Disappointment in Leadership
July - September 2016
Many of the most popular movies are stories of heroes, supermen or women who triumph over difficulties and challenges. Eventually everything works out well and there is a happy ending. It would be wonderful if this was the reality of our lives, unfortunately, things are a little more complex. For those of us who are seasoned leaders, we know that amidst the blessings there are often problems, disagreements, divisions and disappointments. Clearly, it is impossible to totally avoid disappointment, however, I want to suggest some ways in which we can avoid or overcome discouragement and seeming failure.
Invest in the future
I was recently in conversation with a young leader who began by telling me that she wasn’t a very good leader and she wanted some ideas about how to improve. I began by asking her what was it that made her think that she wasn’t a good leader. She said that when she compared herself to the main leader of the group, she felt very inadequate and ineffective. She said that her leader was someone totally committed to the Lord, a person of great prayer and integrity who worked so hard that she sometimes didn’t have time for herself. She described the leader as a courageous risk taker who was willing to take on projects that were big and demanding but in the end she was always able to get the results by encouraging people to work together. When I asked how long this senior leader had been leading, the young leader replied 20 years.
Certainly, the senior leader was a woman of good spiritual character and temperament. She was able to draw the team together and get the desired results. However, it would seem that too many things were dependent upon the leader.
Unless we as leaders invest in the future many good works of the Spirit eventually flounder and die leaving people disillusioned and disappointed. Obviously, the experienced leader was a good role model but her leadership style was perhaps lacking in the area of identifying, investing in and empowering the next generation of leaders. The senior leader had a ‘Timothy’ by her side who was keen to learn. Yet the potential of the young leader had not been recognised. She was not being mentored.
Groups and communities flourish with good leadership. However, wise leaders are not only focusing on
the present, they are looking to the future and planning ahead. Times of change and transition in leadership bring a natural sense of insecurity. Leadership succession needs to be planned. It can be very disappointing for established leaders to see so many of the things they have worked very hard at establishing not flourishing when there is new leadership. There needs to be a healthy continuity in leadership and this happens when key leaders pay attention to and invest in the next generation.
Be yourself - lead as the person who you are
My advice to the young leader was to affirm her as the unique person that God has created her to be, as Psalm 139 says, we are ‘wonderfully made’. Clearly she admired her leader and could learn a lot from her. However, some leaders make the mistake of trying to lead like other people, particularly leaders
they admire and respect. This inevitably leads to disappointment and often failure because we can only lead as the people who we are and this is, in fact, our unique gift. Obviously, we can learn from other people but we have to be prepared to grow in our own particular leadership gifts and to not always be comparing ourselves to others.
My golden rule for leaders is to grow in self knowledge to “know yourself and lead as the person that you are”. It is also important to recognise that other people are not always the same as we are, they have different personalities, gifts and skills. We can have false or unrealistic expectations of others and this can often lead to frustration and disappointment.
Trust in the Lord
Leadership ultimately flows from responding to God’s call. Indeed it is the sense of calling that enables a leader to persevere even in difficulties. The famous leaders in scripture such as Moses, Jeremiah, Jonah, Peter and Paul, all had their own particular leadership gifts alongside their personality defects. All of them were lacking in certain skills. However, they were prepared to trust in the Lord, knowing that God who had called them would not fail them. Rather than fearing their own weaknesses and imperfections, in faith, they believed in God’s ability to succeed.
Too many leaders act as if everything is dependent upon them. Leadership then becomes a human enterprise and when there are difficulties and challenges the temptation is to quit. Those who learn to trust in the Lord are able to endure. Their strength is renewed (Isa 40:28-31).
One of the biggest pitfalls in leadership is when the leader thinks that they have to do all the tasks themselves. This can stem from insecurity or a distorted sense of what it means to be hardworking and diligent. Ultimately it leads to burnout or inefficiency. Leaders can become discouraged or fail simply because they tried to do too much. Jethro had to help Moses learn the important skill of delegation. He said; “it is not right to take this on yourself. You will tire yourself out, you and the people with you. The work is too heavy for you. You cannot do it alone” (Ex 18:17). Notice how the weakness or short-sightedness of the leader impacts the whole group. Thankfully Moses took the advice of his father-in-law. As a result, the whole community was empowered and there was a sense of corporate leadership (Ex 18:25-6).
Several of the biblical leaders also learned that it isn’t necessary for one leader to possess all the leadership gifts. There can be a wonderful leadership dynamic and synergy when leaders work with others in a complementary way. So Moses and Aaron were a perfect team and Paul and Barnabas were, for a time, a dynamic duo. They lived together in Antioch for a year (Acts11:26), they were set apart by the Spirit for mission (Acts 13:4), they experienced persecution (Acts 15:50), and won respect from all. Unfortunately, despite all their missionary zeal, endurance and fruitfulness in ministry, after “a violent quarrel they parted company” (Acts 15:39). A seemingly trivial disagreement led to the separation of one of the most dynamic missionary pairings that the Church had ever seen.
Be on your guard
Here we encounter one of the most painful leadership areas, relationship breakdown and division. This not only affects those directly involved, it also impacts the whole community. Infighting, unresolved conflict and tension drains a group and robs them of their spiritual vibrancy. Sadly, some people end up leaving their groups or ministries because they are so disillusioned and disappointed in their leaders behaviour or in the leaders inability to resolve or manage conflict.
John 10:10 says; “the thief comes only to rob, kill and destroy”. Certainly the enemy seeks to strategically attack leaders. There is a proverb that says, “if a wolf attacks the flock he gets a sheep. If he attacks the shepherd he gets the whole flock”. St Paul said in his final exhortation to the leaders in Ephesus; “be on your guard for yourselves and for the whole flock which the Holy Spirit has made you the overseers”.
Leaders therefore need to be alert and attentive engaging in spiritual warfare for themselves and their people. They need to have the insight and courage to try and resolve conflict when it arises. Obviously not every disagreement is a crisis, wisdom is needed in order to discern when ‘unhealthy tension’ is developing in the group. Undoubtedly, if this is not dealt with it will eventually erupt like a volcano and everyone will be injured.
Trials lead to triumph (Rom 8:37)
Sadly, because of our human and sinful disposition, conflicts and divisions are inevitable. During these difficult times, the leader in their natural disappointment has to draw upon the grace of leadership, in order to lead the whole flock through the difficult phase. This is not easy, it is only by God’s grace that we are given the ability to remain steadfast under pressure.
Paradoxically, we often learn the most profound lessons at times of seeming failure or defeat. Jacob wrestled with God (Gen 32:26) the Lord needed to show Jacob that real strength comes only through trust and surrender. Every seasoned leader goes through their own time of trial and disappointment. It is important to remember that; “we are only the earthenware jars that hold the treasure... that power comes from God and not from us” (2 Cor 4:7-8).
We do not know the details of Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’ (Cf. 2 Cor 12:7) but we know it was something sent by the Lord to prevent him getting too proud. The Lord wants to break through our self reliance and teach us to rely upon him. “My grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). Paul showed us that through his own difficulties he got in touch with his personal weakness and then, by the grace of God, his weakness became his strength; “For it is when I am weak that I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10).
Hopefully this word will console all of us in our leadership challenges. It will encourage us to endure and keep moving forward despite the difficulties. Thankfully, as we learn to lead in the power of the Holy Spirit we recognise that everything is not dependent upon us. We need embrace our leadership calling and aim to do our best and then surrender and trust in the Lord. Paul certainly learned this lesson when he shared this beautiful prayer with the Ephesians; “glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine” (Eph 3:20). ++++
A Process to Empower our Intercessory Prayer
'I used to watch my father-in-law, who was a plasterer by trade, apply mud over new dry wall that we had installed. I marveled at his skill, the fluidness of his motion, the ease with which he worked and the speed with which he completed his work. As he began to teach me the trade he said the secret was how much pressure you put on the edge of the trowel. I was slow and awkward. I was often frustrated because the effort I was making did not show itself in the end result.
I've had the same experience with intercessory prayer. I have come to understand that it too is a skill that develops and as it does our prayers yield better results. What's the secret you ask? There are a few that I'd like to share.
In his book, Pray Lifting up Holy Hands, Cyril Jones introduces us to what he calls Prophetic Intercession. It is a process that involves six steps. The first step is critical and this is what is so often omitted when we do intercessory prayer. We need to begin by giving the Lord our own desires for a particular outcome in the situation we are praying for. We have to abandon our will and submit to him, understanding and believing that whatever he desires in the situation is the best possible outcome for everyone involved. This can be a real challenge when "we think we know what the Lord must want". However, if you want your intercession to yield powerful results, begin by giving him a clean slate to write his desires on. Secret number one is to prayerfully abandon your will to his.
The next step is to spend a few minutes in praise and worship, perhaps using the gift of Tongues if possible and then ask the Lord what he would like you to pray for in this situation. In the quiet that follows, listen with your heart for his direction. The word he stirs may come in a scripture you recall, a vision, a word or a thought that he inspires. Learning to listen to his still small voice is a skill and becomes easier with practice. Stay quiet until you discern what the Lord desires as an outcome. The outcome needs to be specific and observable so that you know when you can stop interceding because your prayer has been answered.
The next step is to ask the Lord how he would like you to pray for this intention. This is the second secret. It would be a mistake to assume he wants you to pray in a way you always pray. Again enter into a few minutes of praise and worship glorifying the Lord perhaps with a song. When your heart is centered on the Lord, listen attentively to how he directs you to pray. It might be through the rosary, a Divine Mercy Chaplet, the creed. It might be to simple sit still in quiet adoration. He may give you a scripture to pray with. I find he often gives me a psalm to pray, the words of which hold the promise of his action.
The fourth step is to actually pray for the intention using the method you just discerned. The secret to this step is to pray with an expectant heart full of thanksgiving. If you think about it, he's told you what to pray for and he's told you how to ask him for it so that he could use your intercession to accomplish it. We need to pray with a confident heart, knowing that our prayer is allowing him to do exactly what he told us he wanted to do. It is so simple and yet so profound.
The fifth step is to ask if there is anything else he would like you to pray for regarding this situation. He may give you another specific need that he wants you to lift up to him. If he does, ask again how he wants you to pray for it and then do it. We repeat this step until the Lord is silent.
The sixth step is to simply take the time to thank him for responding with his mercy and his love to the situation you presented to him.
The final step is the lift up the intercession daily praying the way he directed you to until the work he has begun has been completed. You will know it has been completed because the change he wrought is observable.
In brief, these are the seven steps to Prophetic Intercession
1) Abandon your own desires in the particular situation choosing instead to be completely open to the Lord’s desire whatever it might be.
2) Ask the Lord to clarify for you what his desire is in this situation.
3) Ask the Lord how he would like you to pray that his will be done.
4) Do it. Pray with expectant faith for what the Lord wants using the method of prayer he inspired you to use.
5) Ask if there is another need in this particular situation. If there is, repeat steps 3, 4 and 5.
6) Thank the Lord for what he is doing
7) Daily lift up the intention praying in the manner he requested in step 4 until he fully accomplishes the work he set out to do.
If you can abandon your own desire and intentionally seek his will in the situation and pray as he inspires you to with expectant faith, then through your intercession you will effect the change that brings glory to God and mercy to his people.
The Role of the Holy Spirit and the Teaching of the Church on Missionary Activity and Evangelization
The Holy Spirit is the primary evangelizing agent in the Catholic Church. Without the Holy Spirit, our efforts cannot bear fruit. Pope John Paul II recognizes the essential role of the Holy Spirit when he writes in Redemptoris Missio (29) “The Holy Spirit, who is the prime agent of mission and blows where he wills ... but his action will always be directed towards the proclamation of Jesus Christ as Saviour of all humankind.” I would like to propose a new way of considering the growing emphasis on the focus on the Holy Spirit as being integral to the missionary force in the Church and now, in particular, the New Evangelization. Over the last one hundred years, all the Church encyclicals that have been written on missionary activity in Church increasingly make reference to the role of the Holy Spirit until we see the powerful expression of the Holy Spirit in the birth of the Charismatic Movement in Dusquesne University in 1967. We are just beginning to plumb the depths of the implications for missionary activity that have been birthed out of this charismatic renewal movement which is the largest within the Catholic Church.
I will trace back the importance of the apostolic letters that were written between 1895 and 1900 by Pope Leo XIII as my beginning point. George Weigel made the proposition in his book, Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church, that the origin of the reform in the Church in broad categories of truth and mission stems out of the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII. He states, “For Leo XIII set into motion a profound transformation of Catholicism in which the Church slowly moved beyond the catechetical-devotional model that had been dominant since the sixteenth-century Counter-Reformation to a new model - a model that is best described as Evangelical Catholicism”(p. 11). I agree with his proposition that we can trace back radical reform in the Catholic Church well before Vatican II to Leo XIII, but I would for a reason that is absent from his book, yet has enormous repercussions, not only in the Catholic Church, but in the entire world.
Perhaps unknown to George Weigel, Pope Leo XIII was urged by Blessed Elena Guerra, the foundress of the Oblates Sisters of The Holy Spirit to encourage a greater devotion to the Holy Spirit in the Church. Blessed Elena wrote to him, “Pentecost is not over. In fact it is continually going on in every time and in every place, because the Holy Spirit desired to give himself to all men and women and all who want him can always receive him, so we do not have to envy the apostles and the first believers; we only have to dispose ourselves like them to receive him well, and He will come to us as he did to them.” She wrote a series of twelve private letters to Pope Leo XIII, which resulted in the writing of the encyclical on the Holy Spirit, Divinum Illud Munus in 1897 and a letter to all bishops encouraging the world to join him in making a Novena to the Holy Spirit between the feasts of the Ascension. In this Encyclical, Pope Leo makes the connection between the Holy Spirit and the missionary aims of his pontificate, which he outlines, “...in the first place, towards the restoration, both in rulers and peoples, of the principles of the Christian life in civil and domestic society, since there is no true life for men except from Christ; and, secondly, to promote the reunion of those who have fallen away from the Catholic Church either by heresy or by schism, since it is most undoubtedly the will of Christ that all should be united in one flock under one Shepherd.” (2)
As Cyril John writes in his book, “Spurred by the Spirit: The Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the New Millennium”, Pope Leo invoked the Holy Spirit by singing the hymn “Veni Creator Spiritus” on behalf of the entire Church on January 1, 1901 and on that exact day, in Topeka, Kansas at Bethel College and Bible School, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred that is generally accepted as the beginning of Pentecostalism. The Azuza Street revival spread this Holy Spirit phenomenon across all continents within a two year period. Cyril John puts all this in context as he writes, “Pope Paul VI once remarked: “We see the Church today in an age dominated, as it were, by the Holy Spirit.” “The wind blows wherever it pleases...” (Jn3:8). This powerful blow of the wind was experienced in nearly all Christian Churches in the 20th century. It could be classified as three distinct, separate, and on-going large waves or explosions of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Renewal in the Holy Spirit, each wave larger and stronger than previously (p.18)”
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal was birthed in 1967, two years after the end of Vatican Council II and 70 years after the Pope Leo XIII wrote his encyclical letter on the Holy Spirit. Pope John XXIII prayed in 1959 that the windows of the Church would be opened to God’s breath and he threw open the closed doors of the Vatican, remaking that the Church needed a fresh breath of air. In preparation for Vatican II, the Pope asked the Church to pray for a new Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit when he gave this address on December 25th, 1961.
Renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Grant to Your Church that being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of St. Peter, it may the advance the reign of our Divine Saviour, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Duquesne University occurred at a retreat for university students in which the Holy Spirit was invoked at the beginning of each session, through the recitation of the “Veni Creator Spiritus”. And in preparation, two theology faculty members had been faithful to this prayer every day in their personal prayer in the entire preceding year to this pivotal retreat. And the fruit of this event has resulted in a movement that has no human founder, no membership list, but has changed over 120 million Catholics in 200 countries and has dramatically changed the face of the Church - particularly in fulfillment of the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Apostoican Actuaosituatem (5). “In fulfilling this mission of the Church, the Christian laity exercise their apostolate both in the Church and in the world, in both the spiritual and the temporal orders.” And one might ask, why is the need for this outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church? What is the need for this in this time and in these circumstances?Pope Paul VI answers these questions in his talk to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on occasion of the Second International Leaders’ Conference in 1975.
How then could this “spiritual renewal” not be “a chance” for the church and for the world? And how, in this case, could one not take all the means to ensure that it remains so? [...] Nothing is more necessary for such a world, more and more secularized, than the testimony of this “spiritual renewal”, which we see the Holy Spirit bring about today in the most diverse regions and environments. Its manifestations are varied: deep communion of souls, close contact with God in faithfulness to the commitments undertaken at Baptism, in prayer that is often community prayer, in which each one, expressing himself freely, helps, supports and nourishes the prayer of others, and, at the basis of everything, a personal conviction. This conviction has its source not only in instruction received by faith but also in a certain experience of real life, namely, that without God, man can do nothing, that with him, on the contrary, everything becomes possible.”
I propose that the birth of the Charismatic Renewal was part of God’s plan to restore to the Church to her original Charismatic identity as was found in the early Church and was the normative (normal experience) for all Christians for the first 600-800 years until the emphasis on the Charismatic gifts were gradually diminished.This theme is further developed in the book, Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Evidence from the First Eight Centuries written by Killain McDonnell and George Montague, “...charismatic manifestation was expected as a normal effect of initiation (p.14).” The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room allowed the Apostles to go forth and clearly proclaim the Gospel, amid an atmosphere of signs and wonders that Jesus had promised, “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. (John 14: 12-16). This allowed the Apostles to be bold, to be filled with zeal, and even to have the courage to undergo suffering and martyrdom. McDonnell and Montague further state “...the empowering is not merely charismatic. It is also the power to follow Jesus to the cross. (p.14)” I propose this is what is needed for the Church today. The Holy Spirit is what is needed to proclaim the Gospel - and we need it ever as much today as the Early Christians did 2000 years ago. Fr. Francis Martin said, “The Church is a bride, and she shows to the world that her spouse is alive by living by His power and receiving life from Him. There is a danger in our day that the Church will look more like a widow, alone and without resources except those possessed by any human organization.” In this hostile climate of religious indifferentism, scepticism, and hostility, we must rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit.
What is the development of the understanding of the connection between mission and the Holy Spirit in Church teaching? I have highlighted the references to the Holy Spirit from these encyclicals. Maximum Illud: 1; Evangelii Praecones: 0, Ad Gentes: 22; Evangelii Nuntiandi: 22; Redemptoris Missio:24; and Evangeli Gaudium: 46. That is an explosion of emphasis on the Holy Spirit. So it is really in the time of Ad Gentes that the missionary impulse through the Holy Spirit starts to emerge. Ad Gentes recognizes the missionary identity of the Church. Therefore, by the Holy Spirit, who distributes the charismata as He wills for the common good (1 Cor. 12:11), He inspires the missionary vocation in the hearts of individuals, and at the same time He raises up in the Church certain institutes which take as their own special task the duty of preaching the Gospel, a duty belonging to the whole Church (AD 23)”. It is worthwhile to note this particular comment; the Holy Spirit distributes the different charisms, in light of this preceding the start of the Charismatic Renewal by two years. In this light, it is a prophetic word to the entire Church.
Paul VI focuses on the role of the Holy Spirit in evangelization. The key sentence reads, "It must be said that the Holy Spirit is the principal agent of evangelization: It is he who impels each individual to proclaim the gospel, and it is he who...causes the word of salvation to be accepted and understood." (EM 99). And Pope Francis, speaks for the need for “...Spirit-filled evangelizers...fearlessly open to the working of the Holy Spirit.(EG259)” And he says, “How I long to find the right words to stir up enthusiasm for a new chapter of evangelization full of fervour, joy, generosity, courage, boundless love and attraction! Yet I realize that no words of encouragement will be enough unless the fire of the Holy Spirit burns in our hearts. (EG 261)” There is a development in Church teaching both in increasing emphasis and depth when dealing with evangelization and mission.
How do we see this actualized in the Charismatic Renewal? The Charismatic Renewal internationally has birthed many countless missionary outreaches, spurred by men and women who filled with the zeal of the Holy Spirit have desired to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Just in Canada, out of the Charismatic Renewal has been started these endeavours: Women of Grace Weekends, NET ministries, CCO, Companions of the Cross, Steubenville Atlantic, Raising Up and Army Youth Ministry, Covenant Communities, Healing Ministries, Pentecost Vigils, and retreats, Steubenville Atlantic as well as close to fifty other ministries and many that are not listed. I am referring to a document on the New Evangelization that is located on the CCRSC (Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of Canada website.) http://www.catholiccharismatic.ca/index_files/Page304.htm
What is the Holy Spirit saying to us in this time? Be docile to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. John Paul II said in Redemptor Missio (24) “The mission of the Church, like that of Jesus, is God's work or, as Luke often puts it, the work of the Spirit. After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the apostles have a powerful experience which completely transforms them: the experience of Pentecost. The coming of the Holy Spirit makes them witnesses and prophets (cf. Acts 1:8; 2:17-18). It fills them with a serene courage which impels them to pass on to others their experience of Jesus and the hope which motivates them. The Spirit gives them the ability to bear witness to Jesus with "boldness."” This is our call as Christians, to seek eagerly the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1) and to use these gifts in service for the call of the New Evangelization, to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our world today. “Not by might, and not by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6) ++++
Newfoundland Catholic Renewal)
Free the Captives Friday
'Free the captive; intercede for them.
Decree cease and desist orders against the wicked spirits that have them bound.
Decree that their eyes and hearts are opening to Me and the truth of the Gospel.
Decree that the enemy.s plans against them are cancelled and nullified.
Decree that My good and perfect plans will be established in their lives.
Decree that they will fully accomplish the divine destiny I created them for.
Decree that they are mighty men and mighty women of God.
Decree glory invasions in their lives.
Declare and decree life-changing God encounters in their lives.
Command their release from darkness and entry into My marvellous light.
Decree and declare salvation, deliverance and sanctification to them.
Speak healing and wholeness to their spirit, soul (mind will, intellect, memories and emotions), bodies, relationships and memories.
Use My authority that I have delegated to you. Free the captives today! Free the captives in My holy Name, the Name above all names! Decree and declare that My Word and My will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Rule and reign by your decrees in My Name."
I decree liberty to captives.
In the Name of Jesus, I decree cease and desist orders against the wicked spirits blinding people to the beauty of the Lord and the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the Name of Jesus and by His precious Blood I cancel all enemy plans against their lives and declare that the good and perfect plans of God will be accomplished in their lives to the glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!
I release torrents of life-giving waters to water their whole being to make them fertile and fruitful for our God, the only God!
I stir up and release the glory of God within and send forth glory invasions, God encounters, dreams and visions of Jesus for their salvation, freedom, deliverance, holiness, healing and wholeness.
I decree that God is revealing Himself to the billions around the world, the saved and unsaved alike and all are saying, "Yes!" to Him and becoming born-again, baptized in the Holy Spirit disciples of Jesus Christ.
I decree and declare, "You are mighty men of God and mighty women of God to the glory of His holy name!"
By the perfect atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, I declare, "Prisoners, come out of your captivity; come into the freedom of the sons and daughters of God! Repent and turn away from all sin; receive the freedom of forgiveness, the grace to turn away from sin from now on. Delay not your conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ; be free in Him"
In the Name of Jesus Christ I break off all the chains of sin, doubt, fear, and unbelief that had you bound. I break the chains of false gods, false religions and all demonic cults and practices and I set you free In the Name of Jesus and by His Blood. Be free in Him in every way and in every area of your lives.
I call forth breakthrough revival, a greater great awakening to Jesus Christ!
I decree and declare open heavens and glory invasions in the power of Holy Spirit, the Glorious Intruder!
Lord, I stir up and release the anointing and your glory within to all the world that all the world be saved and come to know the truth.
I say, "Rivers of life-giving waters flow out of all people of God in mighty rushing torrents to sweep everyone into the kingdom of the living God!"
The greater the glory, the quicker the results and the greater the effects of the prophetic Word!
John 7:37-39: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. As Scripture has it, out of his inner being shall flow rivers of living water."
Let the rivers flow in mighty torrents to renew the hearts and lives of all people, to renew all the earth! Let the rivers flow! So it is! Amen, alleluia!
Deacon Stan Cor
A SERVANT TO ALL
LEADERSHIP CORNER - LORRAINE SHONAMAN
July/ August issue, 2015
Anyone in a position of authority is first of all a servant to all. The Pope himself is a ‘servant of the servants - the Bishops - who in turn, are the servants of the people in their charge. So all ministry heads in the Church are servants to the people in their charge.
The Pharisees and Scribes had a problem in being servants and laid heavy burdens on people - tried to control rather than serve. So Jesus was very angry with them and warned his disciples: “The greatest among you will be the one who serves the rest.” (Matt.23:11)
Why does a servant get into ‘control’ rather than serve others? I think that the key reason is fear! How many times in the Scriptures we find the words: “Don’t be afraid.” There many faces to fear and we have to deal with each one as Jesus reveals it to us until we are truly freed up. I Jn. 4:18 says: “Love has no room for fear; rather perfect love casts out all fear.” Only Jesus can set us free!
Being aware of examples of fear:
1. - Fear of losing control in a situation, so we control the situation or people.
2. - Fear of losing ‘my’ position, so we don’t not move on when Jesus has long said to move on to something else.
3. - Fear of confrontation, so we avoid talking about problems less we be not ‘liked’, less the situation gets worse, less we be hurt, etc.
4. - Fear of losing my personal worth. I put my worth in the task or job rather than my worth hidden in Christ Jesus. I still have low self-esteem so I control others with anger and false pride, false humility. I truly have not allowed Jesus to deal with me in those areas.
5. - Fear rooted in prideful attitudes. I need to be ‘above’ others at all times so that I can function as a leader. I do not trust easily. I do not accept correction easily or worse, I do not desire any especially coming from ‘less spiritual’ people than me. My importance is in what I do and not who I am in God. I find it hard to be wrong and admit my weaknesses in front of others. I do not like to be vulnerable before others or God. I have a mixed understanding of what true humility and worldly humiliations mean. I am not really comfortable being my true self with myself, others, or God as yet.
To be called forth to serve does not mean that I impose my way of doing things on others. I need to value and respect the giftedness of others. Others can do the same thing in a totally different way and time frame and it is OK! Others can bring a ‘freshness’ if allowed to be who they are - with all their immaturity but have a desire to please the Lord too. It simply calls us to go deeper in our dying to the self and encourage them onward.
A servant watches his words carefully - quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19) less he injures another under his care. There is no lording over another. A servant has comes to grips in truth with himself in all his weaknesses and strengths. Then he is not afraid to encourage others forward.
If a person does not encourage the giftedness of another, then that person is still gazing ‘on the self - me, myself and I! They are still insecure in their own identity of whom they are in Christ. Only Jesus can transform our ways into His ways of loving as He has loved us.
There are rules and boundaries for the betterment of the whole. But rules never replace mercy, compassion, and “not breaking the bent reed”. The balance of doing and loving have to come together. “It is mercy I desire not sacrifice.” (Matt.12:7b). Find out what that really means for you personally.
We need to come to a place, by God’s grace, of seeing others better than ourselves (Phil.2:3b) and rejoice. I do not attach myself to what I do. Rather I attach myself to Jesus Christ and follow him, the Master! Therefore, I am free to serve others.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI showed us a great example of being a free servant of God when he stepped aside and let Pope Francis reign in his place. He knew how to be obedient to Jesus and humbly serve God and the people.
Michelle Moran, ICCRS Chairperson, said this at the USA National Leaders’ and Ministries Conference lately. She said that igniting (the Fire) the Renewal is something only the Lord can do. “We have the responsibility to get ourselves in a place of faith where the Lord can turn the ignition.” She called us to repent for the moments of the Holy Spirit that we missed because of control. “The root to more glory of the Lord is to become more and more a humble and submissive people who bend the knees at the cross of Jesus Christ.” (Pentecost Today- Winter 2015, page 9).
A servant is one who understands that his power comes from the Cross of Jesus Christ and not from his own efforts. Then truly the Holy Spirit will empower us all to serve ever more fully to go forth “in Jesus Name”. ++++