Leadership

Did you ever notice how many casualties there are in prominent Christian leadership positions?
Paul knew this. “I fear that after having preached to others, I myself might be declared unfit and asked to stand aside” (1CO 9:27)

There are many who aspire to leadership. They think that obtaining this goal that there it will be an arrival to a safe haven. Think again. Leaders…especially Christian leaders…and more especially Christian leaders in the lime light are men that are marked by the Enemy. They are vulnerable to spiritual attack and failure. Prominence and visibility are hazards of leadership, not benefits. The price is high.

Preparation for leadership involves a lot of weeping and painful testing. Heb 5:7-8 “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” We experience this as part of the Holy Spirits curriculum to stand the fierce pressures that befall a leader.

Christian leadership is not glamorous; it is warfare. We as Christ ones are at war with Satan and the world. We can be misunderstood by family members. We can be misunderstood by friends. We can be misunderstood by fellow-Christians. As if this is not enough we are exposed to often times being criticized by people motivated by jealousy or fear.

Elijah – “I‘ve had enough, he told the Lord. Take my life. I’ve got to die sometime, and it might as well be know” (1 Kings 19:1)

No doubt about it. There is a price to pay to being a leader. If the preparation seems hard , just remember that the pressures that go with prominent leadership will be much harder than the training that got you there in the first place.

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What about rewards…

On an outreach in Swaziland a year and a half ago, Garth and I were preparing supper for our team. As we worked around the campfire we started discussing living normally and living as missionaries. Our conversation focused on Jesus’ words recorded in Luke 18:28 – 30: And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” We have sold or given away everything, left family, friends and comfortable living; for what? What will be our reward? Will our reward be greater than other Christians? One thing will is certain, our concept of rewards is different than God’s. What will stand the test of fire? Will our works and motivates stand up under the test of God’s fire? What we thing is gold may disappear under the flames of fire and be shown as ash.

Garth and I agreed that we recognize that we have received far more than we ever thought possible from the Lord’s hand. Kathe and I have talk at different times about how God has abundantly blessed us materially even though we have have given or sold 98% of our worldly possessions. We are actually living better now on less than before. Before we were working for our earthly welfare and gain. Now our work has taken on an eternal value.