Weekly Thought – October 26, 2021
Fred served on multiple Christian ministry boards. His reputation for clear thinking, direct analysis, and understanding of people drew organizations to him. They assumed his management expertise would be transferred to the organizational operating system. How wrong they were because he had definite ideas about the way God’s work should be handled. (Note: these thoughts were excerpted from a talk given in the mid-1980s… he certainly saw the trend).
Doing God’s Work in God’s Way
Corporate leadership is different from leadership in Christ’s church. Author M. Scott Peck once asked me “Why don’t you businessmen take over the church?”
“Because they can’t lead a spiritual church successfully, “I said. “Secular principles that are not anointed by the Holy Spirit are not applicable to the church. In fact, they can pollute it by bypassing the Spirit.”
Yes, some principles can be transferred and over the years I have been associated with some fine leaders in industry as well as in Christian work. My book, Leading With Integrity grew out of my concern that in the institutional church we’ve become too dependent on human leadership principles. We know a lot about effective organizational direction, but my concern is that the church may be trying to do God’s work in man’s way.
Let me be clear. God has given me intelligence and created opportunities. I have a responsibility to use my gifts fully. On the other hand, when I try to accomplish by human means what can be done only by spiritual means, I embezzle God’s authority.
If we are to do it in God’s way we must start with character. I study principles leaders can use to examine their own character and those they lead Christian leaders need to examine themselves, so that with the apostle Paul they can say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”
The church must be involved in character building, helping men and women to grow into the maturity of Christ. Dr. Howard Rome, head of psychiatry at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN gave me a book and inscribed these words: “Few men have the imagination to grasp the truth of reality.” In my writing and through the website I want not only your imagination but your faith to grasp and awakened to the truth of Christlikeness in our church leadership.
It is tempting to attend leadership seminars presented by business gurus and then attempt to apply them to the church without the leading of the Spirit. We need discernment to filter and apply correctly, always depending on God’s will for the church.
This week carefully consider: 1) How does my church leadership team maintain correct focus? 2) Who models following God rather than man to build a church? 3) What am I seeing in churches which compromised their spiritual discernment?
Words of Wisdom: “My concern is that the church may be trying to do God’s work in man’s way.”
Wisdom from the Word: “An honorable man makes honorable plans; his honorable character gives him security.” (Isaiah 32:8 NET Bible)