Summary: If you want a good leader, be a good follower.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Th: Our Time, Our Turn, Our All
Pr: IF YOU WANT A GOOD LEADER, BE A GOOD FOLLOWER.
I. ACKNOWLEDGE (Hebrews 13.17)
II. SERVE (Hebrews 13.17)
III. GROW (Acts 17.11)
IV. IMITATE (I Corinthians 4.16)
V. RESPECT (I Thessalonians 5.12-13)
VI. PROTECT (Hebrews 13.18)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Recognize God’s hand at work.
• Pray for your leaders.
• Be a joy to your leaders.
• Be critical in mind, but not heart.
• Imitate their godly example.
RMBC 24 May 09 AM
ILL Authority (H)
A husband was off to his lodge meeting, but before too long, his wife heard her him come back into the house.
She said, "Hon, I thought you were going to your lodge meeting."
"It was postponed." he replied. "The wife of the Grand Exalted Invincible Supreme Potentate wouldn’t let him attend tonight."
Clearly, the Grand Exalted Invincible Supreme Potentate was having some authority issues!
Well, it is true that we live in a culture with authority issues.
In fact, we Americans seem to have an edge on behavior that is against the social order, propriety and rules of any kind.
ILL Rules (S)
I remember vividly, about ten years ago, Isuzu pushed the rebellion theme hard with a television ad showing a bald and repressive grade-school teacher barking at kids to "stay within the lines" while coloring pictures, because "the lines are our friends." Shifting scenes, it shows the same student, years later, in an Isuzu SUV driving all over the countryside, definitely outside the lines.
No doubt, the rebellion culture easily finds its way into the church.
We may not mean it to, but it does happen.
Perhaps it is because it is our human nature to do so.
Rarely though, does rebellion in the church work out to be a good thing.
When people play politics with the direction of the church, it usually leaves a lot of hurt people.
Which makes me ask...
Does the phrase “church politics” make sense?
Church politics is about power struggles.
It happens when we want our own interests over what someone else or what the leadership wants.
When we show more concern for our individual interest and opinion than kingdom matters, politics takes over.
We are more interested in protecting our ministry, our piece of the pie, so to speak, that we see others as competitors and rivals.
This principle about inner competition within the framework of the church structure has been named in our prayer action plan.
It was decided by the Spiritual Health Committee that there has been a pattern of behavior here that we need to recognize and change.
This is our renouncement:
We renounce behavior driven by politics, power, and control.
Last week, we discussed how we needed to disciple our tongue (not discipline, but disciple).
This connects with our topic this week.
When we play politics, the weapons of choice are gossip, unkind words, and the judging of motives as people vie for attention and position.
We need a change of heart, and so comes our announcement:
We announce our submission to the leadership God has provided for our church.
Since leadership has been given the task to love and care for the flock, then it is important that we cooperate with them.
God has given them.
We need to respond to them.
Thus our affirmation:
We affirm that we are to obey our leaders and submit to their authority.
Now if you think I am going to talk a lot about obeying and submitting, I am not, except to say that it is there.
It is plain.
And when we do not do it, it is disobedience to God.
So comes our commitment:
We will practice a church life marked by submission and ordered by a Biblical leadership structure.
We have been working toward a more Biblical leadership structure for years, and now that I am leaving, I want to reiterate the point, because it ought to be obvious that I have no agenda now.
It needs to change.
We need to move toward a one-board structure with elders.
Eldership in the New Testament always appears in the plural, thus the leadership of the church is put into the hands of spiritually mature people as described in I Timothy 3.
It is their responsibility to direct, lead, and care for the church family.
As far as the Prayer Action Plan (which we are to PRACT – pray and act) goes, this is not the only principle about leadership.
In two weeks, we are going to speak about leadership behavior.
So, this is not the end of the story...
But today, we are speaking of when we are a follower, because we are not a leader all the time.