Good Leaders Lead Without Lording Over Others

obeyNo growth = Deficiency of leadership. Good leadership is a major key to any healthy growing organization or church. If a church is not growing you can almost always find that the deficiency lies with the “old” leadership of the church. They are not able to reverse the decline, likely because they want to maintain the status quo. They do not know how to delegate to different dynamic leaders, often because they still want to be the controlling authority, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to be the head of the church. Instead of judging fairly without partiality, their decisions are often based on their strong sense of community solidarity. This comes across like showing favoritism and protecting the leadership, instead of caring for “the least of these.”

All four gospels emphasize “no lording over others.” According to Jesus, good leaders lead without lording over others, which is what worldly leaders do. Continue reading →

Good Leaders Judge Fairly Without Partiality

PartialityWhy able and capable young leader’s leave. In good leaders delegate without control, I explained why Moses was a wise and effective leader, while many leaders fail to lead well because they continue to hold on to their authority and power while delegating. They think they know better and are more experienced than the younger leaders they delegate to, which is true. What they fail to realize or accept is that this should not translate to imposing their preferences and methods on them. By doing so, they are not raising leaders, but followers, who do not know how to stand independently on their own and think critically for themselves. Also, their imposition stifles and frustrates able young leaders, many of whom eventually leave in order to get out from under their leader’s controlling leadership.

In judging fairly who the person is should not matter. Continue reading →

Good Leaders Delegate Without Control

Deut1.9-15DelegationA key to successful leadership is delegation. Last Sun in Manila, I preached on The Words Moses Spoke (Deut 1:1-46) in my gradual attempt to grasp “the whole counsel of God” (Ac 20:27) by studying and preaching on books of the Bible that I am not familiar with. I was particularly impressed by Moses the leader who wisely delegated his leadership to other capable leaders (Deut 1:9-15). John Maxwell, the “leadership guru” expounds on this rule of delegation as a key to successful leaders both in the corporate world and in churches. In theory and principle all church leaders will agree that they delegate their leadership to younger leaders. But…

“Gopher delegation” and controlling leaders. There is a form of delegation that does not work. Continue reading →

The Sins of Older Christians

noseInTheAirAs an “older” Christian, it is so easy for me to rant and rave about the sins of “younger” Christians and non-Christians: lust and laziness, impropriety and indifference, irresponsibility and irreverence, immaturity and immodesty, folly and foolishness, spendthrift and stupidity, disobedience, despair, despondency, duplicity, dishonesty and the like. If I keep on picking on their sins relentlessly and persistently, then maybe they will someday repent and change and grow up!

But it seems to me that primarily doing so would quite certainly “ignore” the sins of older Christians. Of course, older Christians sin in similar ways. But with age, I think that it is a lot easier for older Christians to “hide” their sins behind the austerity of being older, wiser, more mature and more spiritual, whatever that means. So how then can I address the sins of older Christians, including and primarily beginning with myself? What might they be? Continue reading →

How Does UBF Teach Sanctification?

Php2.12-13Does UBF teach an effort driven sanctification? Do correct me on this, but based on what I have heard for over three decades, UBF teaches this: “While acknowledging and not denying that sanctification is God’s work in us, the emphasis, thrust and teaching is on what the Christian must do in order to be sanctified.” I feel as though UBF teaches an effort-driven sanctification, without denying that sanctification is grace-driven.

UBF is not incorrect. UBF is correct in acknowledging that sanctification is God’s work (Phil 2:13). UBF is also correct in teaching that a Christian must work out their sanctification (Phil 2:12b). The problem that I take issue with is that the emphasis and take home message is the latter, while the former is either assumed or glossed over and not clearly explained or emphasized. Continue reading →

What do followers want?

fLeadership. That’s a word I’ve heard a lot about the past 25 years. We Christians talk an awful lot about leadership: Who is a leader? Who is allowed to be a leader? Why be a leader? How was Jesus a leader? In all the talk about leadership I finally came across a book that asks the question from a different angle, one that I am passionate about: What do followers want?

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Is There Glory and Honor in Reconciliation?

Reconciliation.gifReconciliation is the “hardest” job of Christians. The “easier” job is to invite new people to Bible study. A friend said, “It’s better for UBF to reconcile with one ex-UBF member than to invite 99 new people to Bible study.” I agree. The former job (reconciliation) is messy and unpredictable. The latter job (inviting new people) is fun and exciting. The former requires humiliation and humility. The latter requires being fuzzy and friendly. The former feels like descending and dying. The latter feels like soaring and conquering. So, is there any glory and honor in seeking reconciliation?

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How Does Shepherd Paul “Feed Sheep”?

paul_the_apostleHow does the apostle Paul shepherd God’s flock? To emphasize mission and Bible teaching, UBF has loved Paul’s imperatives from 2 Timothy: Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus (2 Tim 2:3). Do your best as a workman who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). Preach the word (2 Tim 4:2). 2 Tim 2:2 is also a great imperative (“entrust to reliable men”), but is not stressed in UBF.
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When Silence Speaks Volumes

loudIt’s no secret that UBFriends has become a gathering place for some who have strongly negative opinions and experiences of the UBF organization. It is a very rare and precious thing for persons and parties with strongly felt opposing positions to come together and communicate in a respectful and loving way. We (the administrators of this website) believe that God has called us to this unusual, awkward and sometimes-painful ministry of dialogue across the divide.

At times, this website has been criticized for being one-sided, unbalanced, unhelpful, overly critical, and so on. Some of that criticism is deserved. Yet from my perspective, it seems rather disingenuous for people stand at a distance, to listen to a conversation going on, to claim that the conversation is unhealthy because alternative points of view are not being represented, but then to do absolutely nothing to join in the conversation.

I understand that there are good reasons why some people feel uncomfortable discussing controversial issues on a public website. In all honesty, I believe that it would be better if these conversations that are now happening on UBFriends were taking place in another forum. But until that venue exists, I don’t see any viable alternative for those who feel that their voices haven’t been heard, except to continue to speak out with the hope and prayer that someone, somewhere will hear them and respond.

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