On July 1, Pastor Perry Noble was terminated as senior pastor of NewSpring Church, a church that he founded, after an extended time of struggling with alcohol abuse. Below are links to NewSpring Church’s statement and Pastor Noble’s statements.
Father, thank You for NewSpring Church’s commitment to handling sin in the church according to Your Word. Thank You that they are going to continue supporting Pastor Noble and his family, working to restore them as Your Word instructs. Give them wisdom abundantly. Father of Lights, I pray for the congregation of NewSpring Church. Give them comfort and the knowledge that You are the great Healer, Restorer, and Leader. Lead them all in Your perfect wisdom. Father, I pray that You would pour out the Holy Spirit upon Noble and his family. Bring them comfort, peace, and healing as they refocus their lives upon You. Restore. Heal. Comfort.
“In 1 Corinthians 12:31, Paul says, “I will show you the most excellent way. The most excellent way to what? … Paul is continuing his discussion about leadership here, and when he says he’s going to show you the most excellent way, I believe he’s saying, ‘I will show you the most excellent way to lead.’” (p. 6)
Megachurch Pastor Perry Noble has an interesting interpretation of Paul’s discussion about spiritual gifts. Rather than applying 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to the more excellent way in using spiritual gifts, Noble writes that Paul is referring to excellence in leadership.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. … But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:4-31
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul writes that if we have all these gifts but do not have love, we are like a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. He then describes love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, the foundation of The Most Excellent Way to Lead.
Noble illustrates each characteristic of love with its own chapter. From biblical figures like King David to modern athletes like Shaquille O’Neal, Noble provides examples of the characteristics of love and leadership. He also includes many examples of his leadership of his 400 staff members at NewSpring Church in South Carolina. Some of the examples are humorous, and some are a bit crude.
At the end of each chapter are questions for the reader to ask himself and questions to ask those he is leading. There are also tweetable key points of the chapter along with #BestWaytoLead.
I do believe that love is a great characteristic of the best leaders, and I agree with Noble that many Christians have taken 1 Corinthians 13 out of context when we apply it to romance and weddings. Yet, I believe that Noble has also taken 1 Corinthians 13 out of context.
Paul writes about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, continues it in 1 Corinthians 13 with the more excellent way of using spiritual gifts through love, and concludes his discussion on spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 14 urging Christians to
“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts …” 1 Corinthians 14:1
This book was not written for modern Bereans. The Bereans checked the Scriptures themselves after they had heard Paul and Silas teach.
Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Father, I pray that Your followers will read books using Your Word and search the Scriptures to understand their context and consider Your whole counsel, specific Scriptures in light of the entire Bible. Bless NewSpring Church with a Berean Spirit and fill Pastor Perry Noble with an insatiable desire to delve deeper into Your Word as the Holy Spirit guides him. We desire that blessing, too, Lord. Thank You for Your Word. Help us to use it for our teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, so that we can honor You and represent You well. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen