Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Is there such a thing as sheep stealing?

Okay, I have been turning this over in my mind for quite sometime.
I would love your feedback on this. The issue is what pastors call "sheep stealing." I have never understood the term or found it to be biblical. Recently, I had this accusation against me. I don't understand it because a pastor does not "own" someone and it is illegal to steal a person; I think that is called kidnapping.

So, here are my thoughts.
Biblically: As long as someone was in a household of faith that believed the major beliefs of Christianity, it did not matter. The only time Paul was concerned was if they were leaving the faith.
Ecclesiately: If one of my congregants feels led by God to go somewhere else, I honor that. We are the Church as a body.
Personally: If someone feels like it is time to move on or they are getting fed and connected somewhere else then no amount of convincing or manipulating is going to change that. I can't take it personally. I am not a super pastor. I have people who have left, who will leave and those who will come.

I had a gentleman talk to me the other day about his church and his desire to leave. My counsel was this, "I am going to give you the same instructions that I want someone to give a person in our congregation. First, seek God and hear from Him. Secondly, go to your pastor, face to face, and be real with these feelings. Thirdly, seek outside counsel before making decisions."

Finally, you love people unconditionally and encourage their faithfulness where they are planted. From that point they have to make their own decisions.

When you are starting a movement, you will attract people who are fans and those who are critical. Don't set out to prove critics wrong, rather continue on the mission and let the results of your vision speak for you.

So, is sheep stealing Biblical?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Some thoughts today on leadership from Stan Toler's pastor's devotional.

These points really gripped my heart on leading others effectively:

•know your limits
•consider the counsel of others
•don't let people put you on a pedestal.
•make sure you are transparent and confessional.
•learn the phrase, "I don't know the answer, but I
care deeply.
•encourage your spouse to keep you humble.
•listen closely to the deep still small voice of God.
•remember: Jesus loved all men, but obeyed his Father.

These are great reminders in our lives and in leading others.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kingdom vs. Kingdom

Kingdom vs. kingdom

In my prayer time the other day, I felt the Lord say to me, "You are not building your kingdom to show off to mankind, but you are building MY Kingdom to see mankind transformed."

Often, people, leaders and pastors, have an expectation of what they are building. The leader or pastor will be consumed with "the work of the ministry." In all actuality we need other people's approval so much and are in the search to be significant that we are working at building something to show off to them.

We all have the need to be accepted and approved. I have mentioned this before, but we must allow God's Spirit to search our hearts and prod us. The question, as a leader, you must ask yourself is this, "If I walked away tomorrow from this ministry or job, could I still possess joy and a sense of significance from just "being" a child of God?"

Building God's Kingdom is surrendering to the path that He places us on. .

Building our kingdoms are marked by:
-Need to Control
-Source of Joy is Success from Our Kingdom
-Lack of Satisfaction with Current Situation (all leaders need to keep pushing forward, but "contentment with godliness is great gain")
-Starved for Someone to Recognize Us

Building God's Kingdom is marked by:
-Joy from Our Position as Sons and Daughters
-Releasing of Control (God is Sovereign)
-A Contentment that Produces Peace
-Thankful that God Recognizes and is INVOLVED.