Sunday, October 28, 2012

Leaders who form a culture of grace and change

In the last few weeks Jesus has been teaching me about being weak. I'm freshly reminded that I'm in the middle of my sanctification not at the end of it, and as an unfinished person I'm not strong - despite my own deep sense of self importance.

I felt that afresh preaching on Sunday - probably the second illest I've been when preaching. For the second time in two months I was the fourth victim of the family cold - there's only so long you can spend in the company of illness before you get ill too! I have to ask myself did I fall ill because I've been burning the candle at both ends but I think the honest answer isn't that on this occasion. The weakness of my voice yesterday and its absence this morning is a helpful reminder of my lack of strength in myself and that Christ who became weak for me is my strength.
We don't want leaders who don't know the gospel - what use would that be... but we must not confuse knowing the gospel with the absence of weakness and struggle and sin. A blameless man isn't a sinless man - but someone marked by transparency, growth and struggle with his own sin.

It's important for those who lead to remember that they're just on the journey with everyone else. Paul Tripp's phrase about a pastor being someone in the middle of their own sanctification liberates me to fresh generosity with others...  when the DNA of a church includes that conviction of unfinishedness in ourselves (along with the utter finishedness of Christ's cross-work) there is liberty to bear with one another and carry one another's burdens.

According to the Strengthfinder test one of my top 5 strengths is 'Achiever'. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm good at achieving, but it implies that I like to accomplish things every day. The gospel disarms me completely. Here I come with my hands full of good works and knowledge and Jesus, smiling, takes my hands and turns them over letting all my stuff fall to the ground, inviting me to simply look to him, to receive from him.

Eternal life isn't for good people or geeky people... it's a free welcome into the life of God.
Sermon: The Life of God #5 - Dave Bish

1 comment:

  1. Loving this - particularly the unfinishedness in ourselves and the utter finishedness of Christ on the cross. Thank you.