My friends muse and are amused by my continuous referral to the garden. I simply love going back to Genesis 1 - 3. Hidden in the celebration and calamity if these three chapters, lies the notion of divine original intent. What did God have in mind when he created mankind? Well, in the light of our convo today, God invested in us humans the mantle to lead. From the eternal echo that "each will produce after their own kind... to... Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea."
These words are all leadership words. When John Maxwell states that leadership at its most intro level is to "influence",we are reminded all believers are called to be leaders. Why do I say that?
- Leader of one - of their own life - that is where the gospel first expresses itself in us, where we move from slaves of sin, to sons / daughters of the most high,
- Leader in their homes - where the gospel gains traction in collaborative unity with diversity, like the Trinity,
- Leader in their world - not just be missional to take the gospel to the marketplace, but also to lead in that world of ideas and practices,
- Leader in the Christ community - continually engage in the power of the redeemed togetherness so that the world can see the God story unfold,
- Leader with an eye on the future - as worshippers of the creator, we periodically have a glimpse into the future, by both gifts as well as worship, we get a peek into the heavenlies, not simply living in the limitations of the now and the tangible.
Therefore, a healthy church is one for whom the Leadership cornerstone has high value in the communities journey - otherwise it will be a one generational story. That is a price tag that is too costly - all the effort and labor only to peter out after round one. Hiring and firing is not Plan A. Fathers having sons who are empowered to become fathers in their own right is the true bible way:"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother..." Being celebrated to "start your own family" is the goal of all child rearing, so too for those who have church planting in their bones and again for those who are emerging apostolic pioneers.
Paul and his story with Timothy is still one of our greatest examples. Poorly called "The Pastoral Epistles", they are 2 glorious books in which Paul writes to Timothy as -
- A father writes to a son,
- A church planter writes to his successor,
- An apostle writes to an emerging Ephesians 4 [E4] gift.
Following these three forms of relationships brings depth of meaning to the text. It also empowers us to use the 6 chapters of 1 Timothy as a guideline to leadership development - whether that is for a novice as in Leadership 101, through the church planter / replanter, through the weight and essential nature of the E4 gifting given to the church to partner with her and her story.
With the summer on us, here in the Northern Hemisphere, it is a good time to recalibrate with the new year in mind. May I strongly suggest, the Leadership cornerstone gains its true and legitimate role again. Not just doing leadership, but also leadership development in all its forms. Here in the LA / OC area in the fall, The Genesis Collective Initiative will include a "Travelling through Timothy" Intensive. We will not get through all of Timothy this time but will at least explore these essentials to empower the new and the novice, as well as the weary old warhorse:
- Friday night: Discovering my Calling,
- Saturday I - Developing my Devotions,
- Saturday II - Expanding my Character,
- Saturday III - Explaining my Doctrine.
To be cont...