Spiritual Life of the Leader - Lesson 18

Christian Anthropology (Part 2/2)

It's important to keep Christ at the center of who you are. Interiority includes memory, intellect, will. Augustine says will is most important.In addition to our personal thoughts, we exist in community with others who are submitting their lives to the will of Christ. The Lord has placed us in a certain place and time and wants you to live a life of obedience in that context every day, not just one day a week. The Father is seeking to form your life into the image of Christ as you were meant to be. Through our experiences, God forms you into a unique person. On the relational side, this results in compassion for others because we love others with the same love we experienced. God gives us confidence that he has given us the gifts and resources we need to live out the calling he has given us. Competence that our ministry will be effective. Our courage comes from trusting in the strength of the Lord. Community, the work of God’s Church is a work done with others. Confirmation comes internally from God and externally from the community of faith. 

Stephen Martyn
Spiritual Life of the Leader
Lesson 18
Watching Now
Christian Anthropology (Part 2/2)

Christian Anthropology (Part 2)

I. Field Theory

A. Mystery of God as revealed through Christ

B. Your interior life

C. Your relational life

D. Your here and now life

E. You are a global citizen

II. Implications of the Field Theory in Your Daily Life

A. At the center is the mystery of the Trinity

B. Congenial

C. Compassion

D. Confidence

E. Competence

F. Courage

G. Community

H. Cooperation

I. Confirmation

J. Tension between firmness and gentleness

III. Conclusion

A. How do you keep a balance between working on internal issues and community issues?

B. Cooperation with the Spirit as well as cooperation with others

  • Dr. Martyn has surveyed church leaders around the world to understand their responsibilities and pressures. He aims to use his experience to help them develop a model of ministry that encourages spiritual formation, discipleship, and worship in a healthy way. His class is comprehensive on topics such as spiritual formation, discipleship, leadership principles, and worship. Listening to this class could benefit anyone regardless of whether they have an official leadership position or not.
  • This lesson covers the involvement of Christians in societal issues, using historical examples and emphasizing the balance of Christ's work for and in believers, while critiquing modern church practices and advocating for active ministry participation by all members.
  • This lesson teaches the importance of balancing Christian service with receptivity to God's word, using the story of Martha and Mary to illustrate the need for prioritizing spiritual union with Christ over mere activity, emphasizing the consequences of a divided heart and the necessity of both justification and sanctification.
  • Learn to identify red flags in your ministry, distinguish between serving God and personal ambition, and address anxiety, self-pity, and control issues by trusting God and adopting humility.
  • Understand the theological concept that your essence is divinely created and precedes your existence, contrasting this with Sartre's existentialism, and learn the importance of receiving God's guidance over defining your life by accomplishments.
  • Learn to critically evaluate your motives, distinguish between self-serving and God-serving actions, understand the role of community in avoiding self-deception, recognize the significance of Christ's atonement, handle red flags, and balance people's expectations with God's calling.
  • The lesson teaches you to balance spiritual renewal and active ministry by self-reflecting on weekly activities, ensuring you receive God's grace and effectively respond to His directives, thus preventing burnout and sustaining a healthy ministry.
  • Learn to live like a reservoir, receiving spiritual replenishment before giving, through prioritizing key practices like prayer and scripture, and avoiding depletion by maintaining a constant spiritual reservoir and making essential practices an integral part of daily life.
  • This lesson teaches you to live by integrating core Christian principles daily, maintaining foundational practices like loving God, building relationships, serving vocally, and caring for your body, while emphasizing the importance of following Jesus closely and avoiding the pitfalls of church leadership.
  • Learn about the eight deadly sins, their historical and spiritual context, and the importance of overcoming them through spiritual disciplines, while illustrating the consequences of these sins through biblical examples, especially emphasizing the dangers of anger and depreciation of God's goodness.
  • Learn about dealing with inordinate sadness and grief in ministry, understanding the importance of acknowledging suffering, supporting others compassionately, handling difficult relationships with integrity, and addressing unresolved anger constructively.
  • You learn the importance of gratitude, the dangers of sadness and acedia, the need for internal well-being through a relationship with God, and the power of infused hope in overcoming ministry challenges.
  • Gain insights into the dangers of vainglory and pride, the importance of humility, prayer, and community support, and the significance of recognizing God's sovereignty in overcoming self-centeredness and narcissism.
  • Integrating sermon teachings into your heart is crucial, all sins are deadly, and you should submit worries to God, rejoice, and take every thought captive for Christ, using early church wisdom to overcome temptations like gluttony for spiritual growth.
  • This lesson teaches you how to identify and combat the eight deadly sins using virtues like temperance, chaste love, poverty of spirit, meekness, appreciation, infused faith, hope, love, and humility, relying on divine grace to transform these vices into a deeper spiritual life.
  • Understand that crises, whether personal or ministry-related, are opportunities for spiritual growth by seeking God's refuge, understanding forced detachment crises, maintaining healthy life rhythms, and recognizing divine purification amidst challenges.
  • This lesson teaches how crises reveal the light of Christ, illustrating the transformative power of faith through biblical examples and personal experiences, emphasizing reliance on God's resources and presence, and portraying ministry as a pressure cooker demanding quick maturity and resilience.
  • Explore Christian anthropology, understanding God's image in us, and the dimensions of human life, roles, and spiritual longings, emphasizing the balance between physical, functional, and spiritual aspects guided by the Holy Spirit.
  • This lesson continues the study of Christian anthropology through Adrian Von Comm's field theory, emphasizing Christ at the center of interconnected aspects of human existence—interior, relational, here and now, and global life—encouraging balance, cooperation with the Holy Spirit, and harmonious Christian living.
  • Learn that as a leader, worship is central to your role, involving a holistic response to God's love and guidance, emphasizing discipleship, biblical understanding, and aligning with God's purpose through praise and adoration, preventing apathy and enriching your leadership journey.
  • Understand that true worship according to the New Testament is about honoring and serving God alone, avoiding idolatry, and leading a life of genuine service and love toward Him, while recognizing and addressing the major obstacles to authentic worship within contemporary church practices.
  • Understand the importance of genuine worship leadership, personal worship alignment, the significance of historical church traditions, the dangers of overloaded worship services, and the mission to uphold true worship against global falsehoods.
  • Learn about the core aspects of worship in Revelation 4, emphasizing humility, submission, and the connection between future and present worship, encouraging heartfelt adoration and genuine worship practices in church leadership.
  • Learn how a leader's spiritual life impacts their ministry, the necessity of comprehensive discipleship, the integration of gospel content into daily life, and the importance of articulating and practicing core theological doctrines.
  • Explore the dynamic nature of spiritual life and leadership, emphasizing shifts from traditional to transformative ministry, clergy-centered to congregation-empowered roles, and solo to team leadership, advocating mature discipleship and active laity engagement.
  • Learn the importance of integrating sermons into discipleship, focusing on high commitment, contextualization, personal mentoring, and a family-like atmosphere, while emphasizing biblical and theological grounding for a solid foundation.
  • Biblical and theological grounding, genuine discipleship, and the formation of life-giving dispositions are crucial for spiritual growth and active participation in God's mission, leading to personal joy, communal fulfillment, and a global impact.

What do you think the priorities should be for a leader in the Church? How do you cultivate your personal spiritual life in a way that keeps you emotionally healthy and helps you avoid choosing sin? What is your measure of success for your church? How does that compare with a biblical measure of success? What is a disciple? What should the process of discipleship look like? What principles can you learn from the way Jesus interacted with his followers that will help you to encourage spiritual formation of the people in your sphere of influence? What are sins that people in leadership have commonly struggled with over the past 2,000 years? How do you recognize them in your own life and what are some practical ways to avoid them or repent and recover from them? What is the essence of worship? How do you live your life so you are worshipping God authentically in everything you do? How do you lead worship in a group setting in a way that encourages others to worship authentically? 

These are a few of the questions that Dr. Martyn poses to begin a conversation regarding the subject of the spiritual life of the leader. As a pastor for more than 20 years, Dr. Martyn asked and answered these questions in the context of loving and serving people personally. As part of his current position of teaching future pastors at Asbury seminary, he and some of his colleagues have conducted extensive surveys of church leaders throughout the North America and the world to get a better understanding of the responsibilities and pressures that church leaders face every day. His goal is to be able to understand biblical principles and use his experience to help leaders develop a model of ministry that helps them develop their personal spiritual life and give them a model to disciple and encourage the people they work with in a way that is healthy and encourages their faith and practice. 

Whether you have an official leadership position or not, you will benefit from listening to this class. It is one of the most comprehensive classes on spiritual formation, discipleship, leadership principles and worship that you will ever hear. If you listen and reflect on each of the lectures from beginning to end, you will be glad you did. 

Dr. Stephen Martyn
Spiritual Life of a Leader
Christian Anthropology (Part 2/2)
Lesson Transcript


[00:00:00] Okay. Welcome back. I wanna keep on with our exploration into Christian anthropology. I realize that this may be a new and strange area for you to venture into. I also realize that Adrian Von Comm is not the only person who felt like anthropology was important. Actually, Dallas Willard spent quite a bit of time and energy working on this. There are any number of others through church history who have worked on anthropology and and I'm not saying and neither did Adrian Walcott and say that his was the only view. I just found it to be very, very helpful in my own ministry and my own understanding. I mean, these things are like Matrix that I have in my own mind and in my own heart when I'm ministering to people, when I'm speaking, when I'm teaching. So what I want to do now is look at von coms field theory. Now, what in the world did he mean by his field theory? This was inspired, I think, by his own adventures into quantum physics and understanding that there's a whole field of energy in the physical universe. Now things spin around other things. Things that are connected that we think are not connected. Please, I'm not talking in a spiritual, mystic standpoint here at all. The tests that I'm talking about are actual quantum physics. So let's look at how he helped many people, myself included, to keep Christ at the center of who I am and to connect all things back into this amazing focus in this May amazing reality of the one who holds all things the whole world, the universe, all things are held together in him. Now, again, I want to point you to the text Understanding Our Story, which is a Christian anthropology by Rebecca Letterman and Susan Meto.


[00:02:38] And in this session I'm going to actually go to pages 14 and and and pass it where they put up the field model. So let's start out the way that they do by putting the center of this model in place so that all things are going to be held together by the center. Let me get their exact language here. So it is the divine forming and pre forming mystery. Again, don't make that anything mystical. It's just simply the revelation of Christ as revealed in in through the incarnation of Christ and the word that has been given to us. So let's just simply put the Cairo here at the middle. This is the mystery of God, as revealed through Christ, is going to be at the middle of this field where all things will come not only out from Christ, but will return to him. And we start out then with our interior life. And this is going to be a pole. There's going to be four poles here. But our interior life. Now, What do you mean by our interior life? You know, this is when you talk about interiority. You're talking about memory. You're talking about intellect. You're talking about will All of these things unfold at any moment in our interior in our interior life. They write the area of life where we receive and give form to our personal directives, thoughts, feelings, modes and decisions. So there's a whole, you know, sphere of the human life that is unfolding around our own thoughts, feelings, modes, directions, direct decisions. So Van com conceived of the human Heart, which she termed the core form as a relatively stable configuration of character dispositions. What in the world are they talking about? This is where all these different the disciplines are built up, the disposition to be kind and loving and thoughtful, the disposition to grow, the disposition to learn, the disposition to be loving and compassionate.


[00:05:45] You see what I'm doing. All of these things are are a part of the unique gift that you most deeply are. It's called the intra sphere or your own interiority. This probably the most important thing here, at least according to Augustine, is our will. It's the decision making process. So by orientation of will, you know, what we're talking about is an openness to that transcendent meaning of life that we were talking about in the last time. In other words, we're open to the invitations that are coming from the Holy Spirit to to form our lives in a certain way. All right. All of that is processed there. I think it'll it'll help you when you when you see get the let me get the whole picture up there for you so that you can see the the different spheres. Then, you know, there are some who would. And I actually just cut it off right here. And of course, we would call that a me and Jesus mentality. And it would be a very truncated, you know, kind of a tragically truncated view of our lives. There's also a major relational component of every human life. I mean, is anyone born in isolation? Does anybody live a singular life? Well, maybe a few, but most certainly that's not what the Lord designed. So over on this pole is what's called our relational. Life. My life is not merely caught up in my own thoughts and feelings. Sometimes feels like it, but I'm also part of a community. So just think about this. This would be family, friends, coworkers. This is going to be the fact that I live in a live in relationship of various levels of depth, but I live in relationship with a whole lot of people and even my life in relationship with others in the church.


[00:08:48] So this is this In end, the interrelatedness of life is huge. It's absolutely huge. Look, it's not just, you know, this vertical thing with me and God. There's always there's always a, you know, a horizon or part of who we are. Just think about this. It's the body of Christ as well. I am placed in the minute. I submit my life to the Lord Super Christ. That's the minute I am placed in communion with everyone else who submits their life to the Lordship of Christ. You know, historically, the church has called this the communion of the saints, and that communion is both with the saints in heaven as the triumphant saints as well as the saints on Earth. We're part of that same body as we submit our lives to the will of Christ. All right. Now, there's two other polls. There's also a really, really critical pole, which we tend to eliminate. And it is our here. And now. Life. I mean, this is where we are. This is where we put our place. This is the situation. Or people are here and now. Life. So what does this mean? This means that the Lord has has placed me in a certain time, in a certain situation, and He wants me to unfold a life of obedience to him in this certain place and certain time. If you're a student in school, then here's where he's called you to thrive. Here's where he's called you to be right there, right in that school, giving your best for the Lord, even as you stay in relationship with others. But here's where the work of your life is to unfold. And, of course, you know, of course, this this area will involve you just got to think in terms every day.


[00:11:33] That's the deal. So when Christianity is only thought about, only taught, only practiced on one day, you do not have true Christianity. This is our every hour here and lie here and now life. This is our every day life where we are unfolding, seeking to unfold in fidelity to how and where Christ has placed us. Well, you say, Well, that's enough. No. Let's get one more area. Let's fill in. He had one more pole where he wanted us to to understand the fact that we are global citizens. So this top pole is our global life, our global. I am not here just necessarily to serve one particular locale, although in practicality that's often how it works itself out. But even my service of love in one particular locale in the truest sense of the word, can and will have global implications. It's the world sphere. What is saying, what is what is pressing us in saying to us is, look, you're not called to live in isolation in insulation. And what you do here actually today, what you do here actually today may have impact on others halfway around the world. Again, just think in terms of the largeness of salvation. It's it's it's meant for all people and it's meant for us to see ourselves as having the potential of reflecting his love to all people globally. Now, let's work this thing out and let's get get let's just go down a little bit deeper in all of this and see how these things are meant to impact and work together. Now, I want to I want to peel this back and go back to go back into this a little bit more deeply and and following along the model and see, okay, what is this? What does this field theory mean for me, living an everyday life and seeking to live and obedient life that's connected with the Lord? Well, first of all, let's just look at the very center of all it is into the mystery of the Trinity.


[00:14:53] And and what do we have here at the very center of this? We have nothing less than adoration. And oh, where you see Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Father loves the son, and the father pours his life out into the son. And the son responds to that love and the son and the son returns that love. And to the father and the bond between them is so incredibly strong. The bond between them is its own person. The kiss of peace between father and son is nothing other than the Holy Spirit. So the three in one this this is at the center of all that it is. And Father, Son and Holy Spirit are giving form to all that is. So when we talk about when Von Kahn would talk, this is what Von Karman meant when he talked about the divine forming mystery of God. The father is seeking to form your life into the image of Christ that you were meant to be. Just think about it now. Think about it. What if what if in the uniqueness that you are in, the uniqueness the two are created to be? And this is most certainly not the original thought to me, but what if when you get into heaven you are actually going to instruct the rest of the heavenly host about a particular aspect of the nature of God? So that's the body of Christ, the whole body together, each member of the body of Christ not absorbed in some washed out sea of nirvana. No. Each unique, each distinct, each recognizable, but each bearing a unique part of the image of God and each reflecting that image. So. So what? What this is saying is that God is seeking to grow us into maturity, and maturity is in the body of Christ to find our place, to know our place to live, our place.


[00:17:49] And so in our whole interior life, then according to Von come, it's it's going to be congenial. What do you mean? In other words, it's going to be it's going to be it's going to be who he's created me to be. It's according to its genius. In other words, with its genius, this is the note the Lord created me to play. This is the the symphony he's invited me to be part of. He's the director. I've got an instrument to play. And through his grace in my own interiority, I'm learning how to do that. All of those crises and all that we've been talking about earlier can unfold into a deep sense of knowing the deep. Yes, that deep is yes, this is what I've this is what I was created to do. This is who he wants me. This is how he wants me to reflect his glory. This these are the notes he wants me to sing over on the relational side. What begins to unfold is a true sense of loving compassion. For others, that sense of loving others with the same God type love that I have received. Then down on the situated area where He specifically placed me. Then what begins to unfold is a genuine and humble, a genuine and humble sense of confidence. The confidence that. All right. I can I can step into what he's called me to be. If he's called me to be a pastor, then I can. He can. He will. He has. He's given me these gifts and so humble myself and allow others to speak into my life wherever his place, me, I, I can. I can well handle the things of God. No arrogance here. No, No arrogance, but a sense that, yes, I can fly the airplane.


[00:20:28] He's asked me and I thank him for that ability. I praise him for that, that that confidence that this is this is where I'm supposed to be. Now, in like manner when you look up on the global and where I'm I'm called to to impact the world for his sake, then there is a sense of competence, confidence in the good work of God and in the work he's doing, which results in competence, in the expressions that I share with others, the ministry that I am doing for others. Now, always, always, always. These things are going to be marked by courage. We become some 27 people who were taking the strength of the Lord, were taking the courage of the Lord. Always, always, always. These things are going to be marked by community. The work of God's church is a work done with others who are in Christ as well. I'm not called to lead out a singularity. I'm called to lead as a team, to be a member of a team, to be a member of the body of Christ where I'm loving others. Along those same lines, there is a there's a sense of cooperation, loving cooperation. You know, and even deep hospitality is going to go in here where I'm learning to work with others in not just in a compassionate way, but to work well with them, to learn how to work as a team. And then over here, I think what we're going to see unfold between our immediate situated place and our own interiority, we're going to have a sense of Khan formation and everybody needs this. What's confirmation? You know, it's not only an interior sense of a confirming interior sense that the Lord really is at work in my life, but the community itself will affirm that.


[00:23:23] And that's why it's so important for us to be Barnabas people, people who love and encourage others and seek to move them through our encouragement into the competence that Christ has for them. Now, there's going to be a balance through all of this. Definitely. Definitely. On the on the personal side, we're going to have to see the firm ness of Christ at play over here. What is that? In other words, I'm firm here. When I am given the task, I'm called to stay with it, not to be divided in so many directions that I cannot do that or so unfocused in life that I cannot accomplish the vocational calling of my life. But yet all firmness makes for a very mean person. You know, not a fun not a fun person to be around. So on the other side, on the relational side, then I'm called to carry that delicate balance also of gentleness. So gentleness is saying that, you know what basically is having mercy on the fallen of others. Delicate balance, firmness, gentleness. If you fall off too far on the gentle side, then you're never really going to be able to speak any kind of a word or any kind of a corrective word or any kind of a directing word into somebody. It's all going to be, Oh, that's okay, honey, don't worry about it. And that, in the long run is not necessarily helpful. If you fall off too heavy on the firm side, then you're going to come across as overbearing. Hard to get along with. Nobody is going to want to be around you. So it's a both. And here, that sweet, sweet, delicate balance between firmness and gentleness. So in conclusion, what is this thing? What is this thing saying to me? I'm bringing every aspect of my life into the same adoration at all.


[00:26:09] Going on in the Holy Trinity. I'm bringing all things in submission to Christ every area of my life. I'm taking the courage to the Lord. I'm living in community. I'm seeking to genuinely get along with others. You know, Paul had something. Paul had quite a bit to say about this. I am both offering confirmation for others and I am receiving confirmation from others. And then these different these different things then begin to work in harmony together. The early church loved, especially Augustine, loved the word concentrate from sonar to sound in common with, you know, it's that harmonious sounding together of all the parts. Well, that that makes for happiness, holiness and happiness. Holiness and happiness always go hand in hand. The harmonious sounding together of all of the parts may the harmonious sounding together of all the parts, be an increasing reality in your life. So let's reflect on this and see where we are and what our questions. I just was thinking, and this is maybe just another way to say it, is that again, at a very practical level for a pastor going true to his work, that it's really one where you you have to look at each of the four corners. Yes. And ask yourself, is this in balance in my life? Am I am I doing nothing but working on my competence? But I don't have any compassion on people. I mean, different pastors will have different sets of gifts that will allow them to be stronger in one area or another. Yeah, yeah. But all need need to have that balance of all of us. Is that another way to say the same thing? Well, and let's let's follow through. So if I'm spending, for instance, all of my time with people, well, we're called we're called love people, We're called spend time with people.


[00:28:32] Jesus himself spent quite a bit of time with people. But if I'm spending the vast majority of my time with people to the exclusion of having interiority time, you know, time where I am alone out on the hillside with the father in prayer, where I am taking the time to hear from the Lord, not just to hear in order to preach his sermon, which we want you to hear before you preach, but not just for a functional aspect, but to honestly hear and to be so immersed in God's Word that I'm allowing the word to speak to me first. And I don't just go to the word to get a sermon. It's a both in. So yeah, I love it. Bill What you're saying we're doing, we're doing a both and we're balancing, you know, am I so caught up in the functional side of where I'm situated that I neglect my own family or my own friends? Whatever. Yeah, you're you're right. So very, very good insight. Thank you. Any other questions for we on? Yes. So the cooperation you mentioned cooperation relating to people and co-op. Riding with people. But I see it for myself. I thought when when you put that up for me, what speaks to me is cooperating with the Holy Spirit. O in the action of, you know, how he's trying to intervene in my life to help bring the balance to cooperate in that as well as, you know, relationally with people, but to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Yeah, I mean, you just open up a huge door, but it's so important. I mean, in our in our work with with people, we want to be that's ultimately what we want to do. We want to be side by side with others cooperating with the Holy Spirit.


[00:30:33] This is how the Holy Spirit will cease to go. And in our work with people, whether you're in congregational leadership, church leaders, super, whether you're running a family at home, you know, when you find yourself always pressing against people as as a disposition, you know, you're always having to come against. Now don't do that. Don't do that. Of course, any mother of young children, that might be a little bit of an exception. You do have to guard and God the little children. But but no, I'm talking about later on when there's no cooperation, what is always pressing, you know, who wants to work with a person like that? That's not that's not good. Or look at the other hand, my movement. So you're always flying away from people. You know, you don't want to take a chance of. You definitely don't want to be in any kind of conflict with them. You avoid conflict, so you fly away. Or look at the other hand, let's say you're always just trying to meld with somebody and say, Oh, whatever you want, you know, wouldn't it be nice if a certain wife would would do that at least every now and then? But no, I'm kidding. There are times when I do need to come again. There are times when I need to get away. There are times when I need to meld, you know, to just give way and say whatever you know, you say, but not disposition, not, not, not to slip into those horrible want. So I think Dianne's right to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. How do you want this situation to unfold? That's that's what I'm after. That's what an obedient daughter and son of the Lord does. This is so good.


[00:32:24] I bless you in the name of Christ and pray you will as you process anthropology. Most of all, what we're doing is focusing on our Lord and seeking to bear all aspects of our lives the personal life, the communal life, the situated life, the mondial, or the greater global life, all of that. We're bringing that into submission to Christ. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you. May the Lord be gracious unto you and give you His peace. Amen.