In thinking about different leaders from Scripture, Barnabas stands out.
Barnabas was a great Bible leader because of his example in generosity. The scripture indicates he sold some property and gave it all to the apostles to help in the needs of the early church.
However, his generosity is not what I want us to notice about this great Bible leader.
Barnabas was the name given to Joseph, by the apostles. When we look at two specific incidents, we see why Joseph would have been given the name, Barnabas, meaning Son of Encouragement.
First, after Paul’s conversion to Christianity, people were hesitant to believe the change, until Barnabas stood up and spoke on Paul’s behalf.
Second, when Paul did not want to take John Mark on the next missionary journey, Barnabas was willing to give John Mark another chance.
In our leadership, we need to be like Barnabas. We need to be willing to stand up and speak for those who have changed their lives, and when they have changed, we need to give people another chance.
What an encouragement! What a need in leadership! Think Souls.
A question came to mind when I thought of this word; why and how does global have a place in leadership?
I realize a question of this nature has numerous answers to consider. The answer that first came to mind for me connected directly to the span of leadership influence.
Do we really consider the far reaching nature of our influence as leaders from a global perspective?
The influence of one person can move a nation, lead an army, direct a revolution, carve out a place in history, or change the life of one person who will.
We far too often underestimate what can be done with the influence we have on the circle of people we meet on a daily basis.
Instead of thinking how can we do something revolutionary, why not think of changing the life of one person. Who knows how God may be working through the person we influence to make a global difference.
Let us commit ourselves to changing the life of one person. Open the door of opportunity for one person. It will make a difference…globally.
How many times in the political arena do we hear the thought expressed of someone being extreme left or extreme right?
Being extreme, however, is not limited to the political arena. We quite often find the beast of extremism within the church.
In the limited time I have been given on earth, I have personally seen numerous “issues” that have become a major hobby horse for well intended brethren.
They became so dogmatic or extreme in their approach to these issues it led to, 1) a division in the church, 2) leaving for a more liberal mindset, 3) attending with another congregation, or 4) leaving to start their “own.”
We do not find these options in scripture.
Only Christ has the power to remove the candlestick from any congregation.
Our responsibility is to learn the difference between Biblical doctrine and personal opinion.
Spiritual leadership is about finding the proper balance to maintain the unity needed with the Lord’s church.
In a time where people are trying to prevent the world’s influence on the church, let us not become so extreme that our actions portray what we are trying to prevent.
“In times like these it is good to remember that there have always been times like these.” Paul Harvey
No matter what these times may be in our lives, this is a great quote to remember, especially as leaders.
Over the past 50 years we have all seen several changes within the church. Some of these changes have been good and some destructive.
There have been “times like these” on several occasions. At the time we may have wondered if this was the only time something like this had happened. Have others faced the same challenges and struggled with the same feelings?
Solomon reminds us there is nothing new under the sun. Paul Harvey expresses it another way, but the thought is the same.
Leaders will always face challenges when leading others. It may be a different generation, culture, gender, age, or time of day, but the outcome is the same. There have always been times like these.
Let us remember to seek God’s counsel and listen to His word. Here is the only place we will find the true answers to solve the problems we face.
I have been blessed to spend time with my granddaughter the last few days. One of her favorite movies is Tangled (each time we are together we watch it several times). She has a special way of singing along with the various melodies throughout the movie. I am a little biased, but it is incredibly cute, to say the least. One particular song is entitled I Have A Dream.
I have and continue to learn much about leadership from each of my grandchildren, especially observing what they love to watch and do. What they dream and how their imagination works to achieve those dreams in their mind lifts my spirit. It helps me understand more why Jesus teaches us we need to be like children.
Several questions came to mind in listening to this song.
Do we have a dream?
Is our dream focused on us or others?
Is our leadership pursuing that dream?
Have we shared our dream with others?
Have we invited others to help achieve our dream?
Without a dream, it becomes challenging to develop vision, set goals, make plans, and achieve success. Are we dreaming yet?
Andrew is one of the least mentioned apostles in the New Testament. Most references are connected to the listings of the apostles in the gospel accounts. To our knowledge, we have nothing written by Andrew. However, there is one account with a powerful lesson that makes him a great leader?
Andrew was the one to lead his brother, Peter, to Jesus. Andrew was first introduced to Jesus and, recognizing Him as the Messiah, he then went and found his brother and testified, “we have found the Messiah.”
We are aware of the powerful affect Peter had on the day of Pentecost and then in preaching to Cornelius, along with his influence through his letters. He had been given the keys to the kingdom and he used them powerfully.
One of the lessons we need to know about leadership involves leading others to Jesus allowing Him to work through those vessels to accomplish His purpose.
Who knows but the very individual we lead to Jesus is the very one who will lead thousands to the Savior.
Following the example of Andrew will strengthen the depth of our leadership.
To cause to grow and become more mature or advanced.
If there was one word leaders need to understand for the future of the church, it would be develop.
Throughout the writings of the apostles, they continued to emphasize the need for the church to develop. Prayers expressed requests to God for help in developing the church.
His word was written to bring maturity. The goal of preaching was to present every person mature in Christ. God gave gifts to various individuals for the purpose of helping the church achieve unity and maturity in the faith. We also find the use of imperative language regarding Peter’s instruction for Christians to grow.
Developing faith and relationship with God is the responsibility of leadership.
We must lead others to a greater love and understanding of the word of truth.
We must assist Christians in an understanding and involvement of their God given abilities in His service.
We must encourage the expression of God’s grace through sharing the love of Christ at the cross.
We must provide an example in all the above.
Leadership is about development. Let us get started.