Faith is uncomfortable, and is almost always associated with the impossible. It’s this unorthodox dance between God and human beings where God speaks surreal things and then we respond with obedience to produce supernatural or highly improbable results.
Paul’s young apprentice, Timothy, was privy to the suffering that the apostle experienced throughout his journey to destiny. He would accompany Paul on his visits to the early churches. It was Timothy who would visit Paul in prison, where he would see this great leader in his most vulnerable and weakest states. Amidst trials and difficulties, good times and bad, Timothy personally witnessed Paul’s commitment to his calling and purpose. These examples spoke clearly to Timothy, when Paul charged him to “keep his head in all situations.” Paul was preparing Timothy to withstand the pressures of life that would surely come, so that he might excel in providing clear and precise leadership to others.
Your team members came to you with their gifts, talents, and time. They have enhanced your vision, and in some cases even caused it to flourish. And now a few years into the work, one of your stronger team members tells you that they are moving on. What do you do? How do you handle this?
In today’s scripture passage… [Paul] admonishes these believers to consider the differences between lawfulness and expediency—in other words “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should, nor that it is the best course of action.” As leaders, we often have the right and the ability to do whatever we choose. However, when a team is involved, our actions affect every member of our team.
Cain’s response to God’s question regarding Abel’s whereabouts was troubling for so many reasons. Obviously the murder of one brother by another was a violation of God’s order (as he would later outline through the law). Yet there was another subtle and destructive concept that was played out here… selfishness. After committing a transgression against his brother, Cain essentially declares, “What do I have to do with my brother’s well-being?” or put in another way “Not my problem”. What a bold assertion from a person who had taken the life of another person, even his own brother.
If I may be honest, as a leader, I struggle with leading by faith. I don’t always mind the faith trials that are just between God and me. At least in these scenarios, my losses are directly tied to personal calculations that I was willing to absorb—I knew what I was getting into. Leading by faith can feel overwhelming because the decisions we make in faith have very real impacts on the people who follow us.
The time between the initial glimpse of a promise and God’s fulfillment of that promise can be agonizing. We often wonder, “what is God doing?” and, “why does it take God so long to fulfill what he said?” We may not mind waiting days or weeks, but months or years seem unfathomable. Transformational leadership is rarely about today and almost always about tomorrow.
The purpose of leadership is to mobilize people and resources towards a determined goal. Transformational leadership, however, is about cultivating future leaders who can carry on the mission for generations to come. Transformational leaders look at their core group of followers and are able to discern the future leaders that lie within. This is what Jesus was doing when he called out the twelve disciples.
Regeneration—a word we don’t use often enough. It describes salvation and the realities of our new lives in Christ. This word suggests that salvation necessarily comes with changes in the way we act, speak, and think. In other words, regeneration speaks of being transformed. Although this may feel like a farfetched notion to some people, even to believers, it is a Biblical guarantee. 2 Corinthians 5:17 assures us that for those of us in Christ, “the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!”
Ministry… for such an overused word in Christian nomenclature, it is also often the most misunderstood concept. To many people, the word ministry automatically translates to pastoral responsibility, public preaching, and this overwhelming feeling of religious responsibility. Maybe this is why most people would rather not be associated with the title. The mere mention of the word has a larger than life feeling. However, the truth is that every Christian is a minister.