I’m Back…And Nationwide

You can’t really go wrong with a ZZ Top reference to start the year.

This year, the Church Council is getting focused on answering the questions – what does a spiritual leader look like and HOW do we become that, how do we model that, how do we reproduce that, celebrate that, and empower that? If we are going to be a Love, Live, Serve church that impacts our city (and beyond) it’s crucial we know and become deeper servant leaders. Can’t reproduce what you aren’t, right?

So this morning was our first gathering attempting to seek God’s answers to this question. We meet twice a month, once solely for study and prayer, the second for study and decisions. Here are most of the thoughts that hit the floor this morning.

I put them out here for a couple of reasons. First, I want our congregation to know that leadership is more than just making decisions and meeting once a month. At least it’s more than that here. It’s about character development, it’s about creating a culture where God gets the last word. It’s having the audacity to say “I don’t know, I need some clarity from God on this.” Second reason is often times the journey is just as important as the destination.

At some point in this coming year, we will have some answers to those questions. And those answers will drive us to the next step at Western Hills in what we do in reproducing spiritual leaders. Those answers will define what programs we do and don’t do, what projects we tackle and which ones we pass on. But for now — we’re seeking, we’re listening. And that’s okay…and that kind of discipline is best done in community.

So consider this an invitation to listen with us.

Tuesday, January 4, 7:00 am

Opening Question:
What is a spiritual leader? What does he/she look like? What scriptures help form this kind of person?

1 Peter 3:1 – Wives submit to your husbands. (This was given by a woman around the table, by the way.)

“There is a need for us to understand the goodness of submission, especially submission to Jesus. We submit because He loves us, He leads us. He wants best for us. Submission is at the heart of servant leaders.”

“Not compartmentalized in their understanding of God.”

“Faithful in small things.”

“Can hold the paradoxes of our faith humbly. Truth AND grace.”

Galatians 2:20
“Famous first part of verse most of us know — it is not I that I live but Christ in me. Larger focus needs to shift to second half of verse – the life I NOW live, I live by FAITH in the Son who loves me and gave Himself for me.”

What do we do with those people who see and hear the truth of deeper spiritual waters but won’t go there? Not the people who CAN’T go there – because of hurt and need healing. But rather those that willfully say – “No, don’t want any of that kind of Jesus?”

How do we get people to the place of maturity in Christ?
What are the gauges for us to know if we are heading in the right direction?
What thermometers are there for us to let us know if we are doing this right?

Do we know where that place is well enough to start with? If we can’t answer the WHAT, it doesn’t matter how we answer the HOW.

Most people are sick of church, tired of church. Is it possible to be a spiritual leader without the Church?

GE: This is a question we need to return to again. Lots of implications in this question…

Colossians 4:1-6
Spiritual leaders pray and seek for the opportunities to speak about the ‘mystery’ of God wherever they are. They church where ever they find themselves.

What scriptures have formative power over us? What scriptures have challenged us to change and be better people and leaders?

GE’s thoughts:
This is a starting point. We have to be able to answer the WHAT question before the HOW. What are we trying to reproduce in the life of another believer? This is by no means a final answer but a starting point for us as we seek to articulate God’s grid for Western Hills and what it means to be a spiritual leader here.

Being a spiritual leader is multi-faceted to be sure. There are some skills and competencies that I’d like to see but the baseline is character. The stuff that is harder to see and evaluate. Paul gives his list in Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:1-6
Walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling….

7 key thoughts of what it means to walk worthy of the calling…

1. humility – self-explanatory, not self-serving, not false humility

2. gentleness – the lack of an edge with people. There is no way to get around the stumbling block of Jesus. Just let that block be Jesus, not my personality.

3. patience – Am I as long suffering with others as I pray God to be with me?

4. accepting with love – everybody has baggage. love them anyway, in spite of their junk.

5. diligent about unity of Body – diligence not about status quo but unity and….

6. Unity is based on Christ – not on traditions, programs, my ego, etc.

7. lives with knowledge that God is in all, around all – non-compartmentalized

Great starting point…more to come.


One thought on “I’m Back…And Nationwide

  1. To add a “missional” aspect to the requirements of a leader….the ZZ song “Jesus Just Left Chicago” has an interesting story. Seems that the boys in the band used to pick up a station that played gospel blues music in Chicago..all the way in Texas… during certain times of the day. It was an AM station. So they wrote the song Jesus Just Left Chicago. I guess you could say ZZ Top was evangelized cross-culturally?


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