All of us know Bill gates… here is a story about him…
Bill Gates in Heaven
God called three individuals to announce his intentions toward the human race. At the meeting were George Bush, Vladimir Putin, and Bill Gates. God announced that he was putting an end to the human race in 30 days and that each was to tell their followers.
Vladimir Putin goes back to his followers and tells them, “I have some bad news and some terrible news. The bad news is that our communist ideology was wrong. The terrible news is God is putting an end to everything in thirty days.”
George Bush goes back to his followers and says, “I have some bad news and good news.” The good news is our religion is correct, there is a God. The bad news is that God is putting an end to everything in 30 days.”
Bill Gates goes back to his followers and says, “I have good news and better news. The good news is that I am one of the three most important humans on the planet according to God. The better news is we won’t have to ship the next version of Windows.
We are going to talk about Leadership and we are going to talk about ourselves… so I am not sure how many of you consider this as good news, bad news or worse news.. any way, here it is..
How many of you read the recent story about the new book on Mother Teresa titled “Mother Teresa: Come and be my light”. The book’s title could be innocent, but what it contains is a number of letters written by Mother Teresa to the Church Leaders. What those letters reveal is the doubts that Mother Teresa felt about God’s presence. The news item goes on to claim that Mother Teresa did not feel the presence of God most of the times..
Have you ever wondered why such books make big news? Basically anything which questions the existence of our God gets attention. This gives the people another reason to live their lives as they are doing.. aimlessly.. Have you noticed that this happens mostly with the Christian God and not with the other religions..
Fortunately we know better, we have the Bible… Bible itself contains many people who doubted god’s presence. The Psalmist did it many times , the leaders of bible felt it many times, even JC echoed those very words on the cross… but we also know that God has promised us never to leave us nor forsake us.. however he allows us to doubt, he allows us to question, he allows us to think and come back to him by ourselves.. God has given us freewill and God wants us to choose to worship him by choice, not by force…
That brings me to the subject God wanted me to bring to us for a brief meditation..
What is leadership living.. We know that one of the definitions of leadership is the ability to influence people… Are all of us willing to be leaders? Or do we want to be followers? Bible does call us as the sheep… we will come back to this theme a little later..
Being a Leader is not easy…
Bill Clinton: On Running a Country
So if you are having a problem with people you are not alone. President Clinton once said running a country is a lot like running a cemetery; you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening
This could easily be applied to the home life.. In my home.. I am the boss of the house and I have permission from my wife to say so…
Let us list some of the leaders from the bible. It is interesting to study the leaders of the bible, it brings out such variety .. it takes all types to make the world…
With the Scriptures we have examples of many fine leaders and many not so fine leaders.
Look at Noah. He was leader. He did not have many followers, only 7, but he was still a great leaders. We should realize that the greatness of a leader does not depend on the amount of followers.
Noah was a builder, a builder for God. He did what God told him and lead his family to do the same.
I think of Moses. He was great leader. Also an unwilling leader. Through Moses God gave the Hebrew people the law. Moses lead the people out of the Egypt, through the desert and to the borders of the promise land.
Joshua was another great leader of the Bible. Joshua lead the Hebrew people into the promises land. If you read about Joshua you will see that he was a faithful leader and taught that to the people. He called on the people to serve God.
Most are familiar with Josh. 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
When I think of leaders I think of Nehemiah, another builder for God. If you want to learn about leadership, read the book of Nehemiah, a great book on leadership. Nehemiah was not only a leader who build but one who worked, he set goals, he showed concern, he showed he was ready to fight for what was right, Nehemiah also showed that a godly leader will succeed in the task God has given.
Ezra is another leader in sharp contrast to the style of Nehemiah. Nehemiah led by decisiveness and authority, backed by prayers.. Ezra led by self examination and self sacrifice. Just take a look at the way in which Nehemiah and Ezra tacked the cancer of intermarriages which was threatening to dilute Judaism to the level of extinction. Ezra withdrew, fasted and prayed and cried out to the Lord and made the people realise their mistake and admit the mistake. Nehemiah on the other hand confronted the people who did this and went to extent of slapping some of them.. what contrasting styles indeed…
The New Testament also reveals great leaders. Of course there is Paul. As a leader Paul delegated as we see in our passage for today. As a leader Paul was not afraid of confrontation for truths sake. As a leader Paul had great concern and love for those who were under his authority.
Of course the greatest leader was Jesus Christ, and He still his. The greatest way in which the Lord still leads today is by example. That is the greatest way a leader can lead, by example.
What do these Leaders have in common?
The Greats Don’t Need Hair Cuts
A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your Bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.” After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your Bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut!”
The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair….” To which his father replied, “Yes, and they walked every where they went!”
On a more serious note.. what these leaders had in common is one thing … whenever they lead the people they followed god…. That is where we become the sheep…. These leaders followed god and lead the people.
Titus 1:5 (NIV)
5The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. 6An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7Since an overseer[b] is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
The Message puts it this way…
5-9I left you in charge in Crete so you could complete what I left half-done. Appoint leaders in every town according to my instructions. As you select them, ask, “Is this man well-thought-of? Is he committed to his wife? Are his children believers? Do they respect him and stay out of trouble?” It’s important that a church leader, responsible for the affairs in God’s house, be looked up to—not pushy, not short-tempered, not a drunk, not a bully, not money-hungry. He must welcome people, be helpful, wise, fair, reverent, have a good grip on himself, and have a good grip on the Message, knowing how to use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them in their tracks if they oppose it.
The Qualities listed here are not really outstanding qualities.. they can very well be termed as the hygiene factors in the new management philosophy.. and that is true… we do not need to be special people in the worldly sense, to be leaders in Kingdoms service… or we are all special people.. and what makes us special is that we have all accepted Jesus Christ as our saviour
As Christians we are all leaders, we have not been asked if we want to be, but it comes with the profession of faith in Christ. You are called to lead people to Christ. You are a light in this world.
When the lights go out and you are trying to see with a candle what do you do? You hold it out in front of you and follow behind it. As Christians we need to be out in front lighting this dark world, leading them to Christ.
Some of us may uncomfortable at this thought.. some of us may feel it is the duty of the full time missionaries and pastors to do all this… But the bible tells differently. Dr Chrispal spoke about this a couple of weeks back.. ministry is never a full time work.. ministry is how we uphold the statutes given by our God in our work.
Paul asks Titus to straighten out things.. this reminds me of a story..
A preacher quit the ministry after 20 years and became a funeral director. When asked why he changed, he said: “I spent 3 years trying to straighten out John and John’s still an alcoholic, then I spent 6 months trying to straighten out Susan’s marriage and she filed for divorce, then I spent 2 1/2 years trying to straighten out Bob’s drug problem and he’s still an addict. Now at the funeral home when I straighten them out — they stay straight!”
Paul’s direction to Titus was to go to the different cities and appoint leaders from the congregation.. One thing I like about this church is that… we are a congregation first.. we still do not have a formally appointed pastor but we are regularly ministered to .. we will get a regular pastor some day.. but in the meantime we will continue to minister to the needs of the congregation members.. “All of you would have heard the saying.. if you find a perfect church.. please do not join it.. because the moment you join it . it will become imperfect”
And that is where all of us are required to take up our leadership roles seriously and ask ourselves.. what is it that we need to “straighten” out? How can we move forward in the vision of this congregation that the Lord has entrusted us with..
So how was Titus to go about putting things in order. As we will see, through the teaching of the Scriptures. Through the preaching of the Word of God, not just by him, but by those whom he would appoint as elders.
The problem basically for the people on Crete was that they lacked the knowledge of Biblical principals and the application of those principals. They did not understand about grace, they did understand how to put on the armor of God, they did not know how to worship, and so on and so forth.
Titus would give them what they needed, and all that they needed came from the Word of God.
Can I encourage all of us to look inwards and make a commitment to become leaders .. Leaders for this congregation.. leaders for the Kingdom’s service..
Let us pray.