For the past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about how to be a better leader, how to do a better job of organizing and inspiring people around a common vision with healthy relationships, and one conclusion kept coming back to me. I need to do a better job of communicating what is truly important to those who are truly important.
That’s why I’m starting this weekly post. It is my intention to write a summary of the goings on at LCC each week that will primarily be aimed at the leaders and volunteers of our church, but you can listen in to the conversation too.
This past Sunday at LCC, I had the privilege of leading worship with Jake and Vince. It was another acoustic set, and I greatly enjoyed the honor of leading worship. If you missed the music, you can listen to the original recordings in this playlist: http://grooveshark.com/playlist/2012+09+02+Worship/76895372
For our week’s message, we turned to Romans 14 & 15 where we learned all about the limits of Christian liberty. You see, there are many things in the Bible that are indisputable for the follower of Jesus, but there are also a number of things that fall under the category of disputable matters. Since Christ has set us free from the law and has brought us into a relationship of grace with our Heavenly Father, things like what kind of food to eat, what kind of drinks to drink, what days to celebrate, etc, all fall under that category of disputable matters. In these matters, we have liberty to live out our conscience, but Paul advises us on how to live out this freedom with five principles:
- Accept one another even when you disagree.
- Let God be in charge of you and the people around you.
- Be guided by conviction and devotion.
- Be responsible for yourself.
- Humbly limit your liberty in consideration of others.
The reason Paul gives us these words of advice is simply that he wants to see God be praised and glorified among those who are his followers. You see, humility always trumps liberty because only humility can build unity, and unity brings God glory!
My encouragement to everyone on Sunday was that we should be solidly convinced of the indisputables, we should be in a church family that shares our convictions regarding the organizational and worship disputables like how to do baptism, communion, worship, etc, while not disparaging the churches who disagree with us on those matters, and we should be graciously accepting of all who name the name of Jesus but don’t agree with us on anything else.
This challenge falls most squarely on you who are leaders in the church because you are the ones who set the culture, identify the convictions, and model the acceptance we all need to have.
Here are some highlighted comments from the cards this week:
- I really love this church! I think the music is great! I am ready to give my heart to Jesus!
- This message was perfect for what I need to hear. Going into my new center I want to change others for the better of the children’s future. But I also need to accept them for who they are.
- Enjoyed today’s message. Really hit home with people/circumstances that have happened in the past. Arguing the indisputable. In turn I have been responsible for myself and accepting of “them” even if we have different points of view.
- I struggle with this daily. I want people to accept me but a lot of time I’m not willing to do the same. Today helped me so much some things can be black & white. But ok to have a gray area on somethings.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see people coming to the church, hearing a message that resonates with them, and desiring to make decisions to follow Jesus! It’s the entire reason this church even exists, but I want to recognize something that you might have already seen.
We are getting a large number of people to come to our church, and they are giving us positive feedback, but we aren’t building relationships with them very well. We aren’t bringing them into our Life Groups, onto our Ministry Teams, or into our circles of friends. The church has finally reached a size that I can’t do that stuff for everyone, and I can’t even keep up with the number of guests we are getting each week, so I’m calling on all of you once again to live out the mission with me.
You see, we exist to help people discover full life in Christ and you are the key to whether that happens or not. I want to make sure you are experiencing the full life Christ has for you, and through you, God is going to bring that life to others.
In simple terms, I’m convinced that two things need to be true in your life:
- You need to have a passionate flame in your heart for God and for how he is using you.
- You need to serve with enthusiasm and gusto!
Paul says in Romans 12:10-12 something that needs to be true of every leader:
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. — Romans 12:10-12
Your passion for God will spill out in your passion for service. But if you let your spiritual fervor wane, if you let your zeal fade, you will burn out in your service. Don’t let that happen!
Remember that every moment of energy you invest in teaching your Kidopolis class, preparing for leading worship, praying for the Sunday gatherings, connecting with people in your Life Group, making a follow-up phone call, or smiling at a new face on Sunday morning, has momentum. Those moments have momentum, and God is able to bring fruit to each of them. Just 15 extra minutes of preparation for your Kidopolis class might make the difference between a lesson that reaches our regulars or one that wows a first timer.
You have no idea how valuable your investments are in the eyes of eternity!
Eyes Wide Open
To close out this note, I want to ask you to keep a lookout with me for people to fill these service slots:
- A worship leader who can “own” the worship ministry of the church and take us to our next level.
- Coaches who can step into the gap and help our newest people find their place in the family of God.
- Teachers and volunteers for a 9am Kidopolis program.
- Audio and Video techs to lighten the load on Josh Brown and Josh Cadwallader
As we move forward together, God is going to bring the right people into our fellowship, but I believe he is calling us to see them, recognize them, develop them and deploy them! That’s what leaders do, and that’s the charge he has given us!