6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: Discussing the leadership that exists within the church

Foundation of Ministry

Christianity 101 Series

CCCAG November 10, 2019

Prayer for Veterans and message

Scripture- Ephesians 4: 1, 4:11-12

Intro:

In 2001 and 2002 I was serving as an interim pastor at the first church I ever attended as an adult. We had some newer believers coming into the church that needed some teaching in basic Christianity so the church leadership had me update it because I was attending Bible school at the time, so they figured I was the best person for the job.

That curriculum became something known as “Foundations”.

I rewrote pretty much the entire curriculum and even made a few diagrams for the appendix. When it came to discussing church leadership, I put it and what I considered a very logical Top down progression.

I based this diagram from what I read in Ephesians 4:11 and 12.

Slide 1

We had a little bit different form of governance in our church in that the elder board which handled spiritual matters in the board of directors which handled the secular matters were 2 different groups of people. I had to submit the curriculum to both boards for approval.

One of the elders, his name was Larry, pulled me aside and said that my diagram of church leadership was wrong. I said show me biblically where I am wrong. Larry pointed out that within Paul’s writings, the first sentence or two at the beginning of any chapter generally puts the rest of the chapter in context, and that is especially important in Chapter 4.

Eph 4:1-2

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Larry showed me that Paul wasn’t even speaking about spiritual leadership yet, but was referring to the church as a whole and saying that everyone is called into some sort of spiritual leadership based on your position in Christ as one of God’s children.

One of the truths I want you to really internalize and believe for yourself this morning is this- Every person here is a big deal in the spiritual realm.

You are a son or daughter of the King of Kings and Master of the entire universe. If you are here this morning living in defeat it’s because you don’t understand or believe this simple truth.

After Larry explained that to me, he the Top down list and flipped it over and said this is the appropriate way to see church leadership

Slide 2

This agrees with what Jesus said about the principle prerequisite of anyone who aspires to spiritual leadership.

That principle prerequisite is that of being a servant. Those who want to be a leader must first learn to serve before they learn to lead, just like those who want to be a long distance runner must first learn to walk before they every learn to jog. As you see in the diagram, the leadership supports and serves the church, not the other way around.

Looking back 19 years I've come to realize the wisdom in Larry’s critique of my work.

I was 31 years old when I began my work on that foundations class. In about 3 weeks I'll turn 50.

I have been around the spiritual block a few times. I’ve seen it from a new converts eyes, a servant’s eyes, a board member’s eyes, an associate pastors eyes, and finally now as a senior pastor.

I have learned many valuable lessons, often painfully.

One of the most important lessons I have learned is this-

The need for promotion, position, and power are 3 cancers that kills spiritual leaders.

Consider what the need for Promotion, position, and power did in the beginning. These deadly cancers turned an Archangel or cherubim into a devil so they have to be recognized and avoided by anyone who desires to be aspire to servanthood in the church.

If church leadership is not Godly servant leadership, God will not bless it and the end result will always lead to destruction.

With this in mind, we're going to be looking at this thing called “the ministry.” We will be flipping through a lot of the Bible and the scriptures will be using will be on the back of your bulletin so you could stay ahead and stay up with us if you want to follow in the Bible.

To start off I want to point out again the verse Larry pointed out to me- Ephesians 4:1

Eph 4:1-2

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2

Here are some questions that are vital to the understanding of what we will be talking about here-

Who is Paul talking to in this first verse?

Is it the pastor of the church in Ephesus?

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