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Summary: This sermon is a call to leadership, a challenge to listen to God’s voice and discern where God would have you serve in the Kingdom.

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God or King?

Pastor Glenn Newton November 11, 2002

9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose

hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chron. 16:9a

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given

to you as well. Matt. 6:33

George Barna, who is the recognized guru of studies and trends, says this:

“the American church is dying due to the lack of strong leadership. In this time of

unprecedented opportunity and plentiful resources, the church is actually losing influence.

The primary reason is the lack of leadership. Nothing is more important than leadership.”

I think George Barna is right.

You may ask, Pastor why are you talking about the need for strong leadership.... Aren’t

you the leader?

The answer is Yes, God has called me to lead this church, But..... there’s always

one of those around isn’t there?..... God has called me to lead this church, But as our

church grows God is going to raise up some Men and some Women, some teens to be

strong leaders in our growing church..... If we are to break 75 and 100, and 200 and

beyond.....the call for strong, committed leaders must be answered, must be answered.

The great need for leaders is the call for the day, even in the secular world, in Politics we

need some strong leaders to lead our nation through these dangerous days we live in. In

our Business world, we need some strong, ethical, moral upright men and women to lead

the companies in our country so our finacial system can be built on solid ground.

The Corporate world is desperately looking for CEO’s to lead their companies..... In 1996

Apple Computer was in desperate need of leadership. The company was losing hundreds

of millions of dollars annually. It needed a CEO who could turn the company around. In

February, Apple Computer hired a new CEO. From Feb. 1996 to July 1996, Apple

Computer lost $884 million as sales plummeted 27%. What caught the public’s attention

was not that the CEO was eventually fired, but that he was subsequently paid $9.3 million

in salary and severance! This man was paid $9.3 million for losing $884 million in six

months! Only if they would have hired me, I could have lost them $884 million probably

sooner.... I would take that severance, wouldn’t you?

Labor experts claimed these salary and benefit levels were not out of line for

CEO’s of major corporations. Companies are willing to spend enormous amounts of

money in an effort to enlist effective leadership.

As your Pastor, my prayer is that you who are being called to help lead this church, will

hear God’s voice, and will choose to commit yourself 100% to the cause of Jesus Christ.

9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose

hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chron. 16:9a

Being a leader in the church is not an easy task, it requires picking up your cross and living

like Jesus.

Pastor Edwards could barely withhold his tears. He could still hear the deacon’s voices as

they walked down the hallway, away from his office. The group had arrived unexpectedly

and lambasted him, blaming him for all the church’s problems. And problems there were

-- lots of them.

Two years ago Edwards had enthusiastically accepted the call to serve as pastor of the

church, fully aware of some of the difficulties. After all, every church has issues. He was

young and his faith was strong. He sincerely believed that prayer, biblical preaching, and

loving guidance would bring the ailing church back to health. But now things were

actually worse. Landmines seem to explode under him no matter where he stepped.

Several families requested more modern music in the services and he willingly obliged. In

doing so he inadvertently alienated several others who were now withholding their tithes

as well as their service in the church until the music was changed back to the style that

they enjoyed.

One of the deacons was rumored to be in an adulterous relationship. An attempt to

confront him had set the entire deacon body in arms. They accused him of being on a

witch hunt. They argued that this man had great influence in the community; they pointed

out the sad truth the church could ill afford another public scandal. When Edwards

proposed hiring a youth pastor, a battle erupted. Various interest groups in the church

clamored for more ministry --- more for seniors, more for college students, for the

divorced, for the children... Even his preaching had come under fire.... too long, not

enough humor. Edwards had been growing tired under the stress, but he remained strong

in his belief that, if he persevered, the problems would eventually sort themselves out.

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