Thursday, April 30, 2009

Last Day Leadership - What are we developing?

One of our failures of leadership today is to adopt the world's method of making the person the center of knowledge. We teach leadership classes, go to conferences, seminars, workshops and because we have attended such things we now call ourselves “leader”

We cram all the knowledge we can get, stuff it into our brains and in a few years after this process we hang a tag around our necks and we are convince that we are now “leaders”, mature in God. After all, we graduate from the class and we have the certificates and some have even been ordained to ministry.

From then on we are supposed to be qualified for ministry. We carry ourselves as if we know all the answers concerning God and ministry, yet we have never truly been developed or become an imitator of Christ in all areas of his life.

It is as if serving in enough church positions, reading enough Christian books, attending enough leadership seminars, with spending enough time in prayer and having been a Christian for more than 3 years… you now become miraculously qualified for a ministry of your own.

Most churches when looking for a pastor look for these tags; someone who has been in ministry for a long time, as if maturity comes with tenure, but just because one has been in ministry for years does not mean that person is mature.

Truth be told, most Christians, Pastor’s, or Leadership have never truly become disciples nor understand the principle of fatherhood, for we live in a fatherless generation. In the Old Testament, the household was centered around the father. If the father was a carpenter the son would be a carpenter. If the father was a priest, the son was trained for the priesthood. If the father worshiped Jehovah the whole family worshiped Jehovah.

The father was the greatest influence. How one would worship, pray, align yourself with others or learn to defend themselves was taught by the father.

Today, we have not had the inheritance of fatherhood to teach us how to worship, pray, make covenant, or go to war.

With this absence in Christian Leadership today, Who have be become? What is the focus of our purpose and calling? How fruitful have we become in the eyes of our Lord and Savior?

Let us look in our past, for there is much we can learn about leadership from those who went before us, our forefathers, a few of their past failures and what lessons of leadership that can be learned today.

Some leadership failures of our forefathers:

Abraham – Lied
Isaac – Lied
Jacob – Deceiver
Moses – Murderer
Aaron – Had no backbone, provided Idols for worship while in the Ministry…
His son’s Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire… and were consumed

Generation Passed away in the wilderness… that included all the leaders except Caleb and Joshua

Saul – 1Ch 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;

David – lustful, crazy, perverted, a murderer, adulterer, liar, thief, deceiver, one not to be trusted.

Being a “Man after God’s own heart” did not exempt him from the consequences of his sin.
- He numbered the people and many died because of his sin
- He could not build the temple because he was a man of war

Eli – He restrained not his sons, he allowed them to walk in wicked leadership and the blood was on his hands. The Word of the Lord was Rare and there was no open vision… He could not restrain his sons because he himself was out of order. He could prophesy correctly (Hannah would have a son), but at the end of his days… he would not make it… he would be under judgment.

Eli’s Sons – prove to us that the ministry can be corrupt, wicked and self serving.

What’s does this mean today?

You can be in ministry, Chosen of God, Anointed, gift of Prophecy, Dream Dreams, have Visions and even talk to God face to face… yet….

- Fine yourself in the middle of a Lie
- Operate in Deception
- Guilty of Murdering someone’s Character
- Offer up “strange worship”
- Lustful
- Committing Adultery
- Becoming a People Pleaser, No Backbone in Leadership
- Corrupt… Wicked… Self-serving

You may have not started out that way… but you could finish that way… Many, Many, have started out with a heart after God… yet miss the mark and not finish well.

You heard it said… “If you don’t stand for anything… you will fall for everything”

I suggest to you, as ministers, that we spend too much time on the outward matters of life then the inward matters of life…

How we look… how we appear to others… having something clever to say… doing everything to make people like us… respect us… or consider us as “spiritual”, “spiritually mature”, “anointed”…

We spend more time gaining the “symbols of Success” that we have no true Godly success!

Minister, Preacher, Prophet, Teacher, Leader… Who are you… really?

Most Ministers will quickly want to jump to all the good the Word of God tells us about ourselves… We are created in His image… chosen… son’s of God… head not tail… and all that is true in its proper place… but the Word also tells us that the Heart is deceitfully wicked, no man knoweth there of… You may have woke up this morning the “righteousness of God”, but you still had to make the choice to think righteous, walk righteous, speak righteous and live righties.

Every day we are still one decision away from sin and one decision away from righteousness. There is a war going on between the flesh and the spirit.

We are not “untouchable” because of the position of Leadership that we hold or how spiritual we have become. After all the Preaching, Prophesying, Evangelizing, Teaching and operation in the “Anointing”… But for the Grace of God, we can still miss the mark.

If you think that this could not happen to you… then pride has blinded you and you may already be in a path that misses the mark. In the day in which we live, everyone one to teach but no one wants to be taught.

Although God’s Minister’s are suppose to be humble, teachable and servants, in this time in which we live, most ministers have the biggest ego, there un-teachable having an “I know” spirit, and are wanting to be served rather then served.

The more blessings you have, cars you drive, people waiting on you, the more armor bears, seats of honor and the more others serve us… has become our symbols of success, respect and anointing in ministry. After all, these are the “purks” of the ministry.

And in all are doing, we have raised up a generation of people with “messed up motives”… We “say” it is all about God, His Ministry, His Glory…. And we have been doing this kind of ministry so long that we believe our own lie.

We cannot even see that it is really about ourselves… our ministry, our kingdom, our anointing… our success. We never consider ourselves to be prideful, for we are too busy trying to succeed with the vision we know God gave us. We have found our identity, importance, our destiny, and seeing the success of the vision has become more important than the God of the vision.

So we never examine ourselves or consider the pride that operates within us. It is as if we justify ourselves by thinking that we are to spiritual, to close to God to operate in pride. Others may be prideful, but not us, for we are operating in the anointing.

In turn we call our striving for ministry success… a “Spirit of Excellence” rather than a spirit of pride, yet all the while, our eyes are on being bigger… bigger ministries, bigger churches, bigger reputations, greater anointing, bigger altar calls, bigger crowds, they want to “go to the next level” and have all the symbols of spiritual success.

Let me reminded you that Satan himself, was an Angel among Angels… Gifted, talented in his position of leadership, yet his fall, his sin of pride became the root of all sin. He was an Angel in

leadership in Heaven… he knows about leadership… and he knows about ministry… he knows how present himself as an angel of light… he knows how to have influence… he took one third of the angels with him when he was cast out… he knows how to be very persuasive, seductive and deceiving.

To keep the ministry pure, you must love God more then you love ministry.

One can fall in love with ministry, what it does for me, how it makes me feel, the power one feels when he is under the “anointing”, the honor and respect of others that the ministry brings and the need to be needed.
Then we deceive ourselves saying we love God and do the ministry for the Glory of God… when really we love what God does for us, how he makes us feel, what the ministry does for us and the blessings we receive.

At this point, we cannot tell the difference between what is holy and what is common. We believe with all our heart that we are “walking in the Spirit”, but reality is that we are operating in the flesh.

Rom 8:8 … they that are of the flesh cannot please God…

Paul said…

1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Paul learned how to walk in humbleness and brokenness.

What is your purpose, what you are called to be?

According to the New Testament, we are called to be:

- Matt 4:19 Fisher’s of Men, …follow me and I will make you fisher’s of men…
- Matt 9:37-38 Laborers …harvest is plenty, laborers are few…
- Matt 24 Faithful Servant …blessed is the servant who his Lord when he cometh…
- Acts 1: 8 Be a Witness, …be my witness both in Jerusalem, Judea…
- 1 Cor 6:17 Separate, …come out from among them and be ye separate
- Eph 1:4 Be Holy, …according as he has chosen us… be holy, without blame…
- 1 Peter 2:9 Chosen Generation, Royal Priesthood, Holy Nation, Peculiar People

These are things we are called to be for the purpose of fulfilling the “Great Commission”, to seek and save the lost.

Yet statics tell us that only 2% of the churches are evangelizing, this means that 98% of the churches are not fulfilling their purpose, and we wonder why the church today is in a mess.

The church has lost its focus. We have become more concerned about what God can do for us than what we can do for God.

In our church services, seminars, conferences and gatherings both big and small... everyone seems to be running after their "blessing", "breakthrough", or a prophetic word promising their prosperity...

Most services center around how saints become financially better, how to receive a greater anointing, how to go "next level", living above and not beneath, taking their right full place of authority, to be the "head and not the tail".

Although the Bible speaks of blessings and anointing, the church has become more "self-centered" rather than God Centered. Christianity in America has become all about having a better life, a "I'm going to get my blessing" spirit.

We want a high energy, hopping, shouting, dancing, emotionally moving service... that tells us that we are blessed, prosperous, overcomers, kings kids and our breakthrough is on the way... as we are taught that all Christians were born into royalty and we must declare and decree that "money cometh unto me".

The saints of God are not entirely to blame, for is it any wonder that they act such way... for there are no bad students, just bad teachers. Preachers have been preaching, teaching, prophelying these things for the last 30+ years.

Preachers take scripture and use it for their own gain, with the purpose of growing their "own" kingdom.

Their preaching centers only around seed time and harvest, breakthrough, getting your blessings, going to the next level, taking up your authority to get what you want, becoming wealthy, being the head and not the tail... they want to make people "feel good".

Their Prophecies are centered around the same, giving hope of a better future, financial status or better life. People in our day and age are in such need... they need a new car.. or financial blessing so they in turn chase a prophetic word that will speak of the prosperity that they desire and need to hear.

These so called men and women of God will hold a meeting, preach breakthrough or that your blessing will come when you plant a $1000 seed into their ministry. give testimonies, twist scripture and give time limit, as if you do not move now and give, you will miss the will of God and the Blessings of God.

Preachers have not taught people to live by faith, they have taught them to buy a blessing.

We have $200 dollar lines, $500 dollar lines, and for a blessing that God will pay attention to, $1000 lines.

Sadly, people give... because, they live in a time of real needs, they have many needs and desires, so they give in a hope to receive a bigger blessing in return. It has become nothing more than "buying a Blessing" for their motive in giving is to receive a bigger return.

All the while, the preacher is the one being blessed. It has become the next big multi-level scam. Selling a dream... of financial freedom, become a millionaire, travel, be financially secure, self sufficient, able to bless others.

Preachers have taking this so far that now they have begun to "network" drawing big crowds together, taking up masses amount of money, and lifting each other up as if giving to them financially is like giving to god directly.
They trade pulpits and the visiting pastor/prophet will lift up the church pastor before his people. Say things like "you cannot out shine your pastor, you must by him cloths, rings, cars, houses, pay for vacations, trips and in doing so there will be a double reward for you" They will collect money for everything... meetings, trips, television, radio... under the thought that your pastor will reach the nations, have a television ministry, radio ministry, travel abroad...

The purpose hides behind spreading the gospel, for they say that the purpose they need to do all these things is to "spread the gospel", but they spend more time, energy and resources on becoming bigger, better, richer, more well known... and rarely do you hear the true gospel message... or sermons on surrender, true sacrifice, servanthood, sin or hell.
The only time you hear words like surrender is when they want you to surrender savings or tax return... words of sacrifice when they call on you to sacrifice your rent money or credit card to give large financial gifts... or words of servanthood when they call you to serve their every need, food, clothes, transportation, etc. They end up preaching more about the “blessings” and less about being reconciled to God.

More tragic or the up and coming preachers who see all this and aspire to achieve the same type ministry, as if having material things is the measuring stick of ministry success.

Because of this self-centered philosophy of ministry many preachers, prophets, shepherds are abusing the sheep, sheering them for all they have and justifying their actions under the vision of having a mega ministry.

Spending more money on clothes, cars, houses, planes, buildings, offices and anything else that will give them the appearance of success. Justifying their actions with words like "you need money to operate the kingdom", "We live in the Blessings", "Where my plane lands, the blessing fall", "God wants us to prosper as our soul prospers", "Christ was not poor, so we are not to be poor" or "God wants us all to be rich and the poverty spirit to be broken"

A minister friend of mine was asked to teach a evangelism class. The pastor picked the text book and gave my minister friend liberty to teach. One of the chapters of the text book spoke
about how we should live what we preach. If we are going to witness to others, we must live a holy life and not engage in fornication, drunkenness and sin.
After the session the Pastor pulled the teacher aside and told him not to preach or show people there sin. The teacher, puzzled by this said to the Pastor, "but the bible teaches us not to fornicate", but the Pastor said, "I know, but do not show people there sin". The teacher again supported his view by reminding the pastor that he was teaching out of the book that the pastor himself had chosen. The Pastor then forcefully stated that " long as your under this ministry, you will not show people there sin".

AMAZING… How can a Pastor instruct his leadership not to teach about sin.

It was later discovered that this particular pastor had someone in his congregation that was living in sin, but was a financial supporter of the church. The pastor did not want to lose the finances, so he instructed the evangelism teacher not to teach in a way that would show anyone their sin.

This has become a common compromise in the church today. Pastor's have people in his church who give financially to the ministry, but are living fornication, adultery, drunkenness or some other sin. In order to keep the money flowing, the pastor is careful not to preach against sin or anything that will upset these people.

BUT Jesus is coming back for the Church! SO there has to be a group of people, a remnant, who will not accept these "seducing Spirits and Doctrines of Demons”.
Where is the type of leadership that will equip a remnant of God’s people who will not compromise.

We must get back to our purpose and calling. As fishermen, laborers and witnesses, we are also called to be His “servant”.

As Ministers, we know the Word of God tells us that the “…greatest among us is a servant of all” and that “…He came not to be served but to serve”. Yet we raise up leadership who become self serving. With 5 armor bearers waiting on us hand and foot, fulfilling our every whim from wiping our brow to bringing our food.

We have place more emphasis on serving the leader rather than service to God. We do this all in the name of mentoring and training, but the real lesson learned is that we have taught others to seek leadership position, seek the good life and that the symbols of successful ministry is material things, how many we have serving us and waiting on us. We have developed leadership with wrong motives who become arrogant, prideful, demanding, self-rightoues and who never examine themselves or consider there motive to be out of order.

Paul called himself a bond servant, a slave to Christ. He said “…I’ve been bought with a price, I am not my own”.

A servant means that you no longer have any rights, for someone else owns you. You are submitted to the masters every whim.

Let us take a moment and look at the word submit, or submission. Most of the time when we hear a preacher minister on “submit” it is in direct relation to the scripture “…wives, submit to your husband…” meaning she is to yield to or surrender her rights to her husband.

There is a greater meaning then yield or surrender when defining the word “submit”. A word study of the word “submit” goes deeper to mean, “without opinion or discussion”, as if one was in a court of law and the judge has rendered his verdict, no more debating, discussion or opinion, but now comes the time to follow the judgment rendered. The definition of “submit” goes further, it also means “without murmuring or complaining”.

One of the biggest problems today is submission to authority. If only we could get leadership to submit to authority according to the word study, to yield, surrender, without opinion and without murmuring or complaining.

The reason many people in church today do not submit to authority is because growing up, their ministers and leadership never learned to submit to God in this fashion, full surrender, without opinion, murmuring or complaining.

Our submission to God will always be reflected to the degree we submit to one another and our submission to others will be directly related to the degree we have truly submitted to God.

The world teaches that no one should have that type of control over you without some benefit to yourself. As a result, most people, including Christians, pick and chose what, who and how much they will submit to, usually based on what they will receive in return.

This produces submission with a motive. As long as there is a benefit, some perk, position, favor, reward, recognition or as long as we agree, I will submit and serve, but as soon the benefit, recognition, or be a strong disagreement, the person is now led by God to go to another church down the street. This is not the heart of a true servant of God, for a true servant of God is submitted to God without condition, for he is a slave and has not rights to be held back.

Submission with a motive is submission with conditions
which is not true submission at all

How is it that we as Ministers, Teachers and Leaders know the Word of God calls us to submit and serve, yet it is one of the biggest problems of leadership today. Let me suggest to you that we ourselves may have knowledge of what true submission is, able to preach it and teach it, but we ourselves operate in “submission with a motive”.

The evidence of this is seen in ministry and the type of leadership we are developing today.

It has been said, “Where the head goes, the body follows”, may God convict us of our own lack of true submission and service to God.

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