Thursday, August 8, 2013

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Chris Brown


Right Title, Wrong Kingdom--

Story of a leader of the army being called at every day by a Philistine giant.  Never saw the story from the eyes of Saul, the leader.  Spiritual leadership will always be different than secular leadership--but God gave them a king.  King Saul was head and shoulders above the rest but for a month Saul has been called out every day.  He knows he doesn't have what it takes.  His ministry is paralyzed; his leadership is paralyzed; and he knows it; his army knows it.

After 40 days when your leadership is questioned and you know this company is not going forward and it's because of you and a boy comes up and says he has what it takes.  At this point any neck is better than yours.

Little did Jesse know his youngest son would disobey him on that day.  The giant falls; they rout their enemies, and Saul does what every leader does, he says, "I hired him."  He put David in charge.

In 1 Samuel 18:5 it says Saul gave David a high rank in the army but then the women began to sing "Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands."  Now Saul had to decide whose title and whose kingdom is important.

Saul is angry and jealous (What more can he get but the kingdom?).  Saul didn't have room in his chariot for David.  Saul could not celebrate the achievements of others.

Saul thought it was HIS kingdom.  It was all about him.  This is the way we make it MY church, MY staff, MY team.  After all, I built this.

Contrast with Pharaoh who brought Joseph out of prison.  Joseph told his brothers about HIS dream as a young man and God said, "You need slavery."  Pharaoh later hires Joseph and gives him authority.  A pagan king 'gets' what the king of Israel doesn't 'get'.

In the twelve Jesus picked to be His disciples, the Bible tells the truth about their hearts--their desire to be greatest.  Jesus explains to them his upcoming death and probably Jesus could hear their conversation as they argued about which would be greatest.  

There's nothing wrong with desire but we have to remember "Whose Kingdom is this?"

James and John ask him to be #1 and #2 and Jesus pulls the brake and in Mark 10:41--the other 10 are upset and Jesus sets them straight on what spiritual leadership means.  "Not so with you.  Whoever wants to be first must be the servant of all."  Spiritual leadership is not the same.  Many growing leaders have to leave a church because there's "no room at the top" and it's made clear there is "only one leader".  "Yeah but he didn't start the company.  He didn't build the church."  Insecure leaders have to have that title and position  The true leader will wash the feet of his staff, even when they run away.

To be true leaders--we have to call 'sin' sin.  We have to address the pride in our lives and ministries.  At North Coast Church there are 4 senior pastors.   When they heard Chris Brown was speaking at the Summit they said, "Why not Larry?" (the founder and first pastor)  The first thing Larry said was, "Chris we just won.  We don't care who teaches the message as long as the message is being taught."

Jesus said I want you to make your team better.  Consider others better than yourselves.  Challenging those in the marketplace to let your leadership be about others IF you want to be great.

1)  Because Jesus said so
2) When we do this we will become healthier and have a healthier team and organization.  Fifty years ago most churches were local and now many are global and we need to share the room at the top.
3)  We have personality-driven organizations and worry about succession;  if we don't figure this out, many churches will be vacant because we've made God's Church a hierarchy
4)  Our calling has to trump our cultures

Don't say, God called ME to be the senior pastor--no, he called you to be the servant of all.  Can we do this as a team?  With the title I've been given, how can I be the best Jesus I can be?

1)  Do you have room in your chariot for another leader?
      --Can you celebrate another leader, even if they're taking your glory
2)  Do I expand HIS Kingdom or my reputation?
3)  What difference is the Holy Spirit making in the way I currently lead?

Jesus said before He went back to heaven--I have all the authority and I choose you.  You are God's plan A because I know if you're following me you'll give it to others.  Do you have room for another chair?  another seat?  It'll cost you, but it cost Him a whole lot more.  He gave it away to the point of death.  May we be a people who wrestle with this.  May we stop relishing in the title and position and serve our team and make them better than us.  May we learn to celebrate the success of others beyond ourselves.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

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