Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Leading out from the Gospel

One of the greatest blessings for me has been a weekly opportunity to pour into some men through a leadership development class I am giving at a church in a neighborhood of Rio called Freguesia. Pastor Michel came to me with a few men that he would like to develop into deacons of the church. I have been working with Pastor Michel these past seven weeks on this class and this week will wrap up my involvement in it as we head out. Thankfully, Pastor Michel will continue the work with the guys as I phase out. We will be praying for their development into leaders, which are greatly needed at this church. I'm excited because I've been invited to preach the gospel at their church gathering tonight. Please pray with us that God will bless it. To the left is a picture from one of the meetings.

I wanted to post the foundation to this training so you guys can get a good idea of what it looks like. Below is basically the mission statement - it is at the core of all the teaching given on leadership. I would like to break it down so you can see what this really means and how it can effect teaching on things such as doctrine, character, manhood and discipleship.

We aim to lead out from the gospel, by repentance, through imitation, for the benefit and expansion of the Church.

"We aim to lead:
Based on the biblical pattern of Elders and Deacons from 1 Timothy and Titus, with the aim of helping others know and enjoy God better through imitation.

out from the gospel,:
Many times throughout Paul's writing he urges people to live sacrificial and holy lives due to the mercy and grace they have received from Christ (Rom 12:1, 1 Thess 2:12). For this, we see how we must align our motives and desires for leadership to be because of the love we have received, and the desire for others to feel it first hand. Throughout the training we have stopped on the gospel to dive deeper into it in order to better understand the depth of God's grace through Jesus.

by repentance,:
Martin Luther famously wrote that all of the Christian life is repentance. Part of that is because there is no growth in sanctification without it. Repentance is a recognition of your failure to believe the Gospel and a placing of your trust back in it. When we say that we lead by repentance, it means if you want to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus, repentance must be your whole lifestyle and not just an acquaintance.

through imitation,:
Jesus clearly set up imitation as the model for discipleship when he said things such as, "Follow me" (Matt. 16:24), and "As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." (John 20:21) Then Paul shows throughout his writings that this should continue, specifically in 1 Cor. 11:1 when he says "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." As disciples, we want to live a lifestyle that models Jesus in all of our actions and motives, thereby showing others what it looks like to be a Christian in your context so that they will imitate Christ as well. We want to create a culture of imitation within the church by discipling godly men who follow and depend upon Jesus.

for the benefit and expansion of the Church.":
This leadership class is not to be a seminar to improve merely the personal lifestyles of the participants, rather, it is meant to equip the church with servant-hearted, gospel-gripped men who thrive to support the church in taking the message of Jesus to its community. We are constantly asking the guys to take challenges and risks to lead the people of the church into holiness.



  1. Praise the Lord for your gifts.

  2. Great stuff! Blessed to see how you've been a blessing there!

  3. Awesome!