Manage episode 198188316 series 2049784
Well, hey, as you're coming in, just welcome. My name is Kevin Galloway. I know some of you, and some of you, I've never met before, but maybe we can connect sometime before this week's over. I am a pastor. I lead a multi-congregational church in the Chicagoland area. It's called Christ Church. We have a congregation in downtown Chicago. We have met in Lincoln Park. Now, we are meeting in the West Loop if you know Chicago at all. We're right downtown, and we have two congregations in northwest Indiana. One is in a city called Michigan City, and the other one is in La Porte, Indiana. We call ourselves one church and different congregations, all of that, but we try our best to serve that region with the gospel.
I was asked today to teach about what I've learned. I think the title's right. I was given this title, What I've Learned from Training "Leaders", and there's quotes around the Leaders, and I never asked why it was going leaders, but maybe new leaders, long-time leaders, potential leaders.
A little bit of my history in that. Before, well, back in the day, I went to college, studied theology, got into vocational ministry, and hated it. I was so not ready for that work. My background, my training as a leader as a young man, was something called Young Timothy Class. Can anybody give me an amen? Nobody want to? You girls could have nothing to do with that back then, and the training was this. Here's how you stand when the offering's taken. Here's how you stand when we're praying for the Lord's supper. Here's how to pass the trays. As you graduate to that, you might be able to read scripture. We would practice reading scripture, which was fine, but that was it. Read it. Okay, well done. Sit down. If you graduated up into the big leagues, they taught you how to preach a small sermon.
I went for my very first sermon when I was 17 years old in a nursing home, and they had me preach to all these folks that had no idea I was there or cared, but they listened and gave me some feedback on how I preached. I could communicate back then as a young kid. I was an athlete, but I was also in this thing called Contest Speech, so I did extemporaneous speaking. I got 15 minutes to learn how to or to prepare a speech about whatever current event was happening, and I learned the gift of BS in that. You have to. You got to give a speech, and you have 15 minutes. I had the gift of gab. I knew how to put a little talk together, and they're like, "Dude, you should be a pastor," because I knew how to hold my hands, I knew how to pass trays, I did really well at scripture reading. I started to lead singing. We didn't call it worship leading then. We led songs. Then I could preach, so I was told I should be a preacher.
I went to school, learned how to do that. The training I received at college wasn't much better than what I received I just told you about, but I knew some good words and I could read some other languages and I came out and hated it, so I did what every young man does that leaves vocational ministry. I became a state trooper, and I did that for about 12 years in Indiana. I was everything from a road trooper to an undercover detective for the last six years of my career, but my whole time with the state police, I was involved and used by our training division, and I taught. I was a primary instructor at our State Police Recruit School.
I got into training young men and women and really enjoyed the teaching element of that, and I felt like God was calling me to use those gifts, and then over a long story, we don't have time to tell the whole story, I was called back to vocational ministry, and I've been doing that for a long, long time now, but through that, I always remembered, and as I tell my story, I realized I was so not equipped the first go around, and the state police equipped me for the second go around.
Theological training is good, and we're all about that and we need that. It's why we're sitting in these rooms and hearing people teach us and challenge us, maybe some of our ways of thinking, but we need to train leaders in the local church to go beyond head knowledge or to go beyond a passion or a desire to do something and to actively coaching, leading, and ongoing training young men and women to serve the church as leaders.
My talk today is going to flow out of my story, and let me continue in that. As I started this, being back in vocational ministry, saw the need, and we developed this thing called Our Leader Academy, The Christ Church Leader Academy. To be honest, I completely ripped off Sojourn's Pastor School. Does anybody remember that back in the day? I would send guys to that. I was part, and I was a regional director for a large church planting that worked in the Midwest, and I would receive calls, guys asking me for help. "What do I do next?"
I was very close to the leaders here from many years. I would just send guys down here, and I'd come down, hang out and watch, and I just took everything they had. It was an old Dropbox folder that Chad Lewis was running with back 10 years ago, 11 years ago, and I developed that, put it on some steroids because we made it longer, and made the Christ Church Leader Academy. We have served and trained hundreds of men and women over these so many years in this academy through theological training, training in biblical counseling, training in worship, training in marriage and family relationship, training in what mission actually is, talking about community discipleship and mission, our whole values of our church, and then we have here, too, which a small group of folks have gone through, those are folks that want to continue on into vocational ministry, and we teach them how to preach. We get deeper into pastoral theology, things like that. Not to replace seminary, but to replace seminary.
I was asked over the last five years to be part of a group, a working group, with a well-known seminary north of Chicago. I'm not saying names on purpose, but I was up there working with them, loved what they were doing, and they received a grant from Lilly, an endowment to say, "Let's look at what it means to train church leaders for the future." We sit down on the very first night. We're sitting with the President of the university, President of seminary, and the Lilly people give this big research doc on these screens. Here's what we've learned about training pastors and the need for it, or church leaders, not just pastors, and they started talking about debt from seminary.
There is a young person in this seminary that is in $300,000 in student loan debt. That's just mind-boggling to me. Then there was some 80K in debt, and then they would ask them, "How do you prepare to pay this back?" This is a few years ago. It's all right. President Obama's going to do this thing where it clears it all off.
It just rung a bell with me, and I opened my mouth and I said, "You sound like the crack dealers that are lamenting the fact that their neighborhood is gone to waste 'cause you're admitting these folks in." Again, I'm all for seminary, but a lot of the guys I know that are called like I was out of another vocation do not have time, nor the money, to go to seminary. How do we do that? Again, I am all for seminary. Go Southern. I really am. I've studied at Southern. I'm for Southern. I'm for all these seminaries, but not every leader in our church needs to go to seminary. What about the guy leading your small group ministry? What about the gal leading a small group and teaching Bible studies or leading a hospitality ministry or helping you do research for ministry, whatever that might be? How do we train those folks?
That started to percolate in my head, if you will, and we developed this Leader Academy and still found it wanting, and I'm learning some lessons from that. As I lamented these lessons, I think that's why I was asked to teach this class, to share a little bit of insight of what that looks like, and with that, I've had a desire in my story to help go even deeper, so I started an executive coaching practice. I've been coaching pastors and nonprofit leaders since 2006, 2007 after I went to coaching school, and out of that, I've coached a lot of guys and gals, but then started a formal practice, and some of you have been in some of the cohorts that I've led for Sojourn Network, but I took it to a different level, to talk about what leadership looks like, not the how-to so much, but how do we care for our soul and how do we take all that we've learned and apply it to how we're wired and how we can live a long, vibrant life in ministry.
I've taught some folks through that and coached some folks through that, and all of these things has led me to the few points that I want to share with you today. I'm going to give these to you, and then as time allows, I'm just going to knock through those and share some scriptures that have just really informed my thinking in these points that I want to share with you. I'm going to bullet point the lessons that I've learned.
First one is that leaders need Jesus. Can I get an amen?
Kevin Galloway: That sounds silly, but I've opened a lot of leader books, and it doesn't start there. Leaders need Jesus, and if we're not pointing to Jesus, if we're not equipping them to pursue Jesus, if we're not on their heels saying, "Chase after Jesus," if they're not seeing us follow Jesus, if they're not seeing us repent after we fall down after chasing after Jesus, we're missing entire, entire idea of developing leaders.
Number two is leaders need ongoing encouragement and assessment. Leaders need ongoing encouragement and assessment. As we get into that point, I'm going to show you I think how they meld together. True encouragement comes from assessment. Don't think assessment if you're here this week, like going through assessment to plan a church. I don't mean that way. I'm just saying a watching of the life and an ongoing check-in of how things are going.
Third, leaders need soul care. Leaders need soul care. Is anyone here in need of a fresh drink of water? I am. Every day. All the time. We need to teach and train leaders. This is something I'm so passionate about. I really don't care if they can implement systems that are going to hit every kind of demographic and tell me what Tim Keller says about this urban ministry here or what this guy's telling me about this over there. Those are all great, but how's your soul? Can you tend to your own soul? We need to teach our leaders and equip our leaders to be able to do that.
Number four, leaders need grace. Can we get an amen to that? As leaders in this room, we need grace, and the young men and women that we train need grace. They need to receive grace from us, but they need to also be reminded to constantly be splashing in the waters of the grace of God and, in that, leaving footprints on the wet pool deck of grace with the people that they're going to lead that you're giving them the authority to lead in your congregations.
Lastly, I hope to get to this point, but leaders need a process. I was going to put that first, but I really think that's the least important. You'll develop your process. You know who you are. You know who you leaders are. You know what you need. If we can get through those other points, the process is important, but I think the process that I want to show you may be different than you're thinking I'm even offering you to consider now. We'll get to that if we can.
Let's start with this. Leaders need Jesus. We got a hearty amen to that. It sounds elementary, but the church needs leaders who train other leaders to remind them constantly of our need for a savior, for our need for His presence, His promised presence as we go on mission. We need Jesus.
2 Timothy 2, verses 1-2, a little insight. I'll share some scripture with you that have informed my thinking in this. Let me read this to you. 2 Timothy 2, verses 1 and 2. "You then, my child," Paul talking to Timothy, "be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust the faithful men who will be able to teach others also."
Lesson one, I took that scripture and ran with it when we developed our Leader Academy. Here's all we got to do. Find some faithful men and women because we have women leaders in our church, as well. Before you freak out, they're not elders or preachers. Everybody can be good over that now, but we missed the boat. Let me sidebar that. If you're not training women leaders in your church, you're failing miserably, and then equip them to train other leaders. Ladies, can I get an amen?
Kevin Galloway: Move on. You see, I took this passage and I said, "Man, we're just gonna take some folks that look like they can lead, and we're gonna entrust them with a big lesson plan. Nine months of school, and then they're ready to go." Our first class had 80 people in it. I was like, "Yeah, this is awesome," and then three weeks in, we had 50 people in it. I was like, "Okay," and then a few weeks later, there's 40 people in it, and then I was getting righteous. Well, there's the remnant. Here are those that really are called to lead, and I think I lost 40 leaders in that whole event.
I think what Paul is saying here is, "Timothy, you need Jesus, and remind some faithful folks in your church and empower them as you tell them they need Jesus, to tell others need Jesus." Let's read it in that light again. "You then, my child." hear the words. Hear the love. Here's what he's telling him. Go buy all the systematic theology books that you can and teach people over nine months how that applies. Nothing wrong with that, but here's what he starts with. "Be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
Guys, we got to get over that this is just an intro into the real stuff, that this is just a greeting. This is the real stuff. Then he tells you how from that. "Be strengthened." "Be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus." "Timothy, you need Jesus." You need strength, but you need it to come from Jesus. He says, "Well, you've heard from me in the presence of a lot of people, many witnesses. Entrust." This is what leadership development is, and this is what the releasing of leaders completely looks like, an entrusting. We can [inaudible 00:15:05] empower, release, entrust other faithful men, other faithful people in your church who will be able to teach others also, and so on and so on.
Check it out. You're sitting here today because of this. Somebody took you under their wing. Somebody took me under his wing or her wing. I had people, all different kinds of people, grab me in different seasons of my life and pour into me. Men in this room.
We're teaching a series now, Orlando, Damon, Every Man, Woman, and Child, and these guys poured that thought ... If you want to talk more about that. Sorry to get you guys tied up in that, but go back and talk to them because it's changing the idea of our church. The mission of our church is change because I spent some time with them on the ground. They came and blessed me personally, through the mail, through phone calls, and just some training into my life over the last year and a half, is significantly impacting our congregations in Chicago and in Indiana. People are telling me this is life changing. I'm like, "Dude, I've been preaching here for 15 years. What?" It's good. I've quoted Dwight Smith more than I have. People are like, they all know him now, but none of that would have come unless brothers poured into me and then now I'm pouring in and training our leaders, and we're teaching our church and so on and so on and so on.
Brothers, that's what Sojourn Network is. That's the whole handshake and the little logo I think is really cool for our conference this year, but this is what that's about. We're entrusting and being poured into and being entrusted with.
Know Jesus first. Train others who will teach others. Again, it's got to go beyond the theological training, which we have to have, no doubt. It must be there, but it has to go beyond the head knowledge into the application, into not only the day-to-day life, but what they're going to do with it in the leadership that you're entrusting them with. Does that make sense? We know a lot about a lot of stuff, but how do I lead people in that? On the ground, boots on the ground. Leader training in the church needs to look like that.
I've been doing this church network thing for a long time, and I've assessed countless church planters and I've led men and all these kind of conferences for a long time, and it got really important for us a while to talk about residencies, which we are all about. That's great, but it started to look like what I did, and I think what I did by starting this academy was biting off way more than I could chew. I'll tell you how crazy it was. We offered it on Tuesday night in Chicago and on Thursday night in Indiana, and we had churches from around those regions coming, not just our church, and we're teaching nine months of leader training, good stuff for nine months two nights a week, leading three congregations that are new and growing, being a part of a church planting network, raising children.
You guys get it. It's busy, instead of just focusing in on maybe a handful of entrusted people and pouring all that we had into them and that moment I think would have done better. It wouldn't have looked as cool on my web page. It wouldn't have given me some credentials to come talk to you maybe, but Jesus didn't start out with, "Hey, you all, join. Get 3,000 here. I'm gonna give a leadership seminar." He grabbed a few guys. We're going to get to that at the end of our time together.
Point two, leaders need ongoing assessment and encouragement or encouragement and assessment. The soul desperately needs encouragement. You believe that? The soul desperately needs encouragement. We're going to do something. It's going to make you really uncomfortable, but I really don't care, so please do this with me. Find somebody next to you or turn around. Just look at them and say, "I appreciate you." Just look them in the eyes and say that.
Audience: I appreciate you. I appreciate you.
Kevin Galloway: Now stop. Now, the same person, before you do it, do it again and say, "I'm not doing this because he's making me. I really appreciate you." Look them in the eyes and do it again.
Audience: [inaudible 00:19:24]
Kevin Galloway: This is remarkably awkward. It is remarkably awkward to watch you guys do this. You're trying so hard. Bless your hearts, but you're like, you're [inaudible 00:19:41] trying to look ... You're staring into the eyes. We don't do this enough. Does anybody do this all the time or does it feel like enough? No, but try this. When you walk out of here today, find somebody you know you haven't seen in a long time ...
Last night, I'm walking out of here. I'm deadbeat tired, mud all over me, walking out, afraid I'm going to have bronchitis now from the night air and the smoke, and I hear my last name yelled, and part of me was like, "Oh, that can't be me." I don't know how many Galloways are in Sojourn Network except me. I heard my first name, and I turn around and there's Lance, sees me from a distance, had been in different cohorts with this brother and prayed for him and watched his life as he's watched mine, and all he wanted to do was come give me a hug and say, "Hello." It just blessed my heart. Our souls need that. Don't be afraid to press in with your folks.
I coach a healthcare organization. It's around the country. I don't get to see all the clinical managers that I coach face-to-face. We use a video tool. I take them through a bunch of different leadership thoughts. One is Kouzes and Posner's, The Leadership Challenge. One of the five practices of exemplary leadership is to encourage the heart. We get that. If I say, "Encourage the hearts of your people," you're thinking, "Yes. We get that." My child, be strengthened in the grace that Jesus provides, but you get a bunch of pagan healthcare people, they don't know what that means, but I seen it translate, and it really spoke rebuke into my heart, as they can't get separate the idea between encouragement and reward. You following me? Encouragement and reward. Here's how you can know if you're tripped up.
Who's that person that you're walking with? Maybe it's your spouse. You and your spouse have a bit of conflict or you didn't cut the grass just right or you didn't cook dinner so well or baby's not been changed for 10 days, whatever it may be. There's strife. There's battle. Then to encourage that soul next to you is super hard. How about the person that works with you in the local congregation, that, man, they're just not turning in their small group reports every month, they just don't love Christ enough, they don't love these people enough to do the systems that I've put in place that are holy and righteous, and they have the audacity to not turn in that paper report on how these people are doing. You go to them. You send them an email. "Bro, I need your report," or, "Hey, why did you sing Black Sabbath in the worship set," whatever it may be, and then for me to say, "Go encourage them," you're like, "No, 'cause if I go to encourage them, they're going to think I'm condoning their poor behavior." Anybody?
Encouragement is not the same as reward. You see, we just had the marathon in Chicago, and I put this before the doctors because they had ... Some of these doctors worked the race. I'm like, "Man, you're standing at your station and two hours ahead of everybody is the guy from Kenya." You know the guy I'm talking about, right? He wins every race, like whoosh. For you to go try to run alongside him and say, "You're doing great, buddy. You're doing great," do you think he cares right now? You're not going to keep up very long. If he's thirsty, you give him a drink of water. If for some reason he didn't know where to go, you point him the right way. He just keeps going. When he crosses the line, maybe you hold him up. He receives his reward. You congratulate him then and you encourage him to do another race. Does that make sense? "I'm really tired." "No, you can do it again. You're awesome."
We tend to want to encourage that guy much more than the guy who lost 150 pounds or the mom who just had her sixth kid who worked her rear end off and so did he to run their first marathon and, man, their toenails are falling off at mile 12, and they're just running by your water booth, and you're like, "Come on, man. You can do it. Look how far you've come. Keep going. I can't believe this. This is amazing," and if it's your family member, you're crying with them. You're like, "I can't believe you're reaching your goals." That's encouragement, but 9 times out of 10, we're not paying attention to them. We're packing up. These people don't need water. They're going too slow. Pack our stuff up and we leave or we give them this, and then we clap for the guy who's been standing at the finish line for five hours. That's reward. Encouragement's getting in the race. Encouragement's putting an arm around. Encouragement's helping them along and reminding them, "You can do this. Be strengthened by the grace." They have to know Jesus. "Keep running. You're doing awesome."
Whatever it is, I'm telling you, just look them in the eye, hug them by the back of the head, and tell them you love them. If it's not weird, give them a kiss on the cheek. You will put gas in the tank. I'm telling you, because leaders get wiped out, and we need that so desperately.
"Paul," in 2 Timothy 1, "an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus." "I'm an apostle, Timothy. I'm a spiritual father." Verse 2, "To you, Timothy, my beloved child, grace and mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus, our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve, as did my ancestors with a clear conscience as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day." Do you hear the encouragement? Watch, it continues on. There's assessment involved in this. "As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy."
As I remembered your tears ... This sermon that I heard from John Piper 8, 10 years ago blew me away. It was at one of these big conferences that we always have. The acts of Jesus that he did on his text, by applying that to my life in that moment, blew me away because it's not like, hey, it was just a sad goodbye. He's like, "I remember your tears, and here's where the tears flowed from. I'm reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother, Lois, and your mother, Eunice, and now I'm sure dwells in you. For this reason, I remind you, Timothy, I'm encouraging you, Timothy, to fan and to flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. Here's where the tears are coming from. For God gave us a spirit, not of fear, but of power and love and self control, Timothy. Therefore, don't be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me as prisoner, but share in His suffering for the gospel by the power of God who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, Timothy, but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began."
Man, take off the theological hat and hear it speak to your heart. "Timothy, I love you. I miss you. I pray for you all the time. I remember your tears because you were freaked out when I laid hands on you, when I commissioned you as a leader, and now you're a little ashamed of the gospel? You're a little scared? I'm sitting in prison. I get it. Don't be ashamed of me. Don't be ashamed of this message, but you keep on going. Keep on going. That faith that God gave to your grandma and to your mom and they put in you, as well. Now, fan that into flame, Timothy. Keep going because this was put into you before the very ages began, Timothy. You, Timothy, be encouraged."
He's the guy that just lost 100 pounds and is running the race, and he's like, "Dude, you were chosen for this before the world existed. You keep on trucking. You know what, brother? I love you so much. I pray for you all the time." Are we doing that with leaders?
I'm glad there's no one from my church in here because they'd be running their garments, running gravel through their hair, like, "This guy's a liar," because I don't do this enough. I'm like, "Hey, bro, where was your small group report," instead of, "Man, thank you for leading a small group. Thank you for letting these people trash your house week in and week out. Thanks for the stress moment you and your wife are cleaning the toilet, making whatever one or more type of nachos we can eat once again. Thank you for the waiting up while these people are still crying and praying with each other in your bedroom. Thank you for studying and following along with this message that we're trying to instill in these people. Thank you for your time, and thank you for loving these people. Thanks for going to the hospital when the Smiths had their little baby. Thank you for going to the funeral home when the Smiths' grandmother died. Man, I know you're tired, but keep going. Can I help you? Can I serve you? Do you know that I pray for you every day by name? I love you."
It sounds creepy, doesn't it? That's because we're so not used to it. This should be the norm.
In assessment, Paul knew Timothy. He knew what was going on. That's the assessment I'm talking about. He knew where and how to encourage. I'm going to keep going.
Leaders need soul care, and they need to be taught and equipped and reminded to tend to their souls. It's the old analogy, the old illustration. You're on the airplane, thing comes down because you're losing cabin pressure. I don't know what I'm going to ... I'll probably be screaming and freaking out, but I'm going to try to grab that thing, but it says, "Before you put it on your kids, put it on yourself first." There's truth in that. There's just truth in that because I can't help you unless I'm healthy, but there's some breakdown in that because we're all unhealthy, and I don't mean that like we're all just off the rails.
I'm saying we all struggle with sin and we all need to daily tend to our souls, and as we train leaders, this is something that gets forgotten. I am so grateful for a network like this that reminds us and equips us and provides amazing soul care, a network that will send strategists to your church, that'll send brothers and sisters to come and love on you and to help you through weird times, hard times, unsure times, certain times where you need some training to back that up. If you call, counselors will come your way. I know this to be true. This has happened in my own church. Thank God for a network like this. We need soul care.
My dad was a mechanic, owned a garage, owned these wreckers that pick up, tow trucks that pick up broke down cars, and our car was the most unmaintained car in my neighborhood because he was so busy maintaining other people's cars and making money to do it to feed the family.
I have a friend who's a contractor, builds houses. His house is half finished and it's been half finished for the last 15 years because he's too busy building other people's houses.
If you talk to my dad or if you talk to this friend who's a contractor, they'll tell you, "I just don't have the time. We're making it, but I have to do these other things. I got to feed you and the family or I got to feed my family over here."
My friend who was building his house died about six months ago, had some cancer in his leg, went into his bones. He's dead, and the house still sits half built.
My father, God rest his soul, passed away going on three years ago, and you know what he was doing? He had Alzheimer's horribly. I was his guardian. He was in a care facility. They would call me if there was a pill to be taken or if he got a new bump on his hand. They had to call me and tell me or give me a report, and they called me and said, "Your dad fell," and I was like, "Oh, no." Old people, that's a bad thing. "It was really weird. We found him under the bed next to his bed." "Well, that's some kind of crazy fall. What? He roll under?" "No. I don't know, but he had this rug, and his rug was under the bed, and he had the nurse call thing and he was holding it up as if he was trying to wave it in the air under the bed." I was like, "You know what he was doing? He was working on a car."
Back in the day, they had these things called creepers. You remember that? Creepers are different now. Creepers, not on the Internet creepers, but creepers ... It was a thing on the ground that had little wheels, and you lay on that and you scoot under the car. You can move around under the car, and there was these shop lights that came down and you turn it on, and he was fixing the car in his room. Up until he died, he was still taking care of other cars while his own still sat in my driveway or my kids drove it around because he couldn't drive it anymore.
I think this is a condition of a lot of our souls, and we pass that onto other leaders. We're so busy building other houses that our house is half in order. We're so busy maintaining the cars and the momentum for other people to move forward that we're still chugging along at best and saying, "Oh, we'll get to that later," whatever that clink in your heart might be or the rattle in your soul. Leaders need to care for their souls. One of the ways, obviously, to do that is ... Is it spiritual practices? Yes. Paul tells the elders, Acts 20, "Care for your souls. Pay careful attention to your souls." Yes, how do we do that? He's showing us one way as we speak into each other's lives.
Dave Harvey's book on plurality is excellent, very accessible. Buy it today. That's my commercial for you right there, but so goes the health of the plurality, so goes the health of the church. Why? Because if your auto mechanics aren't taking care of the car at home, there's a problem. Leaders, tend to your church, but tend to each other, and as you develop more leaders, instill that DNA in them at the time. Care for your soul.
There's a quick bump here on emotional intelligence. As I coach people in for-profit sector and a church in nonprofit sector, some of the most ill-equipped, emotional people are pastors and totally clueless, totally clueless, to what's going on in their own soul. Just watch some YouTube videos of people on the stage, the things that come out of their mouth. Watch each other. Watch your own life. I don't have time to get into the value of emotional intelligence and all that, but, again, we need Jesus.
Psalm 139:23, "Search me, oh, God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting." That's that Psalm that's practicing emotional intelligence. I want to know what's going on in here, God. Search me. Know me and change me.
Leaders, we have to. We have to practice soul care, and the people that we're developing need to have that instilled in them because that's what they're doing. God didn't save the people in your church to be ushers. He didn't save them to write songs because those songs are going to be laughed at 10 years from now because I used to be a worship leader and people laugh at my songs today. Carman used to sell out arenas. I throw that in every talk I ever do because this just gets us all into realizing who we are. Carman sold out arenas. That's just amazing to me, but he did.
Things come and they go, but we need to tend. We need to tend to our souls. Not that the things that we're doing aren't important. How do I say this? God doesn't save people to be superstars, and he doesn't save them to be the lowliest of the lowly. He saved them to be His child, and how He uses us in that is such an invitation, as we develop leaders to care for their souls and the souls of others. That's what leaders are for. Your ushers should be caring for the soul of the person that they're taking down the aisle here on Sunday morning in some form or another. "Hey, man. I know you got 14 kids and their noses are gooing and they're green, so they can't go to the kids area. Can I just help you with your kids? Can I get some Kleenexes for you? Can I pray for you?" "No. I'm sure you can't pray for them because there's other people to ush." "Man, let them ush themselves. I'm caring for the soul." Let that DNA start to build.
Again, this is what I'm learning. I've not done this very well at all. I can say this here all day. Taking it back to my church and instilling that is harder still, so I get it, but it's a lesson that I'm learning.
I'm going to get through this point. Leaders need grace. Soul care is so important that there's a drop in conversation that Chad Lewis is going to lead this afternoon. We're going to be talking about soul care. We'll be hitting more about that if you want to talk more about that. That's happening this afternoon at four o'clock.
Leaders need grace. Let me say this. Every leader fails. Every leader fails, some very publicly and some very privately, but we all fail. We must remember and we must remind future leaders of God's grace for them so that they, too, might be grace-motivated leaders. I think a lot of people, my father and my mother were one of them when I was in kindergarten, left a local congregation to never return because my father struggled with alcoholism. He got drunk one night and the church kicked him out, said, "Don't come back till you're sober." Boom, gone.
I think we would probably not do something that drastically, but I think we kill a lot of leaders and we kill a lot of people with the misunderstanding of grace or just not offering it.
I said this to people before. If this freaks you out, I'm glad. I don't think that Peter would be a pastor in any of our churches today. He would leave and go to a different tribe, and it wouldn't be in the reform camp. Peter would not be a pastor in our churches, especially if we were living in the time of Christ's death. There'd be no way he's preaching the Pentecost. Oh, Brother James has to be up here. People know your failure. Got some counseling for you. We want you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling for a while. We want to watch your life. We need to sideline you for a while. I know this sounds weird.
If I or you would be kidnapped and taken somewhere in a hotel room with an ISIS flag behind us, cameras on us, knife to our throat. "I've got one of your religious leaders here. Let me show you how powerful Christianity really is. Denounce Christ. Denounce this whole thing." "I do." "No, we want you to really look in the camera. [inaudible 00:39:40] pick you up with a knife. I'm gonna cut your head off unless you say there is no Christ." In your head, if you're like me, you're rationalizing. "Well, if I fib my way through this, I'll cross my feet or my pinkies or something, and then when I leave, I still have a witness for the Lord. I'm better off alive for Jesus than I am dead for Jesus."
Then one more time, I just ... Beep, beep. "Okay, you're going on television." "I don't know of Jesus." They stand me up and they say, "Look, look. Here is the power of your God." They roll me out the door. They let me go, so I'm a continual advertisement for what just happened. I get exchanged for somebody else and I wind up on CNN, on the New York Times, on Fox News, on whatever news you watch, I don't care, but whatever, I guarantee you that I wouldn't be standing here next year, and you all wouldn't be going, "Oh, man, brother, how you doing?" You'd be like, "Oh, that's the guy." That's Peter, and my story will be forgotten. 2,000 years later, we're still telling Peter's story. I'm standing here diming him out right now, but here's what happened. Jesus rebuked him sharply, put him in a pastoral care plan, and shoved him off the ledge. After this, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Sea of Tiberius, and he revealed himself in this way.
Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathan of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together, and Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." That is not like, "I'm gonna go wet a line." He's like, "I'm out of this thing that I've been training for with Jesus for the last three years, and I'm going back to my old life. I'm going back into the secular world. I'm not doing this church leadership thing. I'm going back fishing." They said to him, "We'll go with you," and they all went out. They all went back to work. Why? Because this thing's over, but that night, they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore. Yet, the disciples didn't know it was Jesus, and Jesus said to them, "Children, do you have any fish?" They said, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you'll find some," so they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because of the quantity of fish.
The disciple, whom Jesus loved, John, said to Peter, "It is the Lord," because he remembered. "He did this, too, when he pulled this on us last time. It's the Lord." When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment for he was stripped for work, and he threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging a net full of fish for they're not far from the land, about 100 yards off. Peter just goes in the water and just runs and fights his way and swims his way to shore. There, he finds Jesus. When they got on the land, they saw a charcoal fire in place with some fish laid on it and some bread, and Jesus said, "Bring some of the fish that you've just caught," so Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore full of large fish. Although there were so many, the net wasn't torn, and Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast."
None of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord, and Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.
It goes on. When they finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord. You know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you," and He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" Then he said to Him, "Lord, you know everything that you know and I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, when I say to you when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted. When you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go."
This He said to show by what kind of death was to glorify God. After saying this to him, He said these words. "Follow me." The whole words that started the whole thing off. "Follow me. I'm gonna train you to be a leader. Follow me. I'm gonna train you to be a disciple. Follow me. I'm gonna teach you the way. Follow me. I'm gonna send you out on a mission. Follow me," and then it all comes crashing down in a public sin. Jesus didn't kick that to the curb. He didn't kick that flame that was being fanned, that got doused with sin. He didn't kick that love and the Father/child relationship to the curb because he did something so grievous. Peter was restored to the church.
Now, this isn't a sermon. This isn't a talk about restoration. I'm not talking about anybody in specific because leaders do act like idiots and leaders do go off the rails and they should take a timeout, but not a timeout in the penalty box, a time out to care for their souls, and if they won't care for their souls, then they shouldn't be leading anybody. Going back to point three, you got to care for your soul. Can I just get an amen?
Before you start thinking I'm trying to rally something, I am not, but what I am saying is this. We all need grace, and by the grace of God, we walked into this room today.
Jesus sees Peter and calls him to shore. When Peter hears the voice of God, hears the voice of a leader who has been trained by and in the grace of God, he runs to Jesus, not away from Him. He knows Jesus. He doesn't run away feeling he's going to get whacked in the head with the boat oar. He jumps in the water and goes and runs right to Him. This is a leader who knows Jesus. Back to point one. You following me?
Then Jesus shows grace again and again because what else does Jesus show? Over breakfast and a walk on the beach, Peter was restored. Not because of his jumping in the water, but because of the grace of God, and the grace of God for the heart that can receive it woos and compels us to follow Him. That's what Jesus says, but check it out. He says, "You're gonna die, Peter. You're gonna follow me to death. I believe that, and that's your course. Come follow me," and we know that Peter died not hiding or cursing from the name of Jesus, but glorying in it and entrusting his very soul.
After preaching a sermon where 3,000 people responded, preaching a sermon, preaching a sermon, leading a church, making mistakes, coming back in grace, arguing with Paul, coming back in grace, having crazy dreams about barbecues, coming back to grace, all these things over and over and over and over because he walked with Jesus and he cared for his soul.
This is what we're still in, guys. This wasn't a fantasy story. It's a story of the church that we're still a part of, and it's the same leading that we're seeing that Jesus is calling us to call people to, and I think if we would step into that over and over again, we would see amazing things happen in the leaders and the lives of the leaders that you're developing and the lives of ourselves.
I have a last point. Leaders need a clear process, and this point would be 45 minutes for me to break down. It's Matthew 4, verses 18 through chapter 5, verse 20. Jesus trained his disciples. Supposed to leave some time for Q&A. Please read that. It's a process, yes, but let me just break it down a few bullet points. I knew I'd be to this point, so I have four points. It's a story where Jesus comes up to Peter. "Come follow me." That's where it started. He's gathering disciples and He takes them to a hillside, and He gives them the beatitudes. What He's doing is He's giving a picture of the kingdom in which He's calling them to serve Him, which He's calling them to live in, which he's calling them, he's establishing. He's just laying out the economy of this new kingdom, which is contrary to the kingdom of this world.
Guys, let me tell you, I think so often we're training leaders to the wrong kingdom. This is the kingdom that we'll be training and developing leaders toward. Read the beatitudes again. Develop your process as you continue to lead leaders. Consider that. Am I leading my leaders to lead in this economy?
Then He goes on and talks about salt and light. Salt and light. Then he goes on and talks about Him fulfilling the law. You see, the call of saying, "Follow me," is a rabbinical call in that time. They wouldn't understand that. I'm going to come and walk with this teacher as He shows me how to live out the law. He's going to teach them His oral and written interpretations of the law. He's going to show them how to walk with God and how to live the way of God.
Check it out. He tells them to come follow Him, and Jesus turns the whole thing upside down, but He's showing them the way. He starts with the beatitudes. "This is what the kingdom looks like, and the law of that kingdom I've come," and then the rest of that chapter, "not to abolish, but to fulfill gospel." He comes and He's telling His disciples, "Watch me. Follow me," and they walk with Him and He takes a couple of them to see Moses and Elijah, and what they're talking about in that moment is the cross, is the resurrection, what He's about to go do, and He's making witnesses and He's teaching them. He's equipping them and empowering them to lead, but He says, "The Holy Spirit's gonna come upon you," and that's when it's all going to go down.
They watch Him die. They witness His resurrection. Holy Spirit comes upon them, and off they go into a mission that He gives them in Matthew 28:18-20. You guys know this. "Go make disciples of all nations. Baptize them. In the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit." Check it out. "Teach them to obey all that I've commanded you, and I'm gonna be still with you, my students, to the very end of the age."
What a leadership, school, process, whatever it may be. We don't need Tony Robbins or John Maxwell, good dudes. That's all awesome, and they have great things to say, but don't reach for that before you reach for your Bible. Don't quote Drucker before you quote Jesus. Trust these economies, these things that He's teaching us in the beatitudes, and let it be upside down in your church. It's not right with the world, but you'll see people leading in grace, people leading in love, people leading others towards Jesus, that we started out this whole time that we desperately need.
I'm going to have to cut it short now. I probably cut it long, but it's time for me to stop. Again, these are things that I'm learning. That was what they asked me to talk about, the things I've learned over this season of developing leaders. This is what I try to keep in mind when I'm coaching, so I try to bring us all back to. With that, I'm supposed to open up the door to questions. I'll answer them the best I can or maybe ask somebody else to answer them because they're better at it than I am, but any thoughts, questions you'd like to ask about developing leaders or some of these lessons that I've kicked around here today.
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