Category: LCC Vision: Leadership Development

Thank You Lord For The Local Church

We come to the end of yet another ministry year here at LCC and we as Staff and Elders couldn’t be more delighted at all that God has done in your lives and the life of our church family! The only fitting response it praise to the Father, Son, and Spirit for the fruit He produces in His children. We have seen marvelous growth through suffering, sorrow, joy and change. Thank you Lord for the local church called Leroy Chapel. We see you at work and we take no credit, simply ask for your glory to be on display more and more in the coming days!

This year in our Elder Blog we focused on the Vision Statement of Leroy Chapel – “To prayerfully advance Christ’s kingdom through: evangelizing, teaching, leadership development, and building the community of Gods people for the glory of God.” Our desire has been to help “work out” that vision with additional teaching each week that gets us all thinking about our role in the mission and vision of the church. We hope we served you well. If you have time, read back through some of the entries you may have missed. They are all tagged by the categories of  “LCC Vision”. But most of all, pray for God to do above and beyond what we could ask or imagine at your local church this summer and in the upcoming ministry year. We make plans, but God directs our steps, and we wouldn’t want it any other way!

  • Mark Spansel

Sacrificial Serving

“To see the Church strengthen every person so that they invest in the equipping others, through: serving sacrificially in every area of life.”

The sacrificial service of a Christian, pouring themselves into the life of another, for the advancement of God’s Kingdom, is highest form of discipleship. In the business world, the term to describe this activity is mentorship, where the experienced leader works directly with the novice to develop useful skills that advances the cause of the organization. Actually, mentoring is a biblical principle. Consider the example of Joseph, a Levite, from Cyprus, whom the Apostles called Barnabas, “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36). Barnabas probably did not get his nickname by slapping people on the back saying, “you can do this.” No, a nickname is affectionately awarded someone when their personality traits and actions reflect an attribution i.e., encouragement.

So, who did Barnabas mentor? The first person we see sponsored by Barnabas is none other than Saul of Tarsus, who tried to destroy the Church. Acts 9 describes the story of Saul’s conversion and subsequent joining in the church. The passage indicates that the Jerusalem church was not convinced that Saul was a Christ follower, and for good reason. Yet, Barnabas brought him to the apostles (v. 27), spoke on Saul’s behalf and in time, the church was at peace with Saul. Some time later, Saul and Barnabas were commissioned as a missionary team, sharing the gospel and encouraging believers as they traveled from place to place.

A quiet event occurred during the first journey that had great impact on the duo and reset Barnabas’ next major sponsorship. John Mark, one of the younger members of the team, deserts the work and returns home.  As Paul and Barnabas plan their second missionary journey, John Mark wants to join back in but Paul wants no part of it. Barnabas had a decision to make, stay with Paul or begin a mentorship with John Mark. Barnabas choses the younger man and they sail to Cyprus (15:39) – that is not the end of the story; however. Eventually, we learn that John Mark is reunited with Paul in Rome (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24) and as Paul approaches the end of life, he requests that Timothy “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).

What can we learn from this? We should look for ways to be used of God in the caring of His people. Sometimes our discipleship commitments are short-term. Yet, there are times when we are called to step into the lives of our brothers and sisters for the long-term, helping them develop their spiritual skill sets, growing together in Christ. Long-term discipleship is not an evaluation of the church talent pool; it is a calling to invest in the equipping of others for the Glory of God.

  • Selby Brannon

Weak Leadership

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Paul had so much to brag about.  He was winning!  Right?  Not really.  He certainly is a hero of the faith.  But the Kingdom road to “hero of faith” status is not as glittery as we might think.  God chose to move him from the top of the religious elite to the despised class of Christianity.  And then to make things worse, as a Christian leader, he wasn’t all that “acceptable” to them either.  In our economy of successful leadership, this doesn’t make much sense.  Humanly speaking, don’t we give up something to gain something?  That just makes sense.  It would have made more sense to us if God would have taken away Paul’s role as a Pharisee and given him rock star status with the church.  But he didn’t.  At every turn, it seems as though Paul’s road to deeply understanding the grace of God was paved with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities.

I struggle here.  I like being seen as strong and capable.  But God’s economy is so different.  I need to learn from Jesus.  I like to experience grace.  But in the Kingdom, grace is not a prize given to the winner at the end of the competition.  As Christians, we don’t work real hard to win and then get grace as a trophy on the podium.  No.  In God’s kingdom, often, our greatest moments are found in weaknesses.  In God’s economy weakness is not failure, it’s the context of the power of God.  If weakness were failure, Christ would be the greatest failure of all!  But that’s not true.  Paul was told by God, personally, “My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Just as the weakness of the cross leads to the power of the resurrection, our weaknesses are the very place the power of God will be made evident; the power to love, the power to repent, the power to forgive, the power to endure, the power to proclaim.

What makes you feel weak?  Where do you turn when you feel weak?  What would it look like to embrace weakness?  What does God think about your weaknesses?

  • Jeff Pierce

Worship Leaders as Servant Leaders

Back when I was first developing my radio programs I turned to those who have been successful in the business. They’ll give you good advice, solid criticism and point out things you never would have thought to be true. The same principle works when studying what makes for a good leader, and there is no better expert on the topic of leadership than Jesus Himself.

In Mark 10:43, Jesus made an interesting comment about successful leadership. He said, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” This principle of the leader serving those he is leading runs counter to what we would think. But as odd as this sounds to us today, imagine how radical of an idea it was in the first century, when kings and emperors ruled with unchecked and unaccountable authority.

In my position as music director at Leroy Chapel I have found this principle foundational to successfully raising up song leaders in our church. As worship leaders we must first see ourselves as serving the church by providing a vehicle for singing praises to God. It is many times helpful for the worship leader to explain the lyrics of a song, or to highlight a Scripture that helps point our worship in a particular direction, providing useful commentary where needed. And, as important as the things we say are, it is also important to know when saying nothing is better.

The worship leader must also serve the several musicians who make up his team, considering the wide range of abilities, strengths and weaknesses they represent, in a way that serves the church and honors and encourages those on the team. Also, each of our worship leaders has their own style, method and creative ideas when it comes to leading the congregation. Although there are several standards and goals that define our ministry, there can be a great deal of flexibility in how we maintain and accomplish them. It is helpful, in developing leaders, to allow them the liberty to be creative and lead the congregation in their own way.

I am so grateful to God that He has placed me in this Church and given me the opportunity to work with so many fine musicians. And I get a lot of pleasure in seeing these musicians using their talents to serve God’s people and bring Him glory

  • Frank Ulle

Developing God Given Gifts

I can look out of my apartment window and across the street to see a new building being constructed as a future assisted living complex. The building is far from complete. Yet, I can see the men working hard to frame things together so that in the heart of winter they can heat the space, and complete the interior for occupancy sometime in 2017. Three months ago, the view from this same window was that of a high-rise mound of dirt. Now, it is a graded space with a building taking shape.

In some ways the Church is like the building across the street with its many members each integrally connected, as an enormous puzzle, equipped by God; suited for the Grand Architect’s purposes.

In I Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul shares his heart concerning spiritual gifts; he explains that the church is the Body of Christ consisting of one body with many members, gifted to serve others within the body, as a single organism reflecting the Glory of God.

LCC is a caring and giving Church with a legacy of service. But, we should not be satisfied to rest on our past; we should be ever pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Our calling, as the Elders of LCC, is to equip members for ministry and to assist you as you engage in ministry. As under-shepherds of Christ, we endeavor to feed our  people the needed meat of God’s Word; so they, as a much larger group, can serve Christ by reaching out to our respective communities.

Each and every attendee of our church, who trusts Christ as Savior, has at least one gift given by The Holy Spirit to be shared within body-life.  Some are called to be teachers; some have gifts of hospitality; some are encouragers; others with hospital ministries; still others, gifts of generosity and the like. All Christians are empowered by the Holy Spirit, who dwells within them, gifting them for the furtherance of the Gospel and for the Glory to God. There are no exceptions.

If you are struggling with the ministry of your Spiritual Gifts, do not be dismayed. The current sermon series: LCC Base Camp: Orienting our Ministry is intended to be a help to you in how we tell The Story, use our gifts and accomplish His mission. It promises to be a great help to all of us moving forward! We look forward to serving together.

  • Selby Brannon

I’m Afraid of Leadership

Leadership is hard for me. When I pray through the four areas of the Leroy Chapel vision statement, it’s not hard for me to enjoy Teaching, Evangelism, and Community. But Leadership makes me feel pressure, fear of failure, and the overwhelming weight of responsibility. Wow, that felt nice to get out there. Where does my mind go next? I think of guys like Moses (Lord, send someone else), Timothy (I’m too young and inexperienced), and Paul (I am a weak man). And then somehow the sound of the pity party that is gathering around the corner grows faint as the roar of faith in the power of God fills my heart. I sit up a bit straighter, quit feeling sorry for myself, and prayerful tackle the next item that needs my worshipful attention.

I long to invest in the equipping of others and I know I have gifts to use to that end. I resist taking the easy way out or just putting a sermon series together. I fight off the lies that someone else will do it or becoming cynical to the whole church thing. And I follow my leader – Jesus Christ, Lord of All!

Leadership is imitation. I imitate Christ, and you imitate Christ with me. I imitate the dead heroes of the faith (and some living ones), and you imitate what the Spirit has incorporated from them into my life. Leadership is far less about getting things done and far more about a deeper understanding of the One who has done it all. That’s not an excuse for inactivity, a lack of diligent pursuit of learning, or not practicing certain skills so you get better and better at them. It is the Biblical concept of walking wisely; that poor leaders can accomplish much, and great leaders can fail miserably. It’s about men and women who know without the Spirit of God nothing of eternal value will be accomplished. And that the Lord honors the best efforts of men and women who honor Him in all they do.

What’s the point? Don’t hide your talent in the sand. Don’t step back when you ought to be stepping forward. Don’t minimize the gifts God has given you when you should be giving them away. That would be foolish, selfish, and joyless. “Invest in the equipping of others” … that’s what the vision statement says. Come and do it with me, imperfect men and women equipped to be leaders in God’s greatest work!

  • Mark Spansel

Roles Change, Impact Remains

We are constantly walking in the realm of leadership; sometimes we are being led and sometimes we are leading.  Some of these circumstances are known to us and lived out in specific roles.  Sometimes leadership is expressed in how we live or how we conduct a conversation.  One of my concerns these days as I head towards being an old guy is how should I view myself as my roles change?  With that in mind here are a few things I’ve been learning lately:

Impact:  I will impact people wherever I am

I just sent a reading list to a friend who was asking for some good books. I could have given her anything.  I prayed for her.  I listened to a bit of where she is at in life then chose content that would lead her in a direction.  Point being, I have opportunity to lead just about anywhere I’m afforded a conversation.  The key seems to be intentionality.  If I view this person as a valuable member of the body, I need to trust that the Lord has put them in my life for a reason.  Why not ask a few questions, pray and send her away with a sense of care and purpose?  Why not lead?

Identity: My leadership roles are not my identity

I talked with a brother a few days ago over coffee about ministry responsibilities. I’m older than him and we are both older than the other leaders.  This isn’t about age, but it does matter regarding life and ministry experience. My leadership should be expressed differently with him, young adult leaders, young adults and 90@9 students.  But consider this: what happens if my identity is wrapped up in any one of these roles?  I will not be nearly as free, available or enthusiastic in the other roles.  My identity needs to be firmly rooted in something outside of my role, namely “in Christ”!

Trajectory: My role may change but my impact lingers

Leadership has an affect long after I’m gone.  I’ve told the young adults in The Community more than once that we are not establishing a ministry for us only, but for the young adults of LCC 5 years from now.  We agree that what matters to us today is going to get multiplied for years to come.  So we need to make sure that what matters most to us is what matters most to God.  This sets our trajectory. Not one of the young adults will be part of this ministry in 5 years.  The leadership that we lend to the establishing of The Community will linger long after we are gone.

  • Jeff Pierce