Steps to Stepping In ~Leadership ~Guest Post by Andrew W Harris

May 10, 2013
Steps To Stepping In.
I’ve been wondering.. What does it mean to be a leader? How do you know if you’ve made it to the point of being a ‘leader’? Is that just a title we use in the church to make people feel better about all the hard work they’ve done? I mean, not everybody that’s been in the church since they were young are what I would consider ‘leaders’.. So how is it calculated? What sort of system do we use to classify the leaders and the followers? Does somebody have an abacus to solve problems like this? Does one system exist or is there just sort of an unspoken agreement? Does it mean anything?(Let me clarify right off the bat that I’m not saying I think anybody can just jump up on the stage and start preaching or leading worship. Don’t misquote me.)
We all know there is a clear distinction between someone who leads and someone who follows. What I am saying is this, the people that are true leaders are not doing the things they do for the sake of being called a leader, nor did they make their way to where they are with a desire to receive that title.
So, where does that leave me? I want to be important! I want to travel the world preaching the Gospel with thousands of Twitter followers! I want to change lives, lead people to Christ, all that stuff! However, that won’t get me anywhere. If I can’t handle my territory where I’m at right now, if I can’t get a grip on my own life, then why would God ever promote me to a place of higher responsibility? Truth is, He won’t. Obviously.

Ok, so, getting to the point.

As I’ve been praying and searching for examples of people who are/ were in a similar place of life as me, I have come across some key steps to becoming the leader that God has called me to be. I found the first step in the first chapter of Joshua.

The first chapter of Joshua describes God’s commissioning of Joshua, after Moses had died. Moses was the leader of the people, the only one they had known throughout the time they spent wandering in the wilderness. I love the way the ESV titles the next section. Right after God had told Joshua to step up, before verse 10, the title is “Joshua Assumes Command”. You see, the people of Israel had know one leader. I can imagine their mindset was “this is how it’s always been done”, and I bet they wanted to keep it that way. Joshua didn’t respectfully go to everyone individually and say ‘I’m in charge now so you should expect some changes’. No, he simply assumed command. The best part is that the people listened. Now, how can I apply that to my life?

  • Step 1: Assume Command!

Take your life and visions out of the hands of other people, and take control of them again! You know the things that the Lord has placed on your heart. You know the visions that He’s given you, you know the hope that you have! Don’t leave it entirely up to other people to cultivate those things inside of you! Please understand that I’m not saying you should be a loner, or that you should make decisions based entirely off of what you’re feeling in the moment. Seek wise counsel, obviously. What I am saying though, is that it’s dangerous to share your visions with every single person around you, expecting them to be as excited as you are about them. People are people, they can’t help themselves! Sometimes we look at who a person is right now, and write them off as over-ambitious or just plain crazy. Don’t sell yourself and your dreams short.

Moving on.

Now that we have our lives in our own hands, and our aspirations are not subject to the small-mindedness of others (no offense), where do we go?

1 Corinthians 2:4-5:

..and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that you faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

  • Step 2: Encounter.

Encounter His presence, so that “your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God”. Don’t get stuck in a place of trusting entirely in humans to pull you out, pull you through and raise you up. Don’t forget that God is not a figment of human imagination. Don’t forget that your wildest dreams are what He calls you to chase after. Remember that He’s not the one saying ‘maybe you should lower your expectations a little’. What kind of person would you want to follow? A washed up, dreamless stiff? Or someone who can’t sit through an entire meeting cause their brain is already moving on to the next idea they want to bring in to existence? I’m not encouraging you to be obnoxious or flashy, or even outward with your dreams. Remember what Joseph’s brothers did when he was always talking about his dreams? Yes, I know that God worked it out for good and his brothers actually did end up bowing before him, but don’t over-complicate things. Point being, throwing your visions out left and right can get annoying to everyone else. It’s a good thing you’ve completed step one and your life and your dreams are not in need of the approval of others anymore!

The passage in 1 Corinthians goes on to say (quoting Isaiah 64:4),

No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Do this. Replace “those who love Him” with your name.

No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart imagined, what God has prepared for (insert name here).”

No eye has seen! No ear has heard! Not even has the heart imagined!! Don’t allow yourself to fall in line with a mentality of ‘this is the way it’s always been done, this is the way that it’s gonna be done in my life’! That is not the heart of the Father!

Bear with me, here. It might seem like we’re getting away from the initial purpose of this conquest, but I assure you, it’s all relevant!

By now, you’ve taken your future back out of the hands of nay-sayers (figuratively speaking), and your faith is not found in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Hmmmmm.. What’s next?

Hebrews 6:1-2

“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instructions about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement.” 

 Have you ever met someone that dwells on things that happened like 6 months ago? Or someone that seems to always bring up that embarrassing thing you did when you were 5 years old? We all know ‘that guy’. Hopefully you’re not ‘that guy’.. Awkward..
In this passage of Scripture, Paul is sending a warning to some discouraged believers, who are probably a lot like that negatively-reminiscent person you know. He starts with a reasonably understandable statement:

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity…”

Simple enough, right? Bottom line: leave the simple stuff behind. If it stopped there, we would be left to wonder what classifies as ‘elementary’. Thankfully, that question quickly gets cleared up.

not laying again a foundation..”

He goes on to describe all the things that are part of the ‘elementary doctrine of Christ’, and warns against dwelling on these things. Now, what would happen if you were building a house, but all you did was lay the foundation over and over again? You wouldn’t have much of a house! In the same way, if we continually study, seek after and converse over the elementary things, what will happen to our faith? I won’t really be getting anywhere, right? Just like a house, our faith needs a foundation to be built upon, but then it actually has to be built up!

 

So, without further adieu..

  • Step 3:

Press in.
Press in.
Press in.

It might seem similar to ‘encounter’, but give me a chance here. After you encounter, after you ‘taste and see’, what are you left with? Do you think to yourself, ‘that was cool. I’m never doing that again.’ No! If you have an authentic encounter with the love of the Father, if you truly taste and see, you can’t help but desire more!
I think the problem we run into is the same problem the Israelites hit when God gave them manna from Heaven. He promises them bread and meat, but that they were not to keep it overnight. Being the excellent listeners that they were, they kept it overnight. And, what happened? It went bad. Actually, “it bred worms and stank”.  Gross. In the same way, we are not called to live off of old revelation! If we ‘taste and see’, and then we keep going back to that same revelation, what is it that we are really doing? If we aren’t continually ‘tasting and seeing’, then isn’t that basically the same as the Israelites keeping that manna till the next day, even though God had already promised to provide one day at a time? Let me answer that. Yes. Kinda puts a new perspective on the model prayer, eh? “Give us today our daily bread..”
We as humans have a trust issue with the Father. We tend to not take Him at His word. Just like the Israelites kept the bread overnight, we like to horde every little spiritual insight and dwell on it. This is a problem. We don’t get filled up entirely. It says in Exodus that “each of them gathered as much as they could eat”. If, then, they started with as much as they could eat, and they kept some overnight, that means they didn’t eat all that they gathered, which means they didn’t eat all that they could eat, right?  In the same way, we live a rationed life, when we are called to eat fresh on a daily basis. Jesus said,  

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” 

 Jesus gave Himself, once and for all, so that we would be free. As free people, adopted children of God, we no longer need to live like we might not encounter Him ever again. We need not worry about when and where the next fresh revelation will come from.

When questioning whether or not you’re a leader, maybe you should shift your perspective a little bit. What’s it really about? Is it about being recognized? Or is it about loving God? When we love God, when we truly fall in love with Him, people can’t help but take notice. Our lives are transformed into an adventure that others long to live in themselves. When thinking about where you fit in with this new generation and new time in the world, don’t over-complicate things. Don’t dwell on the old, but instead press on into the new. Press into the realization of Isaiah 64:4. Let it become true for you as an individual, and let it overflow onto everyone around you.

No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Andrew W Harris http://t.co/0UleIhi3hY 

you can find more about this blog, “Not just a Man”, by clicking the link to his blog^ (next to his name) You’ll be glad you did.

11 comments

  1. Andrew is one of the most amazing young men that I have ever met…hands down! I am SO excited to see where he goes and what he does for the Father……whatever it is…..it’s going to be incredible. He is a world changer and a history maker! This post was written by that of a leader. Blessings.

    Like

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