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Steve Farrar: “True Courage”

So what is True Courage?

While it’s taken me longer than I’d hoped (video work always does!) I’ve finally recorded, edited and uploaded the next video in the series – a short review of Steve Farrar’s book, True Courage.

True Courage by Steve Farrar

Steve uses the life of Daniel as an example of what true courage looks like, for Christians. Simply put, he describes true courage as trusting in God more than man, trusting God with your future, and trusting in God’s sovereignty over world events.

It can be hard to display courage in our hectic, doom-&-gloom-focused world. But it is easy to feel overwhelmed – just watch the nightly news, and you’re likely to come away feeling depressed, fearful, and questioning what’s going on in this crazy planet!

But God’s got it. It’s in His hands. Just like YOU are in His hands.

True Courage – Mini Book Review

Grab a copy of True Courage

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As mentioned in the video, and in other parts of this blog, we will receive a small commission from Amazon if you choose to make a purchase from related links on this site. We have ongoing costs to cover like hosting & site maintenance (mainly my time & effort away from “paid work” or family time). Any profits above & beyond those costs will go towards acquiring additional resources for this site.

Whether you choose to get your copy from this site or from your local Christian book store, I do highly recommend you grab a copy of True Courage!

What Does It Mean For A Husband To Love And Lead Like Jesus?

This 13 min video elaborating on Ephesians  5 provides some powerful insight into how men can lead according to God’s word.

It’s a massive call to live up to but one that is a tremendous privilege, I could not recommend strongly enough take the time to watch this video.

 

 

Learning to Fail

LEARNING TO FAIL

Ryan Williams » Church Leadership Mind Wisdom Culture

The current generation of young men has been coddled and over-protected.

“. . . a time to break down, and a time to build up . . .”Ecclesiastes 3:3

There will be a time when you fail. In life, you will be presented with a litany of opportunities to try something and fail, from school, sports, work, relationships, family, or your faith in Christ.

For some men, failure can create an overwhelming sense of shame, heartbreak, and disappointment. For others, they sweep these feelings underneath the rug of their masculinity and pretend like nothing is wrong. Both of these responses to failure are bad examples of how we should respond to failure.

In Christ, our performance does not determine God’s love for us. We are free to own up to our failures because they cannot ruin or define us.

Show them godly men repent and follow Christ with renewed vigor.

I know this bristles against everything we were brought up with, namely, the notion of victory and the thought that we can do what we like without having to reap the consequences if we fail and somehow still manage to come out on top when we do.

TOUGH AND TENDER

I was speaking recently with a young man I pastor. He has struggled with responsibility and, as a result, works a menial job, isn’t given leadership roles, and isn’t put in positions where people need to count on him.

I have sat in his place many times when I failed, times when I needed a firm, direct assessment of where I was failing, that how I was acting wasn’t how I had said I would, and a clear exhortation to stand up, be a man, and take responsibility. I needed this tough conversation—it used to be known as the “man-up talk.” This talk could be pivotal in the journey of the young men we are leading, but it can’t be all that we are about. It can’t be the same old tough-guy routine—no, now we are dealing with another beast entirely.

God calls us men to be tough and tender, challenging and loving. Some people are willing to be tough but never tender, and some are always too tender and will never be tough. Are you willing to step up to the task of being both?

CODDLED, CURRENTLY

There has been a distinct change in how men have been treated over the last 20 or so years. Rather than being able to fail and fall, the current generation of young men has been coddled and over-protected. They have been molded by a vacuum effect in the wake of a lack of strong Christian men and father figures. This vacuum has created men who are more passive and confused about what it is to be a man than any other generation of men in history. This generation must be dealt with differently, and the current understanding of a man-up talk needs be re-shaped if we are to reach these young men for Jesus and encourage them to grow up to be godly men who love, protect, and provide for their families and their churches.

SHOW, THEN TELL

As we engage with younger men over the next few years, it must be with a more emotionally engaging firmness. They have never been allowed to feel the full weight of their responsibilities or failings. Rather than calling them to what they should be doing, we need to show them what it is to be a man in the first place.

Engaging young men in what they are foundationally called to be as a man is essential to raise up the next generation of Christian leaders. Why do you think young men flock to strong male figures like Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler? It’s because they see in these men something they haven’t seen in others; they see strong Christian men who loves his family and church but not at the expense of their masculinity.

Let them dare to live a life worthy of the calling.

Once we have laid the foundation of what it is to be a biblical man, we can begin to move the young men we pastor toward the example of Jesus and the building of his kingdom (Matt. 9:32) and away from the comfort of their own kingdoms. Jesus as both tough and tender is our always-perfect example of what God designed a man to be like.

Build them up in love. They must know that we, as their pastors, love them—so tell them. These young men have grown up in a sexually perverted, relationally fluffy existence. They want to know you love them and that you want to see them grow into godly men.

GODLY MEN REPENT

Then let them dare—dare to live a life worthy of the calling to which they have been called (Eph. 4:1). They will fail, but they must know failure is not a bad thing. They have been protected from it for most of their lives; they must know that it is essential to growing in Christlikeness. Give them examples of men who failed, repented, and followed Christ with a new passion: King David (Ps. 51), the Apostle Peter (Acts 2:14–41), and yourself! Show them that godly men repent and follow Christ with renewed vigor (Luke 3:8).

May God grant us grace as we toil to call the next generation of men into the great responsibility of leading and loving their families and their churches.

The Habits and Character of Leaders

THE HABITS AND CHARACTER OF LEADERS

Justin Holcomb » Church Church Leadership Heart Wisdom Stewardship

The best leaders depend on God.

Rather than teaching leadership tips and methods for maximizing results, the Bible emphasizes character, faithfulness, and dependence on God when it portrays God-honoring leadership.

THE HABITS OF LEADERS

Leaders in Scripture represent a given people or nation. A priest who sins, for example, brings judgment upon the entire nation (Lev. 4:3). In a different way, Moses intercedes on behalf of Israel asking that God not execute his judgment upon them (Exod. 32).

Leaders witness to the gospel (Luke 24:48Acts 1:8) and are called servants (John 13:16Acts 4:29). They are administrators (1 Cor. 12:28), shepherds (John 21:15–16Acts 20:28–29), and builders (1 Cor. 3:10). Leaders are athletes competing in a race for God’s sake (2 Tim. 2:5), and they are considered fools (1 Cor. 4:10) and rubbish (v. 13) in the face of the world.

Leaders are to remain steadfast.

Joshua, who is another of Scripture’s model leaders, meditated on Scripture (Josh. 1:8). Leaders study God’s law (Ezra 7:10), flee from impurity (Isa. 52:11), do not have fear (Jer. 1:8), and are honest (Mal. 2:6). Leaders are humble (Matt. 23:8–12), have integrity (2 Cor. 4:2), are pure (1 Tim. 6:11), and have pure motives (1 Thess. 2:3).

Christian leaders in particular are to teach the Bible soundly (2 Tim. 1:13), remain focused on the gospel (2 Tim. 2:1–23), and exercise their spiritual gifts (1 Pet. 4:10). In fact, leaders of the church are the group of leaders to whom God gives the most stringent guidelines, almost all of which deal with character traits.

THE CHARACTER OF LEADERS

Leaders throughout Scripture are characterized by a variety of positive traits. Integrity is especially valued. David asks God to judge his integrity (Ps. 7:8), and he was said to have shepherded Israel with a heart full of integrity (Ps. 78:72). God tells Solomon to maintain his integrity and guarantees the preservation of his reign if he continues in integrity (1 Kings 9:4–5). Leaders with integrity are guarded, but those who lack it are overthrown (Prov. 13:6).

Leadership entails great responsibility for others, especially including those who are considered followers. Leaders, according to Proverbs, are supposed to protect the innocent (Prov. 18:5), fight for justice, and punish the oppressors of the poor and orphans (Prov. 72:423:10).

God often chooses people who would appear as unfit leaders.

Leaders are to remain steadfast in the face of opposition. Ezekiel, for example, was publicly criticized, but he maintained his convictions. Similarly, Paul boldly stood up to Peter at Antioch, confronting Peter about his hypocrisy (Gal. 2:11–21).

Attempting to implement worldly models of leadership has undesirable results (Exod. 17:1–71 Sam. 8:7–8) because the leadership modeled in Scripture differs significantly from that of the world (1 Cor. 1:20). For example, God often chooses people who would appear to human eyes as unfit leaders: Moses was not eloquent (Exod. 3:9–4:16), Gideon was a coward (Judg. 6:11–12), and Simon Peter was uneducated (Luke 5:1–11). This makes it clear that leadership in Scripture is a gift from God, which negates any possibility for human boasting (1 Cor. 1:26–31). Kings were anointed before God in the Old Testament (Exod. 28:41), and leaders were appointed by the laying on of hands in the New Testament (Acts 6:5–6).

THE TRIUNE GOD: THE TRUE AND BETTER LEADER

The best leaders depend on God. They recognize that human leadership is patterned after the leadership of God, who is the ultimate leader, and all things fit within the frame of his sovereign leadership (Eph. 1:20–21Phil. 2:9–10). God chooses the leaders for his own people (Deut. 17:14–15), and he appoints those who rule over the secular realm (Rom. 13:1). Human leadership in no way undermines God’s supremacy as the ultimate leader, but he desires that human leaders govern according to his will (Gen. 1:28), and he says that they are accountable to him (Luke 12:48). God uses prophets (Hag. 2:20–23), the leaders of foreign nations (Isa. 45:1), and natural disasters (Exod. 7:4) to impose his will upon leaders not submitting to his authority. God is depicted as the ultimate king in Scripture (Ps. 48:2Jer. 10:10). He sits on his throne (Ps. 47:8) and rules with his scepter (Ps. 45:6).

The best leaders revel in God’s grace and show grace to others.

Jesus Christ is depicted in Scripture as the one who brings the failures of previous leaders to an abrupt end. As a leader, Jesus attracted both small and large crowds (Matt. 4:18–25) and set an example for his disciples to follow (John 13:15). He is the true prophet, priest, and king. As true prophet, Jesus revealed the Father (Matt. 11:27) and spoke the Father’s words (John 8:28). As priest, he mediates between God and his people (Heb. 4:14–16;10:11–22) and offered the perfect sacrifice of his life. And as the true Davidic king whose kingship will never end (2 Pet. 1:11), Jesus rules at the right hand of the Father of his church. Christ, the true and better leader, intercedes for his people.

Jesus was the ultimate wise leader. He says of himself in Matthew 12:42 that one “greater than Solomon is here.” Those who follow Jesus’s leadership are called children of wisdom (Luke 7:31–35).

The Holy Spirit also functions as a leader. In the Old Testament, the Spirit enabled the judges of Israel (Othniel in Judges 3:9–10, Gideon in Judges 6:34, Jephthah in Judges 11:29, and Samson inJudges 14:6 and 15:14–15). The Holy Spirit leads believers in the ways of God (Gal. 5:18Rom. 8:14), teaches them wisdom (Acts 6:3Eph. 1:17), and guides them in truth (John 16:13). The Spirit instructs in doctrine (1 Cor. 7:40), leads people physically (2 Kings 2:16Ezek. 2:23:12Luke 2:27Acts 8:39), sends people out (Acts 10:20), and leads the sons of God (Rom. 8:14).

LEADERS TRUST GOD

Scripture has much to offer in terms of a theology of leadership. The most important message, however, is that all leaders, even the greatest, will experience failure and must rely on God’s grace. The best leaders depend on God, revel in his grace, and show grace to others—they understand that grace motivates. Looking to the God of grace as the ultimate leader is the surest way to find resources for humble, faithful, and fruitful Christian leadership.

5 Leadership Lessons from the Doctrine of the Trinity

5 LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY

Jamie Munson 

Since we are made in the image and likeness of God, we should reflect God’s character through our leadership.

But what does authority look like in a world full of imperfect people? It is an important question, especially when organizing leadership.

Leaders cannot lead as the Trinity in some respects (being God, existing in eternity, glorifying themselves, etc.), but there are leadership lessons to be gleaned from Trinitarian doctrine that shows us how to graciously mirror God’s authority, humility, love, and generosity for his glory and not our own.

Trinitarian doctrine ought to inform Christian leadership, and it is marked by five characteristics.

1. HOW THE TRINITY MODELS HUMILITY

The members of the Trinity are continually serving in humility and seeking to honor each other.

We humans tend to think we are simply awesome, so we seek out ways to point the spotlight on ourselves. Often, the allure of leadership positions is more about our drive for recognition, power, and money rather than our willingness to serve and help people. Christian leadership should be the opposite of self-exaltation.

Scripture compels us to “clothe [our]selves with humility” (1 Pet. 5:5). This suggests an ongoing, daily effort like any biblical command that requires the help of the Holy Spirit. When leaders pursue humility, they invite the grace and favor of God and create a culture that celebrates the victories of others. They demonstrate repentance, which encourages an atmosphere of good consciencesand open communication.

2. HOW THE TRINITY MODELS LOVING GENEROSITY

There are very few commands in Scripture that encourage competition among believers. Yet Romans 12:10 says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

We are not called to exchange pleasantries in the staff lounge, but rather strive with competitive zeal in expressing genuine love and encouragement to others. The loving relationships and the desire to share glory within the Trinity provides an amazing example for us to follow.

How leaders love and care for each other sets the tone for an entire organization. As the leaders go, so the organization will follow. The same principle extends to generosity, which is a specific expression of love. A theology and lifestyle of generosity is conspicuously absent in most organizations, which means they miss out on giving and receiving God’s grace with each other. We need to actively share God’s grace as a conduit of blessing to those around us.

3. HOW THE TRINITY MODELS GIVING GLORY

Will we give God glory or take it for ourselves? Leader worship is all too common in our culture, and oftentimes leaders promote such idolatry by not properly directing people to give the glory to God.

It’s easy to want to steal the glory that so clearly does not belong to us. The Christian life must be squarely fixated on the glory of God as revealed in Jesus Christ, so that all of life serves as an act of worship to our deserving, holy God (1 Cor. 10:312 Cor. 4:6). When our focus is on the glory of someone other than ourselves, a world full of people focused on themselves will begin to take notice.

4. HOW THE TRINITY MODELS ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF LEADERSHIP AUTHORITY

The need for organizations to have a senior leader begins with God. God is one and he eternally exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Within the unity of the Godhead there is an order of work (this is referred to asfunctional subordination) to his plans. In other words, each Person has a different role and responsibility (John 6:44Eph. 1:3-141 Pet. 1:2). Organizations would do well to reflect a level of order as well.

This goes against our culture’s distorted view of equality. Take Jesus’ disciples for example: they were led by Peter, a first-among-equals who represented the rest of the men and served as the most visible member of the early church (Matt. 10:2-4Mark 3:16-19;Luke 22:32Acts 1:13). The difference between Peter and the other disciples—or your leader and the people under his or her authority—is not a difference in individual value and worth. The difference comes from the diversity of talents and gifts to be found within the body of Christ.

Biblical leadership compels leaders to appropriately exercise their authority over the organization. An established authority structure will help your organization’s ability to function at its highest level.

5. HOW THE TRINITY MODELS SUBMISSION

As a leader, the thought of submitting to others can be challenging. Again, we want to take charge, we want to call the shots, and we want to make the final decisions. This is absolutely necessary at times, but a leader who goes unchecked and submits to no one is dangerous. Every single leader has blind spots and needs others to speak into their lives and point out the errors and omissions in their life or organization. Even leaders within organizations who really have no obligation to submit are wise to invite the counsel of others who are farther along a similar leadership journey.

How does this play out in your organization? How can you grow as a leader that reflects the Trinity?

 


 

This article is adapted from Jamie’s book, Authority: The Leader’s Call to Serve. Jamie served on staff at Mars Hill Church for over twelve years, is the author of the free e-book Money: God or Gift. Learn more atJamieMunson.com.

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