Summary: A look at another building block necessary for effective leadership.
Involvement is an area that really weighs heavy upon our minds. Let’s face it, a church leader or even an active Christian has to do a balancing act. In CS Lewis’ book the Screwtape Letters a senior demon by the name of Screwtape offers his nephew Wormwood some advice on how to tempt the human patient under his jurisdiction. Screwtape says, “All extremes except extreme devotion to the enemy are encouraged. Not always of course, but at this period. Some ages are lukewarm and complacent, and then it is our business to soothe them yet faster asleep. Other ages, of which the present is one, are unbalanced and prone to faction, and it is our business to inflame them.” Solomon advised in Ecclesiastes 7:18, “It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.” How can we fit all the things we should be doing into an already busy schedule? To many, the church leaders’ job is to pray in worship service, teach a class, and attend board meetings. Actually these visible acts of service are only a very small part of the Christian leaders’ work. We could participate in all the activities just mentioned and still fall short of complete involvement. The leader must realize that they are not in front of others to make an impression on them. Your purpose is not to draw attention to yourself. Your purpose is to serve God wholeheartedly and to help and encourage others to do the same. We face the challenge of being involved in a job that is never finished. It seems that no matter how much you get done there is always one more thing to do. However, if we become occupied with this idea Satan wins a pivotal battle by helping to convince us that Christianity and leadership is about doing instead of being. A works mentality leads to guilt, frustration and feelings of inferiority. The Lord wants us to use our spiritual gifts out of gratitude and devotion not out of guilt or duty. So today we want to gain insight into what it means to be completely involved.
I. Effective leadership requires complete involvement in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
A. The leader needs to have their heart fully submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
1. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. “ (John 15:5—NIV)
2. Many try to be good and honest people who do what is right but Jesus teaches the only way to live a life that is pleasing to God is to remain attached to Him.
3. This is a promise that reminds us that God will provide our leadership with what is necessary to bear fruit that brings honor and glory to God.
4. Apart from Jesus Christ are efforts are unfruitful.
5. To be nourished spiritually and to experience life the way God has intended requires us to remain attached to the Vine.
B. Paul shows in our text that single hearts and sincere hearts were necessary for Christian servants to please God and serve their masters acceptably. These instructions emphasized the positive side of obedience.
1. In our society we do not have slaves. But these principles apply to any kind of honest employment.
2. A Christian worker ought to be the best worker on the job.
3. The Christian ought to serve Christ and not the boss only, and he ought to work whether anybody is watching or not.
4. No matter what the job, our first priority is to please our Lord and Savior.
5. When we apply this principle to our life our relationship with Jesus Christ will shine through in every area of our lives.
II. Effective leadership requires complete involvement in a lifestyle of worship.
A. A great pitfall that many leaders face during worship is getting involved in anticipation instead of participation.
1. We may have a specific role to carry out in the worship service and our preparation for that role may cause us to miss out on the heartfelt experience worship is meant to be.
2. This often causes the person to not really be able to concentrate on what is going on in the worship service.
3. We need to realize that worship requires a concentrated effort.
4. Worship is something that you only get back what you put in.
B. Often if we truly examine our lives we will find that we are really hungry to experience God-honoring worship.
1. Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1—NIV)