A Call to Accountability
As a ministry leader, you handle many responsibilities each day and carry many different loads. Paul wasn't kidding when he talked about the weight of the churches... However, as I was pondering on all this, I felt a challenge from the Holy Spirit.
When the pressures of life and ministry come, it can be so easy to just switch to auto-pilot. You have been doing this for years and I am sure often times you just run and do what you always do because you are so used to it. I know I do. Unfortunately, it is not good enough to just do what you know to do and press on in what you have learned to do.
It is about carrying the load and being held accountable before God. As a ministry leader, when there is something going wrong in the Church, the Lord looks at you. Think about it... when a child is being rebellious and is going off to do their own thing, what is the first thing you think?
You think, "Oh boy, I wonder what their parents are like. They can't even keep their child in check!"
Well, why should it be any different for you as a leader in the Church? I just feel this so strongly in my spirit. If we are going to take the Church to the next level and mature them and raise them up to be all they can be, we have to be held accountable.
What does that really mean?
Well, it means that you need to be prepared to go beyond the call of duty. Principles are great, but what about the hands-on, dirty work that ministry sometimes calls for? Let's be real here… people have needs and there is a whole lot of stuff going on that is messy. Well, as a leader, the Lord holds you accountable and you need to be prepared to get your hands dirty and put your nose into the mess.
How else is the Church ever going to rise up? How else will people turn to the Lord and to His Word and actually live by it? We see so many broken lives in the Church today. Marriages are falling apart, adultery is running rampant and even the use of drugs and all these things aren't news.
When I look at this my very first temptation is to get mad at the devil and tell him where he belongs. It's a good start, but you know what the next thing is that should go through your mind?
"Wow Lord… I am responsible for this. I need to get involved and I need to go and see what can be done to take this disease out of your body." That is the kind of accountability the Lord is calling us to as His leaders.
It's not an easy thing to do and the challenges that come with that are huge. But today I want to ask you, are you ready to do that? Are you ready to take on this load and to be held accountable for the state of the Church?
If you are, then join hands with us even more than you have up until now. At AMI this is our passion. My spiritual parents, Apostles Craig and Colette, are never afraid to be held accountable. To me they are the ultimate example of this. They are never afraid to look at their own hearts and lives and change so that the Church can rise up.
They are not afraid to put their nose where nobody else would put it! So what do you say… are you ready to get involved in people's lives? Are you ready to rise up and be held accountable? The Lord is sure sending that call forth very strongly right now.
If you are then let's rise up together and change. In true AMI fashion, I have a project for you to do to help you understand this load. Apostle Colette Toach gives this project in the How to Get People to Follow You book. It is one that challenges, but also makes you come to life. It's called Getting Involved. I have attached it below. Read through it, apply it and then shoot me an email and let me know how everything is going, okay?
It's time to pick up this baton in earnest and shine our light brightly. As you shine with His love and passion and are not afraid to go where others won't dare to go, the transformation and revival you have been praying for, will start to come to pass in the Church universal.
It's time now for God's leaders to step up to the plate and bring about this revolution. If we can all pick up this load and be held accountable before the Lord, can you just imagine the revolution we would see in the Church? Let's get it started and before you know it, the sleeping giant will be rising up indeed!
Getting Involved: The Heart of a True Leader
I was sixteen years old and we were on a Geography tour with my entire class. We were far from home and as usual I felt like the odd one out. But something happened that night that changed the way I saw things. We were on a night hike and all of us were tired. Ambling along the hiking trail, I heard someone just ahead of me take a fall. Going to see who it was, I discovered that it was a girl in my class. She hung out in a different crowd and we did not know each other very well.
It turned out that she had sprained her ankle. I helped her back to camp where I waited with her until one of the teachers could help her out. By that time all the other kids had returned and were preparing for dinner or sitting around the campfire. No one really wanted to lose out on all the fun by waiting with someone who was hurt.
It was then that I started to realize the powerful principle of just "being there" and to also take the courage to get involved in someone's problems. Now many years later I am in full-time ministry and I find myself applying this principle daily. I want to take this powerful lesson and impart it to you this week.
Just think about it for a moment!
We live in a world where everyone is expected to take care of themselves. If you see someone broken down on the side of the road... you drive on thinking to yourself, "I am sure that they have a plan and can get out of that themselves." But do you even realize how much this attitude has crept into your ministry? Open your eyes and look around you. It is not hard to find problems. As a regular believer you might be able to let them go, but as a leader you can never let them go.
If someone has submitted themselves to your leadership, then they count on you to care for them. They count on you to get involved, even when they are ashamed or are struggling.
Now you need to understand this clearly. I am not telling you to get involved in people's lives and to tell them what to do...I am telling you to get involved in people's lives and love them, until they open their hearts to receive your counsel and ministry.
Jesus is our ultimate example of this. He got involved with the Samaritan woman at the well! He got involved with little Zacchaeus! He got involved with the money changers in the temple (even though many people would have preferred if he did not!) He got involved with Peter's sick mother-in-law. Later on Apostle Peter walked along the road and saw a crippled man begging. He could have walked on by, but instead... He got involved!
Getting the idea?
So start by taking a look at those in your church or those that are under you in the Lord. What are the things they are struggling with right now?
• Is there someone in your church living in sin or doing things in their spiritual life that will lead them down the wrong road?
Let's Get Practical
I am going to give you a very specific project to apply, so get ready for another challenge and also some fun! I am going to give you three full weeks to complete it and to report back to your trainer to let them know how you did.
So here goes...
If you are an Elder or Church leader:
1. Make a list of everyone in your church.
Some of your members might be struggling with their faith. Others might be living in sin. Open your eyes and for the first time, do not be afraid to say the things that need to be said and to get involved where you ignored problems before.
Some ideas on how to minister to those needs.
One of the main things that they might need is counsel. DO NOT give counsel UNTIL you have read my instructions below on what to do if your member needs counsel.
If you are NOT an elder or don't have a group to lead:
1. Write a list of the names of the people in your church (or if you are fellowshipping with your family, write their names.)
A couple might be due to have a baby, why not be the first to send flowers and give a word of blessing? Someone might be ill, why not visit and offer to pray? There might be singles who need company... let the Holy Spirit reveal the needs to you.
Some ideas on how to minister to those needs.
You can arrange a personal meeting to encourage or motivate. Do not offer counsel. If you are not an elder, you are not qualified for this yet. However if you are put in a position where you need to give counsel, follow the guidelines I have listed below for counseling, then be sure to inform your senior leader or trainer of what took place.
Guidelines for Counseling
As an elder it is VERY likely that some of the problems that come up in your church will require counseling. For just this one time, I would like to suggest that BEFORE you give any counsel of ANY kind that you do ONE of the following:
By doing this, you will learn the correct way to counsel and develop this vital ability as a leader.
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