ADVERTISING
 
Friday, September 21   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Faith and political views
In my church...




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Jaume Llenas
1
 

Missional leadership

We have to choose between impress the people or serve the people. Let’s lead out of our weakness and not out of our strength.

FEATURES AUTHOR Jaume Llenas TRANSLATOR Olivier Py 07 MARCH 2016 11:40 h GMT+1
creativity, work, leaderhsip, hq, photo Photo: Tim Gouw (Unsplash, CC)

The decline of Christianity in a good part of the western world allows us to rediscover the true missional nature of the Bible. In recent Christendom, the contrast between Christians and the society to which they belong was less acute because until the end of the ’70 the prevailing moral rules were similar (abortion, euthanasia, divorce, homosexuality, adultery, etc.). The role of pastors and Christian leaders in this setting consisted in helping believers to live faithfully and assist them all through their life in order for them to give a consistent testimony that permitted an evangelization. Among all pastoral work, the most valued one was to accompany or assist the flock. When asked about what they expected from their pastors, a great percentage of the church would answer: “that they take care of me”. A pastor had to show some skills as a psychologist, an entrepreneur, a teacher, etc.



Christians now are in a new setting, growingly post-Christian, they have critical needs and ask different questions. They request from their pastors and leaders to present a redefinition of their work, a new job’s description. God never left us unaware of his criterions and the Bible is never short of answers. I would like to share with you two New Testament passages that shed some light in our changing times.



 



1. Leadership to equip. Ephesians 4: 7, 11-13.



The context of Ephesians 4 leads us to a meditation on the results of the death of Christ. It was not only and strictly an individual outcome, but it allowed the emergence of a new man, of a new humanity. And in order for this new humanity to be recognizable and bring about its God given mission, she needs two characteristics that Paul mentions: Unity and holiness. Both characteristics make God more visible. When the Church manifests them, there is a demonstration that God is among us and that sin is defeated.



However, the unity alluded in the Bible is not uniformity. It is not the uniformity of institutions, but the diversity of organs and members of a body which, though different, team up to achieve the same ends the head has established. As the body has different members, so in the Church there are different gifts (v.7) and those described in v. 11 have a very definite goal, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry”. This involves that one of the most important functions of the leadership is to equip every Christian, in the place assigned by God, to do the work and ministry He gave him or her.



To that effect, the leadership ministry is not so much meant to perform its own ministry and turn the others into mere onlookers of what it does, or be coworkers of the many ministries of the leaders, but much more to be focused on the members. A leader should understand that his ministry and responsibility is to equip the members of the church and for that reason he should concentrate on keeping contact with the society where most of the ministries take place, so as the family, the studies, the working place, social and political action, etc. and assist the believers so that they may be changed at the image of Christ (v. 13) making Him visible in every circle of society. Would it be a help for the leadership to think about the Church as a complex adaptable system rather than a uniform block? As an illustration we could think about a shoal of fish or a flock of starlings.



 



2. A leadership with a personal low profile. 1ª Peter 5: 1-3.



Conspicuously personal leaderships are what is particularly grating in our circles. More than ever we consider them with distrust, we accuse them to be patently intrusive and on occasions bordering on spiritual abuse. The answer to such a kind of leadership is never a “no-leadership”, but rather a leadership out of service, that of a servant with basin and towel. This leadership is instituted by God, as much in the Church as in the society, because we all need a leader who mirror Jesus. Our society is not so much fed up with leadership per se than with that kind of leadership of another era, and needs people who dare to be a model to what they believe. The latter will be followed with more conviction.   



In this passage, Peter might have introduced himself as an apostle (he was one), nevertheless he chose three titles (v.1) which involve a function instead of a position (fellow elder, witness of the sufferings of Christ, partaker in the glory). At least, two of them were shared by the rest of believers. When we decide to use titles that show position like “reverend”, “apostle”, “prophet”, etc. and the like, but void of their original meaning (e.g. “servant of God”) and which involve a distance with the rest of believers, instead of involving others in the task, we create hierarchies inhibiting participation, and we make them passive recipient. We have to choose between impress the people or serve the people.



The charge Peter leaves in the hands of the elders of the Church is to shepherd the flock (v. 2a). When he said that, Peter probably remembered the moment when he himself received this charge from Jesus, after the resurrection, in John 21. Before saying: “Feed my sheep”, the Lord asked him: “Peter, do you love me more than these?” Peter knew that before denying Jesus he had declared that though all the other disciples deny Him, he would never do so. Jesus is exposing here Peter’s weakness and conceit at the eyes of all to see. We have to lead out of our weakness but not out of our strength. Since, only those who are aware of their weaknesses can lead weak people. Slaves of pride, conceit and arrogance we won’t be able to bless others, equally affected by sin as we are. When we preach or exhort floating above others from the pretended superiority and security of our pulpits, we will tend to fall in legalisms and move away from grace. It is only when we are weak that we are strong; only when we live by grace that we can become channel of grace.



 



Jaume Llenas is the General Secretary of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance.


 

 


1
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 

J. Matthew Barnes
07/03/2016
23:01 h
1
 
I love the thought of viewing the church as a system and not a uniformity. Great insight here! :) And you're so right...Paul instructs the church in Ephesus that its leaders are called to equip the saints for the ministry...not do ALL of it themselves! The church in the West especially has really mixed this one up all together! Thanks for sharing! http://jaymatthewbarnes.com
 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Missional leadership
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
VIDEO Video
 
How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.