The Ascent Church in Monument, Colorado is in the process of selecting new elders. Two of us, who are currently on the elder board, recently met with one of two prospective elders to gauge whether he would be a good addition to our team. The process will continue with several more meetings with our pastors and elders and, then if nominated, the congregation will vote to bring them on as elders. It is a solid method and it works well for our church.
1 Timothy 5:22—Don’t be too quick to appoint anyone as an elder, and don’t share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
Reelgood’s vision is “to be the place that people go to when they want to watch any TV show or movie.” What I appreciate about this vision statement is its simplicity. One of the first keys to effectively communicating vision is to keep it simple. If we have a grandiose concept that we want others to embrace it must not be overly wordy, complex or ambiguous.
Acts 9:13-15—“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go! For this man is My chosen instrument to take My name to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites.”
1 Chronicles 11:6—David said, “Whoever is the first to kill a Jebusite will become chief commander.” Joab son of Zeruiah went up first, so he became the chief.
Words definitely matter. So do our actions. On the surface, it appears that King David made a pretty smart decision. He needed to defeat the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem who had a successful history of repelling would-be conquerors. In fact, they told David, “You will never get in here” (vs. 5). David needed a general to lead Israel’s army so he issued the challenge in our verse for meditation. The king got what he wanted. Zeruiah’s three sons, Joab, Abishai and Asahel were all warriors and Joab seized the opportunity afforded by David’s challenge, and killed the first Jebusite.
This month I had the privilege of delivering the commissioning speech to the ROTC graduates at the University of Portland. Seven cadets in front of their friends and relatives raised their right hands and swore to support and defend the constitution. Each stood before a noncommissioned officer to render their first salute and then gave the NCO a silver dollar in keeping with Army tradition. It was a moving ceremony and I was impressed by the quality of the young men and women ready to serve their nation.
The fate of every business hangs upon the quality of the employees hired. The fate of the world rests upon the quality of Jesus’ disciples engaged in obeying the Great Commission. Therefore, selection is an extremely important concept in the formation of teams and in accomplishing God’s will! I’d like to share with you seven principles that my Dad, Ron York, utilizes as a result of over fifty years of ministry experience. I believe you will find them to be very encouraging and helpful.
Our main objective in Kenya is to establish a team of 40* people committed to becoming disciple makers. In the process of leading prayer walks and speaking to large gatherings of pastors and laymen, eager men and women emerged ready to be trained. The church in Kenya is not lacking for disciples, what it lacks is disciple makers (leaders committed to reproducing disciples).
They are mentioned in one paragraph in the Bible and then (with the possible exception of Acts 15:22) never again. They walked near Jesus from the time He was baptized by John to His ascension to heaven but we know next to nothing about them. What kind of personality and gifting did each man have? How frequently did they gain access to the Master?
Acts 1:8--But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the endsof the earth.
The top supervisor position in a Brigade I will be commanding opens at the end of the month. A team of four of us conducted interviews with three job applicants. One of the individuals on the hiring team, Jack,* clearly favored one of the applicants and pressured the rest of us to hire her. His choice did the best job fielding questions and technically seemed the most competent for the job. By the end of the interviews the team leaned towards hiring her. Inwardly I did not feel comfortable selecting her. It felt like we were rushing to make a hire—squeezed by time and loyalty to select a woman who had served in our organization a long time. I silently asked God for His help that we would do the right thing. Instead of immediately offering her the position I gained approval from the other three leaders to conduct a more thorough background check.
If you would like to study the rudimentary formation of a team, watching third grade boys in basketball practice is a great place to start! Whoooooo, what a blast! When eight and nine-year old boys go out on the court what do you suppose is the predominant thought in most of their minds? It doesn’t take long to figure out.
I suspect the biggest challenge a coach has is to teach his players the art of passing. Passing means recognizing it might be better for my teammates for me not to dribble and shoot because someone is in a better place than me to advance the ball or score. Watching youngsters learn to pass is priceless. Once they understand that they are better working together than in trying to win solo, great things happen.
The air is thick with smoke. Against the whizzing bullets of death a small patrol of rangers races up a desolate slope of carnage. Their mission is to take out a machine gun nest that has wasted the ranks of two squads previously attempting to seize the hill. Halfway through their inspiring charge, the patrol leader pauses. He rethinks his mission, reevaluates the situation and is overcome with the deafening voices of fear that permeate his head like some bewitching chorus. He tells his men to take cover behind the stones and wait. He cannot move forward.
Many people have studied the life and ministry of Jesus. There is much written about His three-fold ministry of teaching, preaching and healing revealed in the gospels. But it seems to me that Jesus’ most important work was His fourth ministry of training! Where would the world be today had He not invested His life in the lives of His followers? John Maxwell, a superb trainer of leaders says, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”