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Tag: leadership

The Incredible Pact of David & Jonathan

Today we are jumping back into our study of the book of 1 Samuel. And it’s been awhile, so before we get into today’s passage, we probably need a quick review of what we talked about last.

We’re currently at chapter 18 of 1 Samuel, and the young lad David, has just defeated in quite a heroic fashion, the Philistine giant Goliath. But David should have never even been in this battle. King Saul was the Israelite champion – and if anyone should have stepped up to fight the Philistine giant, it should have been him! However, it seems fear had solid grip on Saul and all of his men, and none of them had the courage to face Goliath in battle.

As for David, he was only at the battlefield to deliver some goods to his brothers (who were in Saul’s army)  and to bring back the latest news to his father. But when David heard Goliath’s defiant boasts against the Lord and he saw how no one dared to stop him, David took action and asked to go fight the giant.

Even though David wasn’t even old enough to be in the army, he was still confident that God would help him defeat the Philistine champion. After all, God had helped him defeat both lions and bears in hand-to-hand combat on multiple occasions while he was protecting his father’s sheep.

And so after some time, after seeing David’s confidence, King Saul agreed to let David fight Goliath. And, well, you know the story.

Armed with just a sling and five stones, David killed Goliath and cut off his head with Goliath’s own sword – and the entire Philistine army fled from the Israelites who chased them all the way home.

It’s one of the most famous stories the entire Bible.

But we need to remember that the story of David & Goliath doesn’t just stand alone. It’s actually just a chapter of the bigger story of King David – and David is just a chapter in the bigger story of God’s interactions with His people. 

And that’s what we’re going to see in our passage today.

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Passing the Baton

This morning we’ll be looking at 1 Samuel chapter 12 – which is often labeled in our Bibles as Samuel’s Farewell Address. Samuel had led the people of Israel for most of His life now – not as their king, but as judge, prophet, and priest. And on this day, Samuel would pass the baton of leadership to their newly chosen King, King Saul.

And I know we’ve been making this transition for a while now – we started back in chapter 8 when all the people of Israel asked God to give them a king to lead them. Even though God was their king and He had led them faithfully for several centuries – now the people wanted a human king to lead them. And so God decided to give them what they asked for. He had Samuel privately anoint Saul as their king in chapter 10. Then, to make the public announcement some time after that, Samuel gathered together all the people of Israel and through the process of casting sacred lots to reveal God’s will, Saul was chosen and proclaimed as King.

And while most of the people were eager to embrace Saul as their king, some of the people were a little more hesitant. In fact, some were openly opposed – they didn’t feel like Saul had what it took to be king. But all that changed in chapter 11 as Saul led the Israelites into battle against King Nahash of the Ammonites. God gave Saul a tremendous victory and all the people finally affirmed that Saul was indeed God’s good choice to be their King.

And so now, with all of Israel firmly in support of their new King Saul, Samuel prepares to complete the transition and pass the baton of leadership to the next generation.

Then Samuel addressed all Israel: “I have done as you asked and given you a king. 2 Your king is now your leader. I stand here before you—an old, gray-haired man—and my sons serve you. I have served as your leader from the time I was a boy to this very day. 3 Now testify against me in the presence of the Lord and before his anointed one. Whose ox or donkey have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe and perverted justice? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong.” 1 Samuel 12:1-3

As this chapter begins, Samuel, the judge of Israel, holds court one last time. And in essence, he puts himself on trial. Actually, as you read through the chapter, there are three parties that will be examined for guilt – but he begins with himself. He invites the Israelites to testify against him – to point out any way that he has wronged them. And if he has done wrong, then he vows to make it right.

And this is something that we just don’t see in most of our leaders today. How many leaders can you think of that would willingly subject themselves to the accusations of an entire nation? How many would choose to go on trial and answer for any wrongs that they may have committed during their time in leadership? If you follow the news, it seems most leaders invest a great deal of time avoiding such things!

But not Samuel. He invites scrutiny and accountability. He welcomes public examination of his life and ministry. What kind of man does that?

Well, I’ll you what kind of man does that – a man of integrity! A man who keeps short accounts. A man who – when he does something wrong – he quickly admits it and makes it right before things go any further.

I don’t think Samuel was perfect or sinless. In fact, I’m sure of it! I’m sure he made his fair share of mistakes in life. He sinned just like everyone else. After all, the Bible tells us clearly that all of us have sinned – I’m sure Samuel was no exception! But what allowed Samuel stand before the nation with complete integrity is that He when he sinned, he immediately dealt with it. He didn’t hide it. He didn’t deny it. He didn’t justify it. But rather he confessed, he repented, and he made things right.

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Drenching Your Home in The Gospel

This week I happened to see the headline for an article in Psychology Today – and the title was “Why Would Anyone Want To Be A Leader?”

And that’s a good question! Being a leader is hard. I know many of you have been in some type of leadership role and you know that being a leader comes with a lot of challenges, it comes with stress and frustration, and you have to deal with a lot of difficult stuff. The article focused mostly on how hard it was in the workplace to lead and keep employees motivated and on task  and all that stuff – but I think leadership in any realm is hard.

In church. At school. In the community. On a team of some sort. In your family. Leadership of any kind is hard.

So why, as this article asked, would anyone want to be a leader? And I bring this up today because the answer to that question is really what we want to talk about today as we continue talking about the church in your house.

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The Husband’s Role – Christlike Servant Leadership

Last week we began looking at the church in your house! In case you weren’t here and you didn’t realize you even had a church in your house, let me briefly recap what we talked about.

We started off with the reminder that as followers of Jesus Christ – we are the church. The church isn’t a building – it’s not a weekly event that we attend. The church is people. It’s God’s people.

So you are the church. I am the church. Anyone who has put their trust in Jesus is the church. And we’re not just the church on Sunday mornings. We are the church 24/7 – 365 days a year.

We’re the church on Sundays and on Mondays. We’re the church here at the hall and we’re the church in your living room. Where ever you find followers of Jesus – that’s where you find the church.

That means, that if you are a Christian today – then there is a church in your house. Perhaps not at this exact moment because you’re here right now – but when you are at home (which is the majority of the time) there is a church in your house.

And so my question to you last week was, “Does the church in your house look like the church that meets in this hall?”

You hear about athletes putting on their game face – well, I think Christians often put on their church face. When we arrive here Sunday mornings, we all look good and righteous and God-honoring and all that… (We’re not yelling or cussing or fighting with each other) And that’s all fine and good, but when we go home, we take off the church-face and we resume our ‘normal life’ – which unfortunately, is often really no different than any one else in the world.

But God did not call us to be the church for one hour each Sunday morning. We are to be the church every hour of every day all year round. In fact, I would argue that it’s maybe even more important that we live like the church at home more than anywhere else because that is where our lives will have the most impact. We will have more influence on our families than we will on anyone else.

Our role in the church in our house is way more significant than any role any of us will ever play in our local congregation.

So it’s really important that we understand what our role is and what our responsibilities are in the church in our house. Because if you don’t take up your role and your responsibilities in the church in your house – then who will? No one.

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Leadership Roles in the Church

This morning we begin chapter three of 1 Timothy. We are about midway through our Call of Duty series – our look at Paul’s letter to Timothy to find our responsibilities as Christians. I don’t know how you feel about this sermon series so far, but for me – it has been very challenging. It has been challenging to study and try to learn just what it is that God wants us to know through this book. It’s been challenging to then accurately pass that lesson on to you – to make sure that what I’m preaching is what the Bible says – not my own ideas or the ideas of the culture around us. And then it’s been challenging to apply all this to my own life and to the life of our church. So as I said, It’s been a very challenging series for me – and I hope you’ve been challenged as well.

Now today, I think we are going to continue to be challenged. Today we are going to be looking a little more in depth at God’s design for the leadership of the church. Now of course, Christ is the head of the church. He is our ultimate authority in all things. We can read about that in Ephesians 5 or 1 Corinthians 11. But I think we all understand and accept that, so I won’t spend spend a lot of time on that point. But where I want to look this morning is at the human leadership of the church. How has God designed the church leadership to function? What are the roles that God has set out for us? And are we following God’s design in our church? And what difference does it make in your life anyway? These are the questions we want to look at this morning. So let’s being with a word of prayer.

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Jonah’s Lunch

Building a fire in the riverThe objective of this team building exercise is simple – hard boil an egg. The catch is that it is to be boiled in the middle of a river. This is a great team building exercise that requires not only teamwork, but also ingenuity, perseverance, and some fire starting skills.

How It Works

Each team starts with one egg, one tin can, and one matchbook. They are given an area in which them must hard boil their egg. Usually the water should be about knee deep, but you can adjust the depth according to your location and your particular group. The deeper the water, the greater the difficulty – especially in moving water.

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