Sunday, 29 June 2014

Leadership through 'given lives' - 1 Cor 9:15 - 23

Paul was free in Christ. Yet he strategically gave up his freedom in order to enter the world of different types of people in the hope of bringing them the gospel. He accepted limitations and embraced inconvenience for this purpose.

So who is God calling you to bring good news to?

How can we do that in the mix of all the other stuff in our lives. Our family, our work etc. pose legitimate calls on us. Can we be 'given over' to God's call without trashing these other life departments?

Christians have offered answers, for example suggesting a pecking order of God - spouse - children - and then church stuff. There is good reason for this: sadly there have been casualties in churches from time to time. Yet is that simple? If we put God as number one, then doesn't that compel us to serve ... and won't we do that with our faith community (i.e. do 'church stuff')?

Perhaps better to consider balancing a ball on a tray. The tray has various things on it that call for our attention, yet tip only in one direction and the others are neglected. Plus things change - family members get sick, redundancy at work comes along ... many things that change the landscape, requiring a re-balancing. Life is one long balancing act!

A couple of tips.
  1. Let your relationship with God permeate all departments, don't compartment off different aspects of life. Let your children see your faith in action ... even in the struggles of life.
  2. Work out your calling - what is your life (your 'tray') supposed to be about? Maybe there is stuff that shouldn't even be on your tray, or you can sit light with. If you honestly and prayerfully balance with your calling in mind, you can trust into God's hands the important factors in life (e.g. your children's longterm wellbeing). In other words, honour God and He will honour you.

An application of these tips is to bring your children to serve with you. Not always easy, and sometimes the source of conflict to be prayed and worked through.

Paul dialogues with the Corinthians about how they relate and view leaders. Paul makes it clear that it is not about rights but about 'given lives' - lives given to God's call and the ministry work. A church can only function with such lives operating at all levels (from the routine tasks up to strategic leadership). In Seeking to Worship, Seeking to Serve we will try to ensure what we do makes sense in terms of our mission purpose, simplifying where possible, re-arranging and re-distributing where that helps. Yet the bottom line is that each ministry area of the church can only happen if there are given lives.

We have different roles to play, but as per 1 Cor 3 it is God who brings the spiritual change, doing it through our efforts. Its not all about who has the most 'up front' personality, but who can God use through their character, gifting, and giving themselves to God's call. Hence the key question and challenge this week:

Key Qn: [OUT] Who is God calling you to bring good news to?
Challenge: Adjust your life balance to reflect this

How are you challenged, what do you need to adjust, to balance the tray that represents your life?

No comments:

Post a comment