Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Leader's Hands

In our local preachers' meeting we have been reading the following book, and I was assigned Chapter 6 - here is my review!

Leadership from the Inside Out
Examining the Inner Life of a Healthy Church Leader
By Kevin Harney

Chapter 6: The Leader’s Hands. Humble Service Reveals Jesus’ Presence – Review by Gerrard R. Fess, Lead Minister CCHMD

In Chapter 6, the author goes over what it means to be a humble servant of Jesus Christ. The example of the man showing up on Easter Sunday claiming he was Jesus – yet he had no scars. “Jesus would never have his scars removed.” Pg 120. And the confused man was ushered out of the service.

“To lead like Jesus is to offer our hands to take up the cross daily, to pick up the towel and basin, to serve as he did. Sadly, many in Christian ministry have forgotten the service part of the equation.” Pg. 121. I use to dread the phrase in my contract in youth ministry, “Other duties as assigned.” Now I appreciate it. There is something about serving together – being humble and knowing no Job is beyond or beneath you. There have been times I’ve had to be a plumber, janitor, change diapers, clean flooded classrooms (One time when 2ft was in our basement of the church and classroom wing during services and several men and I were preventing the flooding). I’ve been on search committees – both for a Senior, Music etc. And the one question I really want to ask is “What do you feel about moving tables and chairs?” (I’ve moved my share of tables and chairs and recognize no task is Beneath me)

The Self-checks of Soft hands or how am I serving freely helps in gaining perspective and recognize that we, as Leaders, need to be serving. There is a danger in delegation. The author mentions the danger of specific ministries, that we need to be generalists.

The author, Kevin Haney, the cites the A-WICS attitude – “Any Way I Can Serve” Attitude. We all need this. From maybe being there to a teen who gets arrested for pot, to speeding tickets, to listening to the needs of people, to seeing where you can help. The big thing is Active listening. “Listening precedes serving” (pg. 132) Investing in people’s lives takes time and energy.

We need to go beyond the “What can we get” model to the “What can we give” model. Certain congregations have resources to share their own resources and some Simple Model as which they are good at to share with their community. It might be their facility; programs like Divorce Recovery etc. Think outside the box to serve – but not making another program for a program’s sake but for people to be investing in themselves and community. The chapter says “God wants us to share our finances, our facilities, and our ministry ideas.” Pg. 133.

As we serve, and use our hands to serve – may we reflect how we are ultimately doing what to serve Jesus.

Colossians 3:17 “And Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Questions to Discuss:

I. How are you serving outside the scope of your ministry?

II. Would you have “Other duties as assigned” in your contract, why or why not?

III. Would you ask a potential ministry candidate, “What do you feel about stacking chairs?” Why do you think this question might be asked.

IV. Who is someone you think of when you think of as a humble servant of Jesus?

V. Does your church have a A-WICS attitude? Why or Why not?

VI. Why does the there have to be “active listening” before serving?

VII. What would you do if someone confused, claiming to be Jesus came to your church?

Serving is an attitude. Getting out of the office. Willing to share life with people. Jason Bedell shares on his blog about a lot of pastors using websites as a source of pride and ego rather than serving God in a humble way. Instead of GerrardFess dot com why not just be a humble servant. Phil. 2:5-12 should be our model.

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