Links for Walking with God

As we walk with God, it is helpful to glean what others have learned along their walk with God. May these links bless you in your walk with God.

Promises of God

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:3-4

Continue reading Links for Walking with God

The Most Excellent Way to Lead: A Review

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.

NewSpring Church Statement
Perry Noble Statement

My prayer:

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.

 

Most Excellent WAy to Lead

“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.

Paul writes,

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.

My prayer

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

 

 

What can horses teach you about leading?

I recently visited Return to Freedom, an American Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, CA. Our group was there to learn how horses share leadership, and how we might use that insight to lead innovation. The lead mare sets the direction and pace, while the lead stallion is behind protecting the band or herd.

In the morning, my group was given instruction about horse etiquette and safety, and then five of us found ourselves with a domesticated former American wild horse, Peanut.

We were to lead Peanut in and around obstacles and finally onto a raised platform by setting the direction (lead mare) and pushing energy from behind (lead stallion). We struggled at first, but ultimately, we were able to lead Peanut in the direction we intended.

That afternoon, we climbed halfway up a mountain and sat down by a band of wild horses. We sat quietly for about 20 minutes, as horses inched close and retreated, then another horse or two would repeat the dance.

“One of the mares is missing. I’ll climb to the top and look for her,” said Neda, the founder.

“Found the mare, want to climb up the mountain to see her?”

Most of us huffed and puffed up the mountain on the narrow horse trails. There was the mare, her stallion and foal at the tip, top of the mountain. Beautiful in all their freedom … until the mare walked. She limped badly. Neda, got very close to her, but the mare would not let her touch her or lift her leg for Neda to determine what was wrong.

“We need to get her back to her band. Let’s practice what you learned this morning and lead her down the mountain.”

We positioned ourselves around the mare and led her down the mountain on the narrow horse trails, but there were about 12 of us–too many for her, and she veered off the trail, taking about a 45 degree course down the mountain. One of the men, John, followed her,  got behind her and gently led her (without touching her) back to the horse trail. The stallion and foal followed.

When they reached the band of horses, she made contact with the horses as John stood behind her. Then, she turned from the band and limped over to within a few feet of John, bowed her head to him, and returned to the band.

That reminded me of how Jesus led His disciples. He led them in front at times, setting the direction and pace, by the side keeping them all engaged, and from behind, pushing them with the energy of His power.

My prayer for you:

Great Shepherd, guide us in Your leadership through the busy days we encounter and teach us how to lead those we have influence over with gentleness and firmness that is only possible through Your perfect wisdom. You are our Great Shepherd, and we love You.

What is your leadership challenge?