Developing Leaders in the Small Church - Lesson 4

Character – The Foundation

In this lesson, you will gain insight into the critical role that character plays in Christian leadership. You will learn that character serves as evidence of God's activity in our lives, is essential for having an influence on others, and facilitates spiritual transformation. Additionally, character is vital for determining God's will and discerning the best course of action for the church. By examining biblical examples, such as Moses in Exodus, you will discover how character can be developed and maintained in leadership positions, emphasizing the need to rely on God's sufficiency rather than personal abilities.
Glenn Daman
Developing Leaders in the Small Church
Lesson 4
Watching Now
Character – The Foundation

pc108-04: Character - The Foundation

I. Introduction

A. The importance of character in leadership

II. Character as evidence of God's activity

A. God's work in our lives

B. Character development

III. Character is essential for influence

A. Impact on others

B. Living as a model for others to follow

IV. Character and spiritual transformation

A. Leading others to become like Christ

V. Character and determining God's will

A. Sensitivity to the will of God

VI. Biblical examples of character in leadership

A. Moses in Exodus

1. Learning to rely on God's sufficiency

  • 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
Character - The Foundation
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] In her book, Hope has its reasons. Rebecca Peppard quotes a an interview with a internationally known Christian businessman who had served on a number of both secular boards, as well as different religious boards of different religious organizations. This is what he had to say of his experience of serving on both secular business schools as well as Christian businesses or Christian ministries, he said. I'm on two boards, one with a religious organization and the other with secular people with the secular board. I know that many are out for their own agendas. They manipulate and control and deceive. I know it, and so do they. But frankly, I see a lot of the same controlling, manipulating, deceitful behavior on the religious board. And the difference is not the behavior, but in the fact that the secular board's members often acknowledge their motives, whereas the believers don't. The believers not only deny them, but cover up their motives with pious words. They talk spiritual. But they're playing the same game now as we see that comment. I think the question that we have to ask ourselves as leaders in the church and those who are serving as board members on the church and in the leadership. And the question is, is how do we avoid falling into the trap of playing the same games that they play on a secular level in leadership where we're manipulating rather than leading people in spirit truth? I believe we're called to be different, that we're called not only to to be different in terms of of what we're approach how we approach the leadership, but also in terms of our conduct within leadership. This is what Christ says. And in Mark chapter ten versus 42 to 45 when his confrontation with the disciples and and they were questioning the whole issue of who manipulate to get their agenda in crisis is that we're to be fundamentally different.

[00:02:40] Then the secular world in terms of our view of leadership. So how do we avoid that? How do we avoid the. The manipulation, the deceit, the personal agenda that we see in the secular world. I believe the answer begins with character that the most important thing we bring to the table is not our ideas, it's not our agenda. It's not our our input. It's our character. That is our character that will determine how effective we are in the body of Christ as leaders. Now, there's a several reasons for that as we think about character in the church, and that's where I want to focus in this session is in terms of character. The first thing we need to recognize is that character becomes the evidence of God's activity in our life. Now, when we think about selecting someone and putting someone on the board, we oftentimes certainly want someone that's godly. We want someone that God is at work in their life, that they're living out their faith. Well, how do we know that? We know that by looking at character. The character development is not something that we do within ourselves, but rather character development is the outgrowth of the work of God in our life, whereby He's graciously working in us to transform us, to be more and more like Christ in that familiar passage. And in Philippians one, verse six, it says, Being confident of this, that he has begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ, who it is, Who is it that's working in us? It's Christ. He's the one that as a work, he's the one that's transforming us. He's the one that's developing character within us. And so as we think about the church and we think about leadership, it's not only true as individuals, but also as a church.

[00:04:50] How do we know God is at work in our church? How do we know that God is active in our in our midst? Becomes evident by the growth of character. Now, that's true is a congregation, but it begins with us as leaders. God is at work in our midst when we as leaders are growing in Christ. As Paul says in Galatians chapter three, verse 27, when he says, We are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you were baptized into Christ, have clothed yourself with Christ. So we're living differently now as we think about character, character that is essential for influence. Now, when we come on aboard and as we think about being on the church board, certainly we come on the church board with the goal of influencing people, influencing them for the cause of Christ. So how do we influence people? How do we have an impact in the lives of people? We do it by developing godly character within us first so that we become a living model for others to follow, so that we, by our character, help people grow in Christ, help them to see what Christ looks like in real life. That becomes the foundation of our influence. You see, if we lack influence or if we lack character, we will not have any lasting eternal influence in the lives of people. That's where it starts. Character is essential for spiritual transformation and growth. As we think back and what we've been talking about in these sessions, we've been talking about that the goal of the church is spiritual transformation of people, that our task as leaders is to lead people and lead the congregation into the the area and the arena of transformation and change where they become in like Christ.

[00:06:59] And that begins with character. You see, we cannot lead people where we have not got ourselves. I know that's a cliche. We oftentimes use that, but yet it nevertheless, it has to remain at the bedrock of our foundation of our leadership, because without character, we have no leadership, we have no lasting influence. Without godly character, we will lead the church in a wrong direction that will ultimately be destructive to the body of Christ. And so that's where leadership begins. Leadership begins with with character. And then lastly, as we think about character, character is essential for determining God's will. Now, as we think about leadership and we come on to to the task of being a leader, we come to a board meeting. We're faced with many different issues. We're faced with faced with many different options. And the tasks that we have as leaders is to not determine what direction we want to go. But the task that we have is to follow God's purpose in his will. That's why ultimate leadership is not about being at the head. It's about being a servant, being a follower. It's being a follower of Christ, because we recognize that the church ultimately belongs to Christ. It's his body, it's his church. And so our task then is merely to to make sure that our coronation, our local church, is following after God's agenda. And the only way we can do that is if we have godly character within us. If we don't that we will, then we will not discern the will of God, and then we'll lead the church in the wrong direction that will destroy the health of the church. And so as we think about it, character is a foundation to sensitivity. To the will of God.

[00:09:06] So what kind of character then? What is the character qualities that we're to to manifest? What are the qualities that we're to be evident in our life? There's a number of passages that we can look at that gives us that foundation of character. But what I want to do in this session is give a an overview by looking at the different leaders that we see in Scripture and see that the type of character they modeled. What was it about these individuals in Scripture that enabled them not only to be effective leaders, but also to have an impact in the the lifeblood of the church and the lifeblood of God's people? And as we think about that, I want to begin with Moses in Exodus chapter four. We see a a lesson that Moses needed to learn in terms of his own life, in his own character. Now, to set the stage in Exodus chapter four, that we find that God is now coming to Moses to lead His people. But Moses had already tried to do that. He'd already tried to lead the people, and as a result, he had failed miserably. He had tried to do it on its own strength and as a result, he committed an act of murder. He fled and he was forced to flee into the wilderness and spend 40 years tending sheep. A broken man. A man who was a failure by every standard that there might be. And now we find God come coming in a meeting with him and appearing to him and calling him to once again take on the mantle of leadership of God's people and to lead God's people. And yet Moses is very reluctant because of his failure in the past. And so he's reluctant to take that mantle upon him.

[00:11:13] And he has great reservations. And and we see that that, as God calls him, Moses responds and says, you know, not me. Do you take someone else? And Moses starts to object. We see that beginning in verse ten, and he says, Oh Lord, I've never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow speech and tongue. And so verse 11, God, the Lord said to him, Who gave man his mouth? Who gave him is deaf or mute? Who gives him his sight or makes him blind? It is a not I the Lord. Now go and I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say. But Moses said, Oh Lord, please send someone else to do it. Then the Lord's anger burned against Moses. Now, why is as God was confronting Moses, what made God so angry at Moses? Why did God become angry? It's because Moses ultimately was not looking at his own insufficiencies. It wasn't looking at his own inadequacies. It was because Moses was doubting the sufficiency of God. He was doubting God's empowerment in his life. And so God had to deal with Moses to remind Moses that as he does this task, he's not doing it in his own strength. Rather, he's doing it in the empowerment of God. It wasn't until Moses really learned that lesson, and we see them learning this lesson. Then he becomes a powerful leader and becomes a leader to lead a nation out. And move them to the Promised Land because Moses finally understood that leadership is not about what we bring to the table. It's not about our abilities. It's about God's ability working through us. You know, in leadership, oftentimes we approach it from our resources and our abilities.

[00:13:26] I can imagine for probably for every one of us when that first invitation came to join the board or become part of the leadership of the church. There was fear, there was apprehension. We felt inadequate, and perhaps we still do. And we feel like we don't have much to contribute. But you see, what the problem is is not our perspective of ourselves. The problem is our perspective of God that we need to recognize. God is the one who who calls us. He is the one who therefore will empower us to effectively serve him. This is a lesson that Joshua learned as well. Joshua We find in Joshua Chapter one, verse nine needed to learn the importance of spiritual courage. In Joshua Chapter one, we think about the task that was before Joshua moses, who had led the people for over 40 years. Head had died. And as everyone knows, when there's been a long term leader in the church, it's very difficult for the next person who comes on the on board because people tend to live in the past and they live based upon that person's leadership. And yet here was Joshua now being put in the position of leading the people of Israel. But not only was he put in a position of leading the people, but he was also put in the position of leading them into a a military conquest, a military campaign that would challenge them, that would tax their abilities, that would cause great apprehension. There's enough challenges and difficulties that Joshua faced to make anyone not want to perform the task. We think about what he was about to do. He was about to call the people into a military campaign 40 years ago. Moses was also in that same position, and the people, instead of moving forward by faith.

[00:15:38] Shrank back in fear. And as a result of that, they spent 40 years waiting for that generation to die off and a new generation to arise. And now Joshua has brought the people back to the same position they were 40 years ago, with the same pressures, the same fears, the same apprehensions. And so as God calls Joshua. To be a leader. He says this. He says in verse nine, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged for the Lord. Your God will be with you wherever you go. You see, God challenges Joshua at the core of his character, and he challenges him, first of all, to be obedient to to Scripture. He says in verse seven, Be strong and very courageous. Be very careful to obey. Verse eight, he says, Do not let the book of the Lord depart from your mouth, meditated on a day and night. So you may be careful to do everything that is written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. So God challenges him to be committed to obedience to God's Word, because that's the foundation, that's the platform by which character is built. You see, as leaders, if we want to be courageous, we have to be students of the word. We have to be individuals who know God's word and apply God's word to our life so that we're living out in faith with the word of God teaches. And so Joshua has given this command and then he's told to be strong and courageous. You see, it takes strength of character. To lead a people. You know, the same thing we face today, not in the sense of a military conquest. But if we're to be called to leaders, we're going to face things that we never thought possible, that we could even come close to being able to deal with.

[00:17:43] We're going to face all kinds of pressures. We're going to face all kinds of problems. And the easy thing to do is to shrink back in fear and say, I don't want to be on the board. I don't want to do this. I don't have to deal with this situation. Maybe being courageous enough to stand up and do church discipline when it's called upon, or maybe it's being courageous enough to take a stand on biblical truths that's not popular. It takes courage to stand even in the face of absence of opposition. But most important of all, it takes courage to submit to God's leadership. Perhaps the most courageous thing we do. And in fact, it's interesting, later on, God confronts Joshua through this very thing where he confronts Joshua and makes it very clear that Joshua is not doing it on his own strength, but he's doing it upon God's strength that he's to submit to God's leadership of the Church of the People of Israel. The most courageous thing we do is when we take a stand and submit to the will of God, to submit to his leadership, where we set aside our personal agendas to make sure that we're aligned with God's agenda, it takes courage, takes strength. It takes a commitment to follow God. Joshua learned that is an essential part of our character quality of a leader. And then Samuel came along. Samuel was one who likewise was called upon to lead the people during very difficult times. But he was also called upon to lead the people and probably the most difficult of times. And that was in a transition of leadership as they moved away from the period of the judges to the period of the kings. And.

[00:19:44] And here was Samuel, this final judge, as well as the one who would usher in the kingdom or the the whole concept of the king. And he faced a difficult task. Because you think about Samuel when Samuel is the leader of the people of Israel, when they demanded a king, in essence, what they were doing was rejecting Samuel in his leadership. And it had been very easy for Samuel to become angry. It have been very easy for Samuel to become bitter, to become vindictive towards the people and angry at the people because of their rejection of his leadership. But in First Samuel, chapter 12, we see the heart of it of a leader, of a godly leader. And first, Samuel, Chapter 12 is Samuel is leading the people in this transition. And as he prayed and God made it clear that they where he was to to set up Saul as king in verse 23, at first Samuel Samuel makes this statement in response to the demands of the people of Israel. He says, As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. It's interesting that the response of Samuel was a response of prayer. You see, that's an outgrowth of character. When we have godly character within us. One of the things that we'll do that will be a natural outgrowth. It's not going to be something that we have to to try to to force us to do. It's not just something we do because it's a task that godly Christians should do. It's an outgrowth of our godly character, and that is that we desire to pray for our people as leaders.

[00:21:44] An important element of our ministry is praying for people and praying for the church. But it's an outgrowth of our character because we have a desire to be obedient to God, to see God at work in the lives of people. And that's only accomplished through prayer. You see, if we're going to be godly leaders, we have to be individuals of prayer. We see in David the importance of uncompromised obedience. In many ways, David was the epitome of a great leader. He was known as a man after God's own heart. He was known for being fearless. He was known for his humility. He was known for standing firm. But yet what he taught us about leadership and character, we see it learned in the. The failure of David. And certainly there's much to be said about the the spiritual character of David, but it's in his failure that we see a greatest lesson. You see, the tragedy of David was, even though he was a man after God's own heart, even though he wrote the Psalms where he expressed so much of his passion for for God and for the worship of him. We also see. We see a crack in his armor and the crack was not in in the in his failure to live up to complete obedience. And second, Samuel chapters 11 and 12. We see this event. We see David becoming comfortable in his prosperity. And so as the armies marches forth, he stays behind in the comforts of his. Of his throne, rather than leading his people into battle. And as a result of that, he sees a woman bathing. And we know the story. We know that story well, that woman's name was Bathsheba. And ultimately, he led to a moral compromise in his life with Bathsheba that.

[00:23:54] That end up leading to murder and to even the death of his own child. But it's that event that brought about the downfall from that point on his. His leadership began to decline. We see the the break up of his leadership. We see him, his family become wracked by internal conflicts. By the threats to the throne and all that that involved. You see, we need to recognize as leaders the importance of uncompromised leadership and uncompromised obedience to God, that we remain committed to being obedient to God at all levels, at all times. Because all it takes is a moment of indiscretion that can destroy our leadership. And so Solomon comes on the scene. Solomon In many ways. Maintain some of the failures of his father in terms of his moral life. But the one thing that characterized the leadership of Solomon was his wisdom and first kings. We find the introduction to Solomon is king. It's interesting, as God appears to Solomon and gives a call to Solomon to be the King and tell Solomon he's equipped him. He gives Solomon what seems like a blank check and says, You ask for anything. I'll be glad to give it. What an incredible. Promise that God gives Solomon. I wonder how we were to use that same promise. That same question. That same. Opportunity. Ask for anything and I'll give it to you. In chapter three, verse nine, Solomon gives his answer. We see in verse five, God giving this blank check when he says, Astro, whatever you want me to give you. And so Solomon verse nine says this in response. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong for who is able to govern such great this great people of yours.

[00:26:27] The one thing Solomon asked was for wisdom. That is central part of our of our characters. Wisdom and wisdom is is seeing things through the eyes of God and then knowing how to respond in relationship to what God has established. That's wisdom. He asked for knowledge and understanding. It's interesting. Saw him became the writer of wisdom. We think of Solomon. We think of Proverbs, a book devoted to wisdom. We think of all the wisdom to the Proverbs established to understand God's order that He is established in creation and how to live within the context of that order. See, that's wisdom, and that's an outgrowth of our character. That is, we think about character. Character is the ability to see what God has established in creation, what God has established in His Word, and then live in the context of that. And if we are to lead God's people like Solomon, we need wisdom, we need knowledge, we need understanding. We need to be able to discern between right and wrong. So we're leading our people based upon wisdom. And then leadership involves faith, the character of faith. Nehemiah, Chapter four. Nehemiah was a man who exemplified faith in Nehemiah Chapter four. We find Nehemiah like Samuel being a person of prayer. He was a man devoted to prayer. But when we think about the task that he was face, he was faced with the task of rebuilding a broken nation. He had come back to Jerusalem. The cities were all lying in ruin. They were completely a destroyed nation, a defeated nation. And he was given the task of rebuilding this nation and rebuilding the city of Jerusalem. An enormous task and a task that was further complicated by the fact that there are those who are openly in opposition to that because they saw the rebuilding of Jerusalem as a threat to their own power and their own authority, their own position in the area.

[00:28:53] And so in chapter four, we see the the pressure that Nehemiah was facing, that there were those there were some Bella Tobia in the Emirates in the midst of Ashtar that were openly and hostile and hostile towards rebuilding of Jerusalem, giving the threat that if they continue with the rebuilding project, they will attack and destroy not only the walls that they're rebuilding, but destroy the people themselves. And so we see that in verse ten that because of this threat, even the people became fearful. And this is the strength of the laborers is giving out. And there's so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the walls. You see, what other people saw is a pile of rocks and an intense opposition that seemed insurmountable. Nehemiah saw as an opportunity for God to demonstrate his power. And we see the faith of of Nehemiah in verse 14 when he says in response. Verse 14 says, After I look things over, I stood up and said to the nobles and the officials and the rest of the people, Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, your God who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, for your sons, and for your daughters, your wives in your homes. But now it is he call the people to to to act on him faith in verse 20 he tells them the foundation. Notice what he says in verse 20 Whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us here. Our God will fight for us. You see, Nehemiah understood what faith is, that faith is trusting in what God would accomplish. That's an essential aspect of leadership. The faith is trusting that God is doing the work, that we're in line with God's purpose. And because we're in line with God's person purpose, we can act upon it with confidence because we know that God will accomplish it.

[00:31:03] Ezra also faced an insurmountable task at the same time period, but Ezra perhaps faced even more difficult because not only was Ezra called to help rebuild the nation, but not just politically but spiritually, because not only was the nation of Israel broken politically and defeated, it was broken spiritually. Yet. In Ezra, chapter seven, verse ten, we see Ezra's response in response to as it as Ezra comes to Jerusalem, and he sees in verse eight, he arrives in Jerusalem and he and and he begins his his journey there. Verse ten, he tells us how he's going to respond to the crisis. He says, When David, when Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observation of the law of the Lord and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. You see, Ezra understood that the character of a leader is found in the proclamation of the truth of God's Word, that there's a central city of the Word of God, that spiritual leadership requires. Individuals who have a firm grasp on Scripture says He devoted himself to study and then to teach its decrees to see individuals. Leaders of characters are are individuals who know the word of God and apply the word of God first to their own life. Then the next great leader was John. John the Baptist. John the Baptist comes on the scene to prepare the way. But as John's character is really revealed to us in John chapter four. Excuse me, John, Chapter three. In John Chapter three, we see the character that drove John the Baptist four, he says in response to his disciples who are jealous of the increased popularity of Christ, then the popularity of the followers of Christ. And and that was resulting in a decline in the popularity of John the Baptist.

[00:33:18] And so his disciples, John the Baptist followers, were getting jealous of this. And so John gathers them together, and this is what he tells them in John chapter. Chapter three, verse 30, he says, He must become greater and I become less. Essential to leadership is the recognition that we are subservient to Christ and that the focus is not to draw attention to ourselves. It is to draw attention to Christ. It's not to draw attention even to our church or our denomination. It's to draw attention to Christ, is to build his kingdom. See, that's a heart of character. Because character requires humility. Christ, perhaps the greatest fear? Not, perhaps, but who was the greatest leader of all? Really a model of humility. In Matthew Chapter 11, we see the humility of Christ. Modeled for us is a quality of leadership. And versus 25 and 30, he says. At that time, Jesus said, I will praise you, Father, Heaven of Lord of Heaven and Earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children. Yet your father, this is good for the for your pleasure. Good pleasure. All things have been committed to me by my father. No one knows the son except the father. No one knows the father except the son. And those to whom the son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burned and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. And I will am a gentle and humble in heart. And you will find rest for your souls. For my soul is my yoke is easy and my burden is light. You see, we live in a society that glorifies pride, glorifies arrogance.

[00:35:27] But in contrast, Christ models for us humility. And that's not itself a basement and they're not putting ourselves down, but rather the humility that he models is putting the needs of others above our own. So that as we come to leadership, we come to the table at a board meeting. We come not with our agenda, but rather with a desire to help others grow in Christ. Paul describes that humility in Philippians chapter two. Christ models it when he washes the disciples feet in John Chapter 13. You see, leadership requires humility. Humility that that focuses upon the needs of others and ministering to their needs. And then the task of character really is summed up by Paul. And we think of Paul and what he writes. And first Timothy, Chapter three and Titus, Chapter one versus five through nine. As Paul gives this this grocery list, if you would, of character qualities that we are to possess. Really, what he's saying is that a leader is someone who models and demonstrates spiritual maturity. They're not perfect. It's not his description. There is not this idealistic perfection that none of us can meet. It's rather that we are demonstrating spiritual growth and maturity. We're passionate about Christ. We're passionate about living out our faith before Christ. And then in First Peter chapter one. Peter likewise sums it up when he says that the heart of a of a godly leader is someone who has right motives. And first, Peter. He says this in chapter. Chapter five, the first Peter, Chapter five, verses two and three. He says, Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care serving as overseers, not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be, not greedy for money, but eager to serve, not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being the example for the flock.

[00:37:53] You see that setting aside and saying We're here not for what we get, but we're here to serve. If we are involved in ministry and involved in leadership because we want to see it as a way to get our recognition within the church enhanced, we're there for the wrong reason. We need godly character. That's where it begins. Because when we're when we have godly character and leadership, we're going to have influence. We're going to be able to lead the people in transformation. We're going to lead the church in organizational clarity. We're going to be clear on what the scripture teaches. We're going to lead the church to spiritual maturity and the intent that God has, and we're going to lead the church in spiritual and organizational and congregational unity. The church is not going to be divided because the board is not divided. The board is united. Since we think about leadership, we think about character. First of all, we have to examine our own life. We have to look and say, Well, are we modeling these character qualities in our life? But then we have to examine not only our character, but we also have to examine our conduct on the board when we come together as a board. Is it these qualities that govern everything that we do so that there is a consistency between the character that we claim we possess and then how we act and respond as we serve on the board? Without character, we have no foundation of leadership.