By Not Known
I miss the seasons of Scotland. From winter to spring; from summer to autumn… life follows a climatic rhythm, like a piece of choral music with four parts – all in one, yet each part is distinctly unique. This is the way which God renews his natural creation. Every first visible change signals the dawn of the next season – the first daffodils of spring; the first heatwave of summer; the first falling leaves of autumn; the first snow drops of winter.
There is a similar “climatic” rhythm to the journey of a Christian leader. Each season carries with it its challenges and possibilities. All are part and parcel to the “greening” of our Christian leadership much like the way God keeps the natural world fresh. I wish to apply five lessons from John 15 that keeps our Christian leadership “green”.
Growing – “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” (John 15:1, NAS) Christian leader focuses on God and what he is doing with and through us. God rolls out his own perfect will in his own prescribed way through his own planned working. A leader is God’s instrument being cultivated by God’s own hands to serve in leading. What character, knowledge, and skill is God cultivating in you through this season of leadership service?
Testing – “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (Jn 15:2) Various attitudes cause a leader to be unproductive – laziness, complacency, and unwillingness to learn. Beware! God rejects leaders like these. But for those who are hardworking, humble, and teachable, God often puts them through tougher training and testing. In the end, he makes us better instruments for his use. How is God training and testing you in this season?
Abiding – “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (Jn 15:4) A branch that is broken off the stem will eventually dry up and die. A leader who does not nurture his relationship with God will eventually not experience God personally. Spiritual drought is a fatal warning. A leader must not neglect God! How is your prayer life?
Glorifying – “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” (Jn 15:8) There are many things that a good leader can do through his competence. In the end, he is praised and prized by many. A godly leader, however, does what truly glorifies God. His fruitfulness bears witness to the character and truth of God, even against popular opinions. Do remember that Christian leadership is no more than Christian discipleship in the lead.
Calling – “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain…” (Jn 15:16) Christian leadership is extremely demanding work. Many ministry “commanders” find themselves becoming master “complainers”. Remember that God us calls to serve. He did not beg us to volunteer. If you find yourself complaining more than leading, perhaps the season of leadership calling has passed. Step down and move on for the sake of your own godliness and the good of the congregation.