Thoughts from the weekend:
We had a great weekend with Alton Garrison, the Assistant General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God.
Friday evening, Alton spoke to our ministry leaders. Powerful stuff. The title of the teaching was, "Becoming The Right Team Player". He gave the five qualities of a team player and a definition of team.
He stated, "A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable."
For Pastor Garrison, Team would be:
T - Trust
E - empowerment
A - accountability
M - Mentoring
Some of his thoughts (with my paraphrase):
Character is more important than skill.
While we respect faithfulness in church life, we must look also for fruitfulness in determining the competency of a volunteer.
Chemistry is more important than we think it is in creating a valuable team.
Past performance is a predictor of future behavior.
Saturday morning, Alton conferred and taught our pastors, deacons and elders. Again, important principles in kingdom work.
The title of his teaching was, "Leading For The Future."
He mentioned something that I have taught and tried to practice over the years. The "higher up" we go in Kingdom work concerning position, the more our rights diminish and the more our responsibilities increase.
As a leader we give up our right to be unforgiving, dictatorial, disloyal, moody, a whiner, vindictive, we give up our right to be right.
Everyone who visits our church community for the first time has a lot of rights. They have a right to sit in the "pew" and listen to the great music and the biblical teaching of the word without a thought toward ministry. They have a right to receive without serving those around them.
But once I enter into Biblical community with a body of followers of Christ, I begin to lay aside my rights and pick up my responsibilities.
Also, when we lead, (in the church or any organization), we can lead by position, where people have to follow us, we can lead by permission, where people like to follow us, we can lead by production or by what we have done, we can lead by personal development or reproduction, but the highest form of leadership is by personhood or respect.
Each step must be taken to become a complete leader - IN SEQUENCE.
Sunday morning, Alton shared about hope. And what really struck me was that many times when we feel "estranged" from God or disappointed in Him, it is not our faith that begins to dissipate, but our hope.
Faith is a belief in God, a belief in the Word of God.
Hope is an emotion.
That's an encouragement to you and I as we walk through times when we wonder, "Where is God," or "Why, God, did you allow this to happen to me" and we begin to question God and question the validity of our relationship with Him.
Our questioning many times does not come from our lack of belief in God or His Word, but from our lack of hope, our disappointments in the way that He works in our lives.
Faith is a belief; hope is an emotion.
As the old hymn of the church goes, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness."