Spiritual Leadership: Section 10 - The Leaders Pitfalls and Problems (Part 1)


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teaching notes from ltci, siliguri - based on j oswald sanders book, spiritual leadership

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Spiritual Leadership: Section 10 - The Leaders Pitfalls and Problems (Part 1)

  1. 1. Section 10 - The Leader’s Pitfalls & RewardsGroup Activity: Create a one-page visual summary of theleader’s pitfalls.Study chapter 10-11 in BlackabyStudy chapters 20-22 in Sanders
  2. 2. REPRODUCING LEADERS J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership, Chapter 20
  3. 3. 2 Tim 2:2 And the thingsyou have heard me say in thepresence of many witnessesentrust to reliable peoplewho will also be qualified toteach others.
  4. 4. If a leader is to fully carry outthe trust the Lord has given himthen he has to train and developleaders who will succeed andpossibly supersede him.Barnabas is seen positively whenPaul, his protege, goes on beyondhim and becomes the dominantteam member.
  5. 5. As a team leader would yoube prepared to offeropportunities for those youlead to exercise and developtheir abilities?Would you give youngpeople the chance to feel theburden of leadership, totake initiative and to makethe final decision insituations?Will you give full credit andlet them make mistakes?
  6. 6. One Asian said of Western missionaries,“Today they should be less of a performerand more of a trainer.”However training leaders is a delicate task.Bishop Stephen Neill commented,
  7. 7. If we set out to produce a race of leaders, what weshall succeed in doing is probably to produce a race ofrestless, ambitious and discontented intellectuals.  Totell a man he is called to be a leader is the best way ofensuring his spiritual ruin, since in the Christianworld ambition is more deadly than any other sin,and if yielded to, makes a man unprofitable in theministry. The most important thing today is thespiritual, rather than the intellectual, quality of thoseindigenous [Neills life work was training nationalmissionaries] Christians who are called to bearresponsibility in the younger churches.
  8. 8. Leslie Newbigin questionedwhether it was good to use theword leadership in Christiancircles as it had bad connotationswith the non-Christian world. Hesuggested saints and servantswere needed not “leaders” -forget service and the whole areof leadership is dangerous.We must follow the example ofJesus with the 12.
  9. 9. Perhaps the most strategic andfruitful work of modernmissionaries is to help leaders oftomorrow develop their spiritualpotential.  This task requires carefulthought, wise planning, endlesspatience, and genuine Christianlove.  It cannot be haphazard or ill-conceived.  Our Lord devoted thegreater part of His three years ofministry to molding the charactersand spirits of His disciples.
  10. 10. Paul trained Timothy for thechurch in Ephesus - his method isinstructive.Timothy was about 20 whenPaul became his friend - hetended to melancholy, and wastoo tolerant of and partial topeople of rank. He could beirritable with opponents.  He wasapt to rely on old spiritualexperiences rather than kindlethe flame of daily devotion.
  11. 11. But Paul had high hopesfor him and set aboutcorrecting his timid nature,to replace softness withsteel. Paul led Timothy toexperiences and hardshipsthat toughened hischaracter. Paul did nothesitate to assign him tasksbeyond his present powers.
  12. 12. Traveling with Paul broughtTimothy into contact with men ofstature and character. He learned tomeet triumphantly the crises thatPaul considered routine.  Paulshared with Timothy the work ofpreaching.  Paul gave him theresponsibility of establishing a groupof Christians at Thessalonica. Pauls exacting standards, highexpectations, and heavy demandsbrought out the best in Timothy,saving him from mediocrity.
  13. 13. Paul Rees describes the experienceof Douglas Hyde, one-timeCommunist but later a convert toChrist, as recorded in Hydes book,Dedication and LeadershipTechniques: one story connectedwith his Communist years - involvesa young man who came to Hydeand announced that he wanted tobe made into a leader.  "I thought, Ihad never seen anyone look less likea leader in my life.  He was short,grotesquely fat, with a great, flabby,wide uninteresting face...
  14. 14. ...He had a cast in one eye,and spoke with a mostdistressing stutter."What happened?  Well,instead of turning him awayas a hopeless prospect, Hydegave him a chance - a chanceto study, to learn, to test hisdedication, to smooth out hisstutter.  In the end he becamea leader in one of the mostCommunist-infiltrated labourunions in Britain.
  15. 15. Frank Buchman, founder of Moral Rearmament,displayed many leadership gifts.  He claimed thatif he failed to train others to do his work betterthan he did it, he had failed.  For many years,he worked to make himself dispensable, arare agenda for a founder.
  16. 16. Developing leaders, for thedevelopment of new churches willgreatly depend on the spiritual caliberof the local Christians.  Once thepioneer stage in any field has passed,the training of leadership should takehigh priority.Always allow room for the unusualperson. God has His "irregulars,"many of them have made outstandingcontributions to world evangelization- these cannot be measured byordinary standards or made toconform to any fixed pattern.
  17. 17. Leadership training cannot bedone on a mass scale.  Itrequires patient, carefulinstruction and prayerful,personal guidance over aconsiderable time.  "Disciplesare not manufacturedwholesale.  They are producedone by one, because someonehas taken the pains todiscipline, to instruct andenlighten, to nurture and trainone that is younger."
  18. 18. PERILS OFLEADERSHIP J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership, Chapter 21
  19. 19. “…so that after I havepreached to others, I myselfwill not be disqualified forthe prize.”1 Corinthians 9:27The perils of the spiritual leaderare subtle. He is by no meansimmune to the temptations ofthe flesh, but the dangers most tobe guarded against lie in therealm of the spirit. Satan willtake advantage of every inch ofground he concedes in any areaof his life.
  20. 20. 1. PRIDEPride is a sin that makes God takesecond seat in our lives - Rising inposition means an increasedtemptation to become proud.the Lord detests all the proud of heart.Prov 16:53 Tests help us identify pride:The Test of Precedence: Howdo we react when another isselected or promoted, when theirgifts seem greater?
  21. 21. The Test of Sincerity: Do yourealistically know your weaknesses andfaults? How do you respond whenothers identify them?The Test of Criticism: How do werespond to our critics - do you resentthe comment and justify yourself ? “Of the myriad forms that sin assumes, none is more abhorrent than spiritual pride. To beproud of spiritual gifts that God has bestowedor of the position to which His love and grace have elevated us, is to forget that grace is a gift, and that all we have has been received.”
  22. 22. 2. EGOTISMThis is the practice of thinkingor speaking of ones self ratherthan to God, magnifying yourown achievements not God’s.• Do I reflect the ugliness ofegotism or the transfigured gloryof Christ the Lord?
  23. 23. Robert Louis Stevenson told thestory of a Muslim veiled prophetwho was a great teacher and lightamong the people of his day. Hewore a veil, he said, because hiscountenance was so gloriousnone could bear the sight of hisface. But, eventually the veildecayed and fell away revealingnothing but an ugly old man.
  24. 24. Stevenson stressed that, however high the truthsthe preacher taught, and however skillful hemight excuse the blemishes of his character, thetime comes when the veil falls away, and a manis seen by people as he really is.
  25. 25. 3. JEALOUSYDescribing the leader who isenvious of rivals.Are you jealous of others whodo things better than you - areyou unable to avoid beingcritical of others who are at thesame level as you?Gods work in others is to beencouraged, not snuffed out.
  26. 26. Num11:27-29A young man ran and told Moses,“Eldad and Medad are prophesyingin the camp.”Joshua son of Nun, who had beenMoses’ aide since youth, spoke upand said, “Moses, my lord, stopthem!”But Moses replied, “Are you jealousfor my sake? I wish that all theLORD’s people were prophets andthat the LORD would put his Spiriton them!”
  27. 27. 4. POPULARITYMost leaders like to be wellspoken of - it is not a greattestimony if all speak badly ofyou!Jesus said “Woe onto you whenall men speak well of you.”It is tempting for spiritualleaders to build a personalitycult - Paul saw this danger atCorinth 1Cor 3:7
  28. 28. We should esteem leaders fortheir work and ministry - but becareful not to adore them.Leaders can be appreciated butnot idolized.Any fervor or loyalty peoplemight have for the leadershould be fastened to JesusPopularity is the mostdangerous spiritual state…Itleads to easy to pride.
  29. 29. Bishop Stephen Neill said, inan address to theologicalstudents, "Popularity is the mostdangerous spiritual state imaginable,since it leads on so easily to thespiritual pride which drowns men inperdition. It is a symptom to bewatched with anxiety since so often ithas been purchased at the too heavyprice of compromise with the world."
  30. 30. The dangers of popularity andsuccess were constantly beforeSpurgeon in his ministry.Success exposes a man to the pressure ofpeople and thus tempts him to hold on tohis gains by means of fleshly methods andpractices, and to let himself be ruled whollyby the dictatorial demands of incessantexpansion. Success can go to my head, andwill unless I remember that it is God whoaccomplishes the work, that He cancontinue to do so without my help, and thatHe will be able to make out with othermeans whenever He cuts me down to size.
  31. 31. 5. INFALLIBILITYSpirituality does notguarantee infalliblejudgement the Spirit filled personis less likely to make mistakes butperfection eludes us allThere is a belief that a seniordiscerning leader can’t be wrong.Remember even the apostlesmade mistakes!
  32. 32. Leaders are people of prayerand seeking God - sometimesthis brings an inability to admitthe potential to make mistakes.- Leaders must have strength &decisiveness… But be willing toconcede when they are wrong- Deferring to others judgementis a sign of strength and willwin allies.- Followers lose confidenceleaders who believe themselvesto be infallible.
  33. 33. 6. INDISPENSABILITYMany Christian leaders cling toauthority long after it should bepassed to younger.Often this results in youngerpeople being held back, andbeing given no chance to growand develop.
  34. 34. On many occasions we find the ego of the leaderconcerned is fed by some around them encouragingthem to think they are indispensable - this makes it evenharder for them to let go.We become less objective about our work as we getolder.From your earliest days in a job it is good to be seeingout potential successors.
  35. 35. On many occasions we find the ego of the leaderconcerned is fed by some around them encouragingthem to think they are indispensable - this makes it evenharder for them to let go.We become less objective about our work as we getolder.From your earliest days in a job it is good to be seeingout potential successors.
  36. 36. 7. ELATION AND DEPRESSIONWe all have days of joy anddisappointment - we have to becareful to get the balance rightbetween the two - discovering abalance of temperament throughhighs and lows is critical.Luke 10:20Elijah was depressed after thebattle at Mount Carmel -1Kings 18
  37. 37. God told him to have two goodsleeps and two good meals - thenthe spiritual lessons began.His discouragement was baseless- 7000 had not bowed to Baal,and running away removed theleadership the Israelites needed.We have to face reality inleadership:- Not all our dreams will berealised- people will disappoint us- sickness will happen
  38. 38. - sacrifices will be thought of asselfish gestures- bad things happen!All men of God face thepossibility of getting low whenthings are not good.Learning to trust God whenthings are difficult is imperativefor the spiritual leader. “If successful don’t crow, if defeated don’t croak.”Samuel Chadwick
  39. 39. 8. PROPHET OR LEADERSanders talks about a preacherwith gifts of leadership who willcome to a fork in the path - doeshe follow the path of a popularleader or unpopular prophet?Often the roles overlap butsituations develop in which youhave to choose pastoralleadership or propheticdeclaration.
  40. 40. If he seeks to be prophet and a leader,is apt to make a failure of both.It was written of RA Torrey,“The thousands who have heard Dr. Torreyknow the man and his message. He loves theBible, believing it to be the infallible Word ofGod, preaching it with the fervour of red-hotconviction. He never compromises.He has chosen to be a prophet ofGod rather than a mere leader ofmen and that is the secret of hispower with God and men.”
  41. 41. 10. DISQUALIFICATIONNo, I strike a blow to my body andmake it my slave so that after I havepreached to others, I myself will notbe disqualified for the prize.1 Cor 9:27Paul was carefully concernedwith not being disqualified -Greek word meaning metalnot suitable for use as coins -below standard.
  42. 42. Two aspects - what was preachedand use of his body. The body requires rigorous self discipline to guard against sin.Added to this bodily error werethe obvious doctrinal and ethicalerrors which might be enteredinto.Paul exercised disciplinedmoderation in his body - do you?
  43. 43. Are there any perils you succumb tomore readily than others?Have you set up some accountabilityand prayer to help overcome suchthings?
  44. 44. How do you feel about Paul’sconcern over disqualification - howcan such thoughts help and hinder?