Summary: Like God Himself, good Christian leadership means leading in two different manners; leaders must have two sides.
Two-Ply Christian Leadership
1. Christian leadership is a fascinating study. But it is often paralleled by leadership principles in other realms:
"You Attract the People Your System Invites
It’s no secret that healthy environments attract healthy people. Healthy people leave environments that are not or more often than not, get pulled down by them. Yet, it is something we tend to forget. When we find a system or environment that is wrong, there is something wrong at the top. It is from there that the change must come if something is out of kilter." [secular source: http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/index.html]
When it comes to churches, leaders not only determine what sorts of people are attracted to the church, but also in which direction believers mature. Spiritually and relationally healthy leaders attract people who are comfortable with a healthy, balance, Biblical Christianity -- and they also develop disciples in that image. So leadership is crucial.
2. Since one the main criteria for an elder is how he relates within his family, it should be no surprise that the same principles of family management apply to church management and vice-versa.
3. What applies to Christian leadership often applies to life in general.
Main Idea: Like God Himself, good Christian leadership means leading in two different manners; leaders must have two sides.
I. The WARM, Encouraging Side (4-5)
A. The Shepherd, the NURTURER
B. ENABLING and TRUSTING (4)
1. Our desire to Obey and serve Him (4a)
Michael Velasquez writes, "If you look for goodness in others, you will find it. If you choose to interpret a person’s actions as friendly, you will have good feelings towards that person. Conversely, if you expect that others are intent on doing you harm, you will always interpret their actions as hostile, even when they’re not."
Not always true, but it often is!
Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
By making a genuine commitment to follow Jesus Christ, true Christians have already taken a big step; it is reasonable to expect the best from such people…we should assume that our brothers and sisters in Christ really want to follow Him deep down in their hearts…
Many people profess Christianity but have a religion, not a relationship; they cannot understand the burning we have within to serve God because they have never experienced it…
We cannot fix their problem through badgering, guilt, or pressure; they simply do not have a new nature because they have never been born of the Spirit…
2. Responding humbly to God’s commands
• Again, we should expect God’s children to take their responsibility to obey the Lord seriously. Authority struggles are nothing new; people have rarely enjoyed being commanded, but God has that right --and so do leaders if their commands are clearly based in Scripture
• Ego resents submitting; we should not allow others to take advantage of us or manipulate us…but…we all need to submit to someone or some group…