601 Spiritual Leadership: Section 13, Chapter 3, Spiritual Foundation
Section 13 - Analyzing the Ministry5. Faith, the Essential Ingredient6. Taking InventoryCreate summary of one of thesechaptersStudy chapter 3 in ASPStudy chapters 5-6 inVisioneering.Print an article on vision andstrategic leadership to share withyour learning team:
PART 1PREPARE TO SAIL! The preparation for strategic planning
Understanding how you are doing andpreparing for whatyou are about to go through
Laying a SpiritualFoundation Malphurs, ASP, Chapter 3
Malphurs suggests mostchurches fail here as they arenot spiritually ready for theSP process. To continue theboat analogy of previouschapters, the ship starts tosink (rapidly).
The importance of spiritual formationThe SLT has to call the church tospiritual renewal and revival.Spiritual formation isfoundational for strategicenvisioning,Zech 4:6Connect the whole process withGod and he will undergird all ofthe process. The foundation fora house is vital - and in SP thefoundation has to be spiritual.
Spiritual formation is essentialto the entire SP process.Spiritual formation is aboutsanctiﬁcation - and this has tobe the aim of the whole church- all other processes in thechurch simply support thisaction. All changes in churchlife should be done in order tosupport this (not to makepeople mad!).
The deﬁnition of spiritual formationSpiritual formation is a processthrough which the Holy Spirittransforms us into Christ’slikeness or image.Key verse : Gal 4:19My dear children, for whom I amagain in the pains of childbirthuntil Christ is formed in you,
Christ is formed in you -people should see Christrevealed in your life - whateverthey saw in jesus then theyshould see in your life:Gal 5:22-23This is because the HS indweltJesus on earth, Matt 3:16, heindwells you too 1 Cor 6:192 Cor 3:18
The work of the Holy SpiritIn 2 Cor 3:18 the work ofChrist being formed in you isin the passive voice, thatmeans it is not done by youbut is the work of the HS inyou.This is something thathappens to the whole churchas well as to each individualbeliever - 2 Cor 1:1 is writtenin that way. It is progressivesanctiﬁcation of your soul andof the church’s soul.
The process of spiritual formation1. Acknowledged personalsinfulnessPs 51:5, Rom 7:14, 1 Jn 1:8, 10We continue to sin even though weare saved - we have been saved fromthe penalty of sin but not yet thepower. Unspiritual in Rom 7:14 istranslated ﬂeshly, under the controlof the ﬂesh. It is a key issue to seeyour own sin and acknowledge it -Matt 7:3-5
2. Confess your sinsPsalm 51, 1 Jn 1:9Look hard into the mirror and youwill ﬁnd some sin - if it is confessedthere is forgiveness- the example ofDavid who having committedadultery with Bathsheba tried to hideit only for God to expose it throughthe prophet Nathan. See also 2 Sam11-12.Psalm 51 shows a real example ofDavid dealing with sin in his life -and allowing it to be confessed toGod.
3. Forgive othersMatt 18:21-22, Eph 4:31-32, Col 3:13-14We all get sinned against - and allhave to deal with the hurt and painfrom those incidents. The realquestion is what you have done withthat pain - have you forgiven the otherperson, have you chosen to resolve theissue?Most Christians do not do this andbecome angry or bitter. Using theexample of Eph 4 we can implementforgiveness and see a change(immediate or gradual in our lives).
4. Pray for the church - intenseprayer!Matt 7:7-12, James 5:16God has invited you - Matt 7:7The theology of prayer is nothard - you will get an answer -yes, no, wait.James uses Elijah to illustratethe power of our prayers -5:16-18The choice is between trying todeal with matters in ourstrength and ability - orpraying!
“Show me a churchwhere the people ingeneral and leaders inparticular pray regularlyand positively for thechurch, and I will showyou a church that isbeing blessed of God.Regular prayer speaksfor itself.”
5. Be positive - put off the negative1 Cor 10:10, Eph 4:1-3, 29, Phil 2:14Listen to a church and you can knowhow it is doing spiritually - howmuch is positive and how muchcomplaining or grumbling? Often themore -ve you hear the less well achurch is doing.Negativity is not meant to be part ofa believers life - such things do notbuild up yourself or others.Malphurs suggests -ve people tendto be angry (with issues in their liveswhich have never been dealt with)
Test for negativity in your life- get a friend to answer thesequestions:1. Are you an optimist or pessimist?2. Do some things at church (likechanging things) upset you?3. When you are upset, do youcomplain?4. Do you express your complaints toothers?Answer yes to 2, 3, 4 and you areprobably a -ve person.
6. Pursue reconciliationMatt 5:23-24, 18:15-19This activity is not found in mostchurches. Some are afraid to do it,others do not think it is biblical.Note that reconciliation takesprecedence over worship!And Jesus commands those whohave been offended to pursuereconciliation!Excuses: “What if the don’t listen; ifthey get angry or make a scene?”Choose - do you stop for fear of man,or do what God commands?
7. Agree to church disciplineMatt 18:15-20, 1 Cor 5:1-13Churches the practice discipline arevery rare - probably due to the ideaof being a family, and families put upwith problems and don’t want more.This is not what the Bible teaches -see above.Remember that the aim is alwaysrestoration - but discipline does haveto be done.
8. Obey the leadership1 Thess 5:12-13, Heb 13:17Modern society likes toquestion authority and does notreadily accept it being imposed- in church people think it is okto readily question leadersauthority.Malphurs suggests trust is theissue - people do not followthose they do not trust. Leadershave often done things thatmake people question them -moral failures, greed etc.
Heb 13:17 is a key verse - If you don’t accepttheir leadership you should leave and ﬁnd aplace where you can accept the leaders authorityand trust them. By not obeying you leaveyourself open to God’s discipline - Heb 12:1-13, 1John 5:16-17, 1 Cor 5:9-13
9. Listen to othersJames 1:19-21Listening to others = betterunderstanding of others = lessmisunderstandings.Slow to listen = quick to speak =quick to become angry.Good listening is a key incommunication. Not listening says -you are not impt. enough for me, Idon’t care what you have to say, Ihave made up my mind.Listening = respect in many peoplesminds - then they will trust you
10. Speak the truth - Eph 4:15Truth here is sound teaching alongwith no deceit - straight forwardlytelling the truth.Note we do not hit people over thehead with truth - speak “in love”Do you love the people you speakto? Are your motives pure andgood towards them?Gossip = not speaking the truth inlove - it is speaking something wedo not know to be true, negatively,about someone or a situation.
Wise leaders address thissin and the people whotake part in it - in SPpeople who feel theymight lose power willoften gossip.Would you be prepared toaddress gossip in aperson? If you would,how could you do it in aloving way?
11. Pursue holiness - Rom 6:1-15, 12:1-2Based on Rom 6:A. Understand you are no longer aslave to sin - you don’t have to obeysin’s call to you (though you might stilldo that!)B. v11 embrace this truth in faith -C. In the light of what Christ hasaccomplished: choose either to allowsin to master you or not to master you(v12, 13).People must be expected to be growingin holiness - it is not an option - seeRom 6:19, 22.
12. Be a servant - Matt 20:20-28,Phil 2:3-11Leaders are servants -Malphurs suggest at least 4characteristics of them:Lead with humility not out ofegoServe - give yourself, don’t takefor yourselfFocus on others - servantleadership is all about otherpeople.
Love for your people is crucialfor servant leaders - lovemotivates you to serve them, Jn13:1-17. We serve othershumbly only to the degree thatwe love them - if you do notlove them the dirt will remainon their feet.Maybe you need to have a realfoot washing ceremony to showthe SLT’s love for the people?
13. Remember whose church it is -the church belongs to Christ, Matt16:18Give the church back to Christ - it isnot yours or anyone elses. Thereforeit is His prerogative to do with it ashe wishes, even change it through SP!Do any of the SLT (or others) have anungodly “ownership” of the church?Put Christ back on the throne of hischurch. Malphurs even suggests aceremony doing this - and preachinga sermon series from Ps 47, 93, 96-99,the enthronement psalms.
The implementation of spiritual formationHere there is a chain of events frompastor to church community;The PastorHas to be the starting point for sp.Formation and renewal within thechurch. Pastors might struggle and canbe downcast by a lack of growth, yetthe people look (usually) to them forleadership. Make sure they properlywork through the 13 steps - and arerefreshed and revitalised by the HSp.
The strategic leadership teamSpiritual vitality is catching - if the point leader isrevitalised the SLT will catch it from him and startto passionately pursue Christ.Malphurs sets aside at least one meeting to talk theSLT through this - if they are not experiencing thisthen the church will not catch it.
The congregationSpiritual vitality is infectious. Thecongregation will catch it from thepastor and SLT. Acts 2:42 suggestsfour functions of church and thesewhen exercised corporately will setpeople on ﬁre for God.Hearing and seeing the truth ofspiritual formation is vital in the lifeof a church - Malphurs suggeststhese truths should be preached atleast once a year. Call your people torepentance and a strong relationshipwith their Saviour.
The communityThere should be a knock on effect into the community ofnon-believers - they are often watching and judging ourwalk with the Lord and His power in our lives.Matt 5:14The church is a lighthouse and will penetrate into thecommunity with the light of Christ.
QuestionsDo you believe spiritual formation isas important as Malphurs suggests?How will your answer affect yourapproach to SP?How would you deﬁne spiritualformation?How mature is your church? - give itan overall score between 1 (very low)and 10 (excellent).How is your own spiritual formation- did you read and apply the 13 steps- are there any you think should beadded?