2004-02-10 – Shepherding, Maturity & Leadership


“To infinity and beyond” / “The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step”
Eph 6:13b:

“And after you have done everything, to stand”


When praying about tonight, I saw a picture:

Imagine an “epic battle” like you’d see in a movie, the “good” outnumbered by the “bad”.  You get an aerial shot panning over the battle field and the warriors preparing to engage.  It’s a mass of people, but in the ranks of the “good” there are a few people who stand out – not from stature/size, nor from their weapons/skill(we haven’t seen them in battle yet) but they stand out none the less.  Running into battle, their faces are set, weapons ready.  Leading the charge.

In battle they fight courageously (supporting the weak, leading the strong), and when the dust settles they’re still standing.  Facing their goal, having overcome.


Those people represent us.  You might not feel like one of them, but that’s not the point.  That what God sees in us.  We’re all growing towards that point, and we can all get there in time.


As Christians, all of us must show “leadership attributes” to be disciples.


Matt 28:19-20:

19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”


As disciples we are supposed to “make disciples of all nations”.  Its not a command to the “elite”.  It’s a command for us all.  So what does making a disciple mean?


Some ideas:



  • Leading them to Christ
  • Being a living example
  • Knowing the bible so you can explain it to them.
  • Baptising them in the Holy Spirit

Those are all characteristics of Christian leadership. (There are more)  Someone who isn’t in the church has no other “leader” to look after them but you and me.  And in the church, there are situations where you will need to lead people to the right path.  A person with the “title” of a leader won’t (necessarily) be with you at 5am when you best friend from junior school calls you at the end of their rope.  A leader won’t necessarily be around when you see a friend from church about to make a decision that will destroy them spiritually.  Nor will they always see when a good friend of yours is backsliding.


That’s what God has put you and me there for.


Eph 5:19:

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord”


1 Cor 12:4-13:

4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”


1 Cor 14:26:

“What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.”


Luke 4:17-19:

17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
    18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
       because he has anointed me
       to preach good news to the poor.
   He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
       and recovery of sight for the blind,
   to release the oppressed,
        19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.””



Where am I going with this?  We’re meant to be shepherds.



  • People who can lead others to safety, “bind up the broken hearted”.
  • Etc…

Ezek 34:2-4:

2“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.”


If you read on, it becomes quite harsh for the shepherds.  At some point in our lives we are shepherds to those around us, whether appointed there or not.  What are we doing with these opportunities? What am I doing with them?  What are you doing with them?


Vs 2-3: Do we look out for others?
1. In how we relate to them (honesty, integrity, caring)?
2. In directing them in the right paths?


Vs 4a: Restoration
 Coming alongside the weak to see their restoration.  Not to point out their faults, or to make ourselves look better (compared to their faults).  But to genuinely desire to see them whole and restored.  (Without the right motives, restoration is nothing more than self justification.)


Vs 4b: Bring back the strays
1. Relating to the last point – Do we see when people are starting to stray? Do we lovingly bring them back?
2. Do we find time to connect with non Christians and lead them to Christ?


Think about it…


[UPDATE: A lot of the focus in discussion towards the end of the “talk” was that many times we don’t realise that we are the only “shepherds” that the world will have contact with, and how we need to start seeing these opportunities and how we should be preparing ourselves. (studying the word, practicing various of the spiritual gifts in the 1 Cor 12 verse above.)]



Homework
As we’re going into the fast next week, prepare ourselves for it.  Make an effort to be at the corporate prayer times.


Home cell will happen again on the 24th.

5 thoughts on “2004-02-10 – Shepherding, Maturity & Leadership

  1. Paul you are a mighy man of God and he will use you i areas you have not even thought about yet. God bless you you mighty man Gideon. Charlie i am really enjoying your work and reading this work. God has blessed you in creative writting. i am just thinking how can we launch this so that non believrs could have a article to read!!!

    Love you all

    Ian

  2. Thanx to Charlie for the Heads up about this.

    Looks like your gonna make a gr8 leader (as if there was ever any doubt) & I pray that God would bless all of you mightily. Will come visit you guys soon

    Good luck for the Fast, may God show you all where He wants to take you in the comming year

    Will 8)

  3. A friend of mind, once said that we are afraid that we might fail, or worse yet successed of what we can becomes. Knowing family of unknown, or one that can become of our blood can be a question of our insight. I think, what you have done here suplement the strong inside spirit of God which always work in people of God, wherever, He intent them to be. He Himself, will bless you to continue your mission. may His spirit continues to bring forth the good work in you. I’m a Lost Boy from Sudan in case you wonder. Love be with you

    Peter Anyak

  4. A friend of mind, once said that we are afraid that we might fail, or worse yet successed of what we can becomes. Knowing family of unknown, or one that can become of our blood can be a question of our insight. I think, what you have done here suplement the strong inside spirit of God which always work in people of God, wherever, He intent them to be. He Himself, will bless you to continue your mission. may His spirit continues to bring forth the good work in you. I’m a Lost Boy from Sudan in case you wonder. Love be with you

    Peter Anyak

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