God's Power: The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Gospel = Power for Leaders to Make an Eternal DifferenceOne would assume that if you are going to be a church or ministry leader, you want to make an eternal difference, not simply affect the here and now. If that is your intent, then you need to make sure you lead like you truly believe there is power in the blood of Jesus, like apart from what happened on the cross you have nothing to offer, like the gospel holds the power to make a difference both now and eternally.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Rom. 1:16)
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel -- not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:17-18)
Gospel = Power Beyond a Leader's Natural AbilitiesYou can be a gifted leader who has a natural bent toward leadership, acknowledged by others as a person of great influence. Yet, no person, regardless of how skilled he/she might be, can save anyone.
As a leader you might establish all sorts of dynamic programs, recruit skilled people, build efficient organizational structures, maintain great communication, and perform everything you do with excellence. Yet all of that does not translate into changed lives.
As a leader, you can have an analytical mind, filled with logic, lots of common sense, an understanding of how to make things work, and the ability to persuade other people to come on board with you. Yet, human wisdom will not take you very far in making an eternal difference in people's lives.
Gospel = Power a Leader Must Regularly Pull On
- Therein is the leader's power source for having and maintaining the qualities essential to being effective and productive.
As you continue to grow in faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly kindness, you will become the kind of leader who breaks through with the love of Christ. Of these qualities, 2 Pet. 1:8-9 says, "For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins." No matter how influential of a leader you become, no matter what great things God uses you to accomplish, always remember what God did for you at the cross. Always remember the Gospel.
- Therein is the leader's ability to reach goals worthy of any eternal merit.
The moment you start to rely on your own strength or wisdom, you are robbing the cross of its power. When you begin to depend of your own abilities to persuade or influence people, you empty the cross of its power. Jesus died and rose again by the power of God. The Apostle Paul counted all his past accomplishments as rubbish and wanted "to know Christ and the power of his resurrection" (Phil. 3:1-21). Always reach toward and rely on God's resurrection power.
- Therein is where a leader finds perspective and confidence to stand with that which counts for eternity.
When you start to be more concerned about what others think about you, about having the favor and good will of men, you will begin to compromise and cater to the unsaved world around you so as not to appear foolish (1 Cor. 1:17-18). When you keep your eyes on what matters to God, on the message of the cross, you won't be controlled by the opinions of others as you will realize that true power is in that cross. You will not function like you are ashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16). Always rest in God's wisdom exhibited at the cross.
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