Developing Leaders in the Small Church - Lesson 2

Becoming a Spiritual Leader

In this lesson, you will explore the concept of the church as the body of Christ and as a spiritual community. You will learn how the New Testament focuses primarily on the spiritual nature of the church and the importance of love within the community. You will also examine several "one another" commands in Scripture, which emphasize the mutual care, service, and encouragement among believers. Furthermore, you will delve into the differences between a secular organization and a spiritual body, including how these distinctions impact leadership approaches and accountability.
Glenn Daman
Developing Leaders in the Small Church
Lesson 2
Watching Now
Becoming a Spiritual Leader

pc108-02: Becoming a Spiritual Leader

I. Understanding the Nature of the Church

A. Defining the Church

B. The Church in the New Testament

C. The Church as the Body of Christ

II. The Church as a Spiritual Community

A. Characteristics of the Church

B. One Another Commands in Scripture

III. Differences between a Secular Organization and a Spiritual Body

A. Focus and Purpose

B. Leadership Approaches

C. Accountability and Decision Making

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the challenges of serving on a church board and learn about the concept of servant leadership in the Bible, as well as the differences between secular and biblical leadership, with a focus on the role of a shepherd in leadership positions.
  • Through this lesson, you'll gain an understanding of the church as the body of Christ and a spiritual community, focusing on love and interconnectedness, and explore the differences between secular organizations and spiritual bodies, ultimately shaping your approach to spiritual leadership.
  • This lesson teaches the importance of organization in the church, exploring elements found in the Book of Acts and the significance of leadership, emphasizing the church's mission based on the Great Commission and the goal to make disciples.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the crucial importance of character in Christian leadership, as it demonstrates God's work in our lives, allows for influential leadership, and fosters spiritual growth in others. By learning from biblical examples, you will discover the necessity of relying on God's strength and guidance in your leadership journey.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insight into the importance of the church board's role, focusing on spiritual care and guiding the congregation towards a healthy church, which includes unity, obedience, growth in understanding God's word, active evangelism, and authentic worship, while being motivated by service and eagerness to lead, and understanding the accountability of leadership.
  • Discover the significance of prayer in leadership through the lives of biblical figures like Moses, Samson, and Samuel, and understand how prayer enables leaders to face challenges, find victory despite failures, and maintain spiritual strength.
  • In Lesson 7, you learn about the watchman's role in protecting the church from external and internal threats, the importance of church discipline, and its scriptural basis in Hebrews 12. The lesson emphasizes holiness as the primary goal and discusses the role of discipline in promoting spiritual growth and purity for individuals and the congregation.
  • This lesson teaches you the essential role of shepherding in the church and how to make spiritual decisions that benefit both the congregation as a whole and the individuals within it, emphasizing the importance of prayer, seeking guidance from Scripture, and reflecting the character of God.
  • Gain insight into the challenges small churches face in equipping people for ministry and learn the biblical basis for laypeople's involvement in ministry, understanding how to provide direction, identify spiritual gifts, offer training and mentoring, create opportunities, and give support.
  • Through this lesson, you learn about the church's purpose to glorify God, represent His character to the world, and transform people into the character of Christ, while also understanding the importance of good theology, connecting it to Christian living, and realizing a leader's role in overseeing church theology and fostering transformation.
  • This lesson emphasizes the importance of teamwork in ministry, explaining the New Testament concept of team ministry, the role of coworkers with Christ, and how partnering with others helps overcome individual weaknesses and fosters corporate wisdom.
  • As change agents in the church, the board must adapt to societal changes while preserving the core message of the Gospel. This lesson emphasizes the importance of addressing sinful behavior, examining the health of the church, and learning from the apostles as change agents.
  • In this lesson, you'll understand the crucial role of administration in small churches, focusing on spiritual growth and the effective use of resources for God's glory, as well as the importance of recognizing God's authority and Scripture as the foundation for all administrative decisions.

This course on developing leaders in the small church emphasizes the importance of leadership development and the challenges small churches face in doing so. It provides a biblical foundation for leadership development, focusing on examples from both the Old and New Testaments. The lesson then outlines principles for developing leaders in the small church, including fostering a culture of leadership development, identifying and recruiting potential leaders, equipping and empowering leaders, and providing ongoing support and accountability. The lesson concludes with strategies for leadership development in the small church, including one-on-one discipleship, small group leadership development, leadership training programs, and mentoring programs.

Recommended Books

Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board

Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board

In his more than fifteen years as the pastor of a small church, Glenn Daman has learned what it takes to make a church board successful. In Developing Leaders for the Small...

Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board

Glenn Daman
Developing Leaders in the Small Church
Becoming a Spiritual Leader
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] What does the church think about leadership within the church? One of the key questions that we need to ask ourselves is what is the church? How we answer that question will in many ways determine the direction of our leadership. Interesting as we looked in the last session, the concept of leadership, the metaphor that is used is the metaphor of a shepherd. But what about the church? How do we define that? Is it just a building? Is it the programs or is it the people? Is it a church? Just a local entity? Is it universal? Do we look at it from the context of the universal church to the exclusion of not looking at it from the context of the local church? Is it spiritual or is it organizational? That's where we need to begin. We need to begin in terms of understanding and leadership and our role by understanding the nature of the church. Now, normally when we think of the church, we think of the church building itself. You get up on Sunday and what do you do? Well, we go to church when we meet as a board. We normally do so in the context of an organizational structure within the church. We look at the church from the the local visible aspect that we see and we look at the programs and the organizational structures that keep the church going. But as we examine Scripture, as important as we recognize organizational structures are, as we look at Scripture, we find that very little focus is actually made upon the organizational nature of the church. While they allude to it. And we see it hinted at in the New Testament and especially in the Book of Acts, the focus of the new test is upon the spiritual nature of the church.

[00:02:02] So as we look at the the church in the New Testament, it is spiritual. That's the primary focus. And the metaphor that's used is the metaphor of the body. And so one of the favorite terms that we're used in the New Testament when referring to the church was to refer to it as the body of Christ. Paul does this in first Corinthians chapter ten, verse 16, and then again in chapter 12, verse 27, and it became one of his favorite terms to use in reference to the church. And as he referred to it as the Body of Christ, he did so both in the context of the local church, but also then as part of the universal body of Christ, that the church is a gathering together of people and they come together to serve as the body of Christ. Paul is especially fond of that. We see it in First Corinthians Chapter 12 for examples, where perhaps one of the most extended discussions of the Body of Christ, and he refers to it as as a functioning body with a group of individuals being joined together to to form a healthy body. We see a picture there of the the person of Christ, of the face of Christ. But if we look at that picture, what we see is individuals within that. That is, we come together. One person does not serve as the body of Christ. But as we come together as a community, then we become the body of Christ with each having its function. And this refers not only in First Corinthians chapter 12 to the local body as we normally think of the church, but also refers to the universal body of Christ, the church that encompasses other congregations and believers throughout the world.

[00:04:04] And so that we are mutually dependent upon one another. There is a a mutual joining together so that not only are we dependent upon one another, but we're also then governed by our relationship as Christ, as the head of the body. So when Paul uses this metaphor, he does so to highlight the the organic unity that we see within the church. But this organic unity that we see within the church is not just sociological. It's not just based upon cultural norms that draw us together. It's not just based upon a denominational affiliation. We oftentimes think in the church in terms of of our denomination association or what we have in terms of agreement with a doctrinal position. And certainly those are important and those are part of the body of Christ. But Paul puts it much larger than that, and he focuses rather, that what unites us. What brings about this organic unity within the church is not our affiliations on a. On a denominational level or even on a sociological level, but rather it's based upon our unity in the person of Christ as the head. So as the head of the church, Christ is not only the one who's the absolute ruler of the church, but He is the one who unites the church and causes the church to grow. Turn to Ephesians Chapter four Infusions Chapter four Vicious 15 and 16. He says this, he says, And then we won't be no longer infants. After talking about the previous section, the gift of leaders in the church to equip the people for ministry so that the body of Christ may be built up. Then in verse 14, then he says, Then as the church does, as the church matures in Christ, it will no longer be infants toss back and forth by every wave and blown here and there by every wind of teaching, and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.

[00:06:24] Instead speaking the truth in love. We will all in all things grow up into him. Who is the head that is Christ from him. The whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work. Notice here he two things that he emphasizes in verse 15. He emphasizes that we will grow up into him. In other words, growth is accomplish as we become closer or more connected to the head that is the person of Christ. But then in verse 16, he, he says, is our growth come as we draw closer to him. But in verse 16, he says that that growth is actually accomplished from Christ as well. He says, From him, the whole body joined and held together by every supporting element grows and builds itself up in love. So we grow as we become more connected to Christ. But Christ is the one who brings about the growth and accomplishes the growth in and through us because he is the head. Now, here's the the sobering part of that. There is we are the body of Christ. Then we become the the portrayal of Christ to the world in which we live so that the world knows the person of Christ through the life and actions of the church. And that's rather sobering when you think about it, that if we were to walk out and suppose that we met someone who's never read the Bible, they have no concept of who Christ is, they have no introduction into the person of Christ whatsoever. And so we were to ask them to observe our church and from that develop a theology of Christ. What would that theology look like as they look at our church? Would they see a adequate and accurate picture of the person of Christ based upon what they observe in our life as individuals and as a church body? Because that's what the body of Christ is.

[00:08:56] So as we think about the church, we think that we need to recognize that the church is the body of Christ, but the church is also a community as the body of Christ. And the church is a spiritual community where there remains a spiritual interconnectedness, an interrelatedness. This is what distinguishes the church from every other organization. As we look at the church, we need to understand that the church is not just a another glorified community club that exists in the community where people come together because of a common sociological agreement or for a common cause, but rather we are a community of God's people in that community. The hallmark of the church then, is the fact that as a community we have love within that community. In John chapter 13, verse 35, Christ says by this Will all men know that you are my disciples by your love for one another? So that becomes the characteristic of the church. So as we think about the church today, we need to recognize that as we're united, there is a mutual care then for one another. So as we express this love, we do so in the context of encouraging one another and strengthening one another. In fact, it's interesting, as we look at scripture, there are a number of one another commands given. For example, we are commanded to serve one another in Galatians chapter three, verse 13. That is, we come into the church as we think about the church. The church is a place that we serve one another. We are not a consumer church. The church is not a place that that we come merely to be fed, to go back and do our own thing. That a healthy church is one where people are coming to church not to be served, but to serve.

[00:11:02] And to strengthen one another. Galatians Chapter six, Verse two We are to bear one another's burdens. As we look at the church today, we realize that there are many imperfect people of which we are one. But as we come into the church, we come recognizing that our task is not to judge one another, but rather to encourage one another to strengthen one another. That is someone struggling in their life. We come alongside them to encourage them. And to uphold them. And so our first Thessalonians chapter five, verse 11, says, We are to encourage one another in our walk with Christ, that we strengthen one another. Hebrews chapter ten, verse 24, says that we are to spur one another on to love and good deeds and interesting he does so and in the context of the importance of gathering together that the reason we gather together as a church and the reason we need to gather together is as a body of Christ so that we can spur one another on. We can encourage one another to live out our Christian life. That's why the Christian life is not meant to live in isolation. The body of Christ is is not a single individual, but it's a part of a community of people. And it's important that we understand that, because as we understand the body of Christ and we understand the call to community, it's what distinguishes us from. The secular organization. So what makes us different from another business, from another nonprofit business is a nonprofit business functions to accomplish something. We are called together to strengthen one another. And so as leaders in the church, we can't lead the same way. It's important that we understand that the church primarily is a spiritual entity, and so then it functions differently.

[00:13:06] Let me just give you some contrast here as we think about this in terms of what is the difference between an organization and a spiritual body. First of all, as we think about the distinction, an organization focuses upon a product. What is it that we're trying to accomplish? What is the product we're trying to build? What is the product we're trying to sell? But a community focus is upon the people. In a business that focuses upon the end result. That is, we think about the the product. The workers are there to make sure that the product is is being built so they can go out the door and then be sold into the stores. If a person is not helping to accomplish that goal, their release from the organization. But the church is different than the church. It's the people that is the focus that we are here to encourage people, to strengthen people. Secondly, an organization is driven by the achievement of goals and growth. That's what drives the bottom line. What are our goals for this year? Are we accomplishing those goals? And those goals, again, are related back to the product, to the growth of the organization. But as we look at a community, a community is focused upon the needs and the transformation of people. So as we work with people in the church. We ask ourselves, what is it that they need? How can we help them become transformed into the person of Christ, as we saw in Colossians chapter one, so that they're radically being different? A third distinction is an organization bases its decisions upon budgets and upon goals and resources. When faced with a decision, they. The bottom line is we look at the budget and we look at does this budget enable us to to make a decision here? But in the community, the focus is different.

[00:15:25] The community is focused upon what are the needs and the decisions are based upon what are the needs and the faith that we have in God and the awareness that we are to seek and follow God's will for the Church. As leaders in the church, we have to think differently when it comes to making decisions. In a secular world, we base it upon how much money is in the bank. We base it upon how much resources we base it upon, that the goals that we have for the growth of the organization. But in that community of God's people were to seek the will of God, and we base our decisions upon that. Trusting that God will then provide the resources to accomplish that, that purpose. As we think about an organization, an organization is governed by a board. You have the structure of the executive board. The CEO. The board makes the ultimate decisions and then invests authority within the CEO to make decisions as well. And that's who makes the decisions. They have the final say. But it's important for us to understand as those in leadership, that in the community of God's people, the church is not governed by us. The church is governed by Christ. And that we are here only to make sure that we as a church is following the direction of Christ. Fifth. As we think about an organization and the difference between an organizational focus of the church versus a spiritual focus is that in an organization, the results takes precedence over character. When we go to work, unless it's illegal, people don't care what's going on in our personal life. They don't care about our our true character. All they care about is are we accomplishing results? But as we look in the community of God's people, character takes precedence over results.

[00:17:43] For example, we see in First Corinthians Chapter 13 the importance of love. And it makes it very clear that if we accomplish great things but we don't have love, it's like a sounding of a symbol that's like a noisy band playing without purpose. So we are to have character at all levels of leadership that what gives us a legitimacy in the leadership is not what we accomplish in the church or have accomplished in church. What gives us legitimacy as leaders is are we people of character? Paul makes that clear when he writes to Timothy and Titus. Requiring the qualifications of the leader is interesting. All the qualifications refer to character issues. Six in an organization. The glue that keeps the organization together is the common goals and the social and cultural uniformity that exists within that. So if we don't conform. To those goals. We don't conform to the culture. We're driven out. But in the community of God's people, the glue that is to keep us together is our connection with Christ. And that connection even goes beyond culture, as Paul says, where there's neither Jun or Gentile slave nor free, that we're we're brought together in a common relationship with Christ. Seventh, in the organization, the focus is political, economic, cultural. And it's that that empowers. You want authority in a organization. You have to be politically correct. You have to play the political game in the organization. But in the church, the empowerment of the church comes not through the politics or even the economics. It comes through the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is what empowers us and gives us authority. Eight in an organization, the very nature of an organization is temporal. It's here and then it's gone.

[00:20:09] As the needs change, as the product becomes obsolete, we think back in the seventies, one of the biggest corporations in terms of business was IBM, and now they become a second rate player because the needs changed, the product changed. But the church, the community of God's people, is the eternal, whose existence is not determined by the decision of a board and an executive board who can vote to close out the company. But rather its existence is determined by the person of God who who brings all things together. As we think about an organization, membership in an organization is determined by the mandate of the constituents. They vote to have a member and the community of God's people, though the membership is determined by the work of the Spirit. We find that in first Corinthians Chapter 12 or 13, he says. We were all baptized by one spirit into one body, so that the reason we're part of the body of Christ is not because somebody voted us in. It's because that God has placed us in that position in an organization. The the focus is upon a hierarchy of authority and position. And so the higher up the ladder, the go we go, the more authority we have and the greater our position within the church. But it's interesting, within the body of Christ, the focus there is upon the fact that there is an equality that exists. First Corinthians Chapter 12 emphasizes this, but even those lesser parts that we think are less important are essential parts of the body. So that there is inequality that exists. Seeing an organization the way we think of the value that a person has in that organization is determined by their position. The higher up you go in the organizational ladder, the more value you have in that organization.

[00:22:20] We see that in the form of salaries and benefits. But within the body of Christ, the whole congregation has equal value. Everyone has is equally important within the body of Christ. Lastly, as we think about an organization, the organization represents itself. But in the body of Christ, we represent God to the world. We're called to be God's representatives. So if the church is then fundamentally different, how then do we lead in that context? How do we lead differently in a spiritual way? Let me suggest you, first of all, that the goal of leadership is different, that the goal of leadership within the body of Christ as leaders within our church, our goal is to develop a congregation that is spiritually healthy and in growing in Christ. But we need to recognize that this health is not determined by organizational health. It's not defined by the organizational health. We define oftentimes the church in the context of organizational health by looking at do we have a strong budget? Are programs running smoothly? Is there numerical growth. But as we look at the body of crisis as a spiritual entity, it's spiritual health. And that is determined by our relationship with Christ Christ, so that corporately and individually we are living out the reality of Christ in our life so that his character is becoming imprinted upon our character. And we're manifesting that in our daily existence so that as leaders, the foundation of our leadership is upon character. That's where it begins. We must be individuals of character before we can effectively lead the church. We need be people that are imprinted with the person of Christ so that we are being transformed. We cannot lead people where we haven't been in terms of spiritual transformation.

[00:24:34] But not only must we be people of character, then as we lead the church. We are to lead the church in spiritual transformation so that, as Paul says there in that passage and cautions 128 and 29 that we are present in everyone perfect in Christ to be like him. That means that as we think about leadership, it begins with the responsibility of prayer. Samuel said this in First Samuel Chapter 12, verse 23. As for me, far be it for me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you and teach you the way that is good and right. It's interesting as Samuel looked at his own leadership. He saw two essential responsibilities. The first, he said, was prayer. As leaders, we are to be praying diligently for direction, for wisdom, where to pray for people within the church and their needs were to pray for the ministries of the church, were to pray for our community in which we live. But the second thing he also highlights is the importance of instruction, he says. Not only that, he by that I was sinned against the Lord by failing to pray for you and teach you the way that is good and right. See, we have a responsibility of instruction. The writer of Hebrews says again that we must submit, that we must keep watch over men who must give an account they keep watch. Has the idea of taking care of or to look after, and it has the implication of continually being wakeful. You see, we are to to hover over the congregation to make sure that they're following Christ or following Scripture. And we're being taught in Scripture. But not only do we have the responsibility of prayer and the responsibility of teaching as leaders in the church, then we have the responsibility of care.

[00:26:31] When people come into our church, they come damaged. The church is a hospital. They come. They come here destroyed by the effects of sin in their life. So they've made wrong decisions in their life and destroyed their life. And they. They no longer have the capacity to make right decisions in relationship to Christ. And so we are to draw them to Christ so that we can bring spiritual healing to them. But not just spiritual healing, but also emotional healing, emotional encouragement, physical healing. So we're caring for their needs. We're providing spiritual counsel and prayer. And then lastly, we have the responsibility of equipping, as Paul says there in Ephesians chapter five, that we are responsible to to encourage excuse me, Ephesians chapter four. That as leaders that we are to equip God's people for works of ministry. So as our role as leaders is to come alongside and equip people for ministry. And we do that by several ways. First of all, we do that by providing them training. They need to be effective. And then secondly, we do that by providing them the resources they need to be effective in their ministry. So our goal as leaders is to come alongside people so that they would be effective in terms of their ministry. You see, the church is fundamentally different. We need to recognize that it's not a business. This church is a spiritual organism that requires spiritual leadership, that is centered upon the Word of God. As leaders, we need to be spiritual leaders who use spiritual means to accomplish spiritual results. And that's why when we think about leadership, the primary focus of our leadership has to be spiritual, not just organizational.