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Christian Testimonies

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                                          Billy Ainscough

SURVIVOR OF HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER

 

Bill Ainscough, a 21-year-old at the time of the disaster, said he heard a voice crying out to him in the middle of the crush that claimed the lives of 96 football fans. 

Billy said that two years after the tragic day dawned on him that voice that he  heard on th Leppings Lane terrace that day belonged to Jesus.

He explained: “The voice said, ‘Call out to Me’. The crowd was quiet and I had no feeling at all. I could not move my head. My body was numb and I was about to pass out. I thought I was only 30 seconds away from going.

“It was like slow motion,” Billy continued, “it just seemed to be like a twilight zone. I would go to the match with my mates on the Kop and we would always come back in the sway, but it never did that day. It just got tighter and tighter.

“There was a guy next to me and his face was not normal – it was blue.  But there was nothing we could do. We were so helpless. It did not matter how big or how strong you were.

“There were people on the floor. I must have been in there for 40 minutes. Then all I heard was the voice. It seemed to get me back to my senses again.

“At the time I didn’t know who said to me but on later reflection I’m convinced it was Jesus’ voice. I spoke to someone from the church about it and he said I was talking to Jesus”.

Prior to the disaster, Billy had no plans of attending church, but he became a born-again Christian in the aftermath of the disaster and is now a member of Ainsdale Evangelical Church, near Southport. He recently shared his story with different churches in the region.

Meanwhile the 20th anniversary service held at Anfield, the crowd stood as Liverpool legend and the then manager Kenny Dalglish read from the Bible.

The Rev Justin Welby, Anglican Dean of Liverpool, said he was honoured to be involved in the commemorations.

The Church has a fantastic role in moments like these; not to preach at people but to be a place of support and love and grace”.

  • The 96 supporters were crushed to death on April `5th, 1979 during Liverpool’s FA semi-final with Nottingham Forest at the stadium in Sheffield.

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Powerful Quotes

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                                    Rev. L. Goodwin

GOOD QUOTES 

If at first you don’t succeed, try reading the instructions

Your temper is like fire. It gets very destructive when it is out of control 

Decisions can take you out of God’s will but never out of His reach

Your companions are like the buttons on an elevator. They will either take you up or they will take you down 

Patience is a quality you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead 

There is a name for people who are not excited about their work – unemployed 

A person’s true character is revealed by what he does when no one is watching 

It is better to die with a good name than to live with a bad one 

“No” is one of the few words that can never be misunderstood

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