Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Attitude: Leadership

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.

RayMcDAs a pastor with several decades of ministry under my belt – I believe I can say without fear of contradiction that the attitude of leaders in a church is essential. As a pastor I have witnessed some terrible attitudes among some of the leaders in the church (mine hasn’t been great all the time either – just saying).

Are we a glass half-full or a glass half-empty type of person? Do we see the good in things or the bad in things first? Are we a complainer or an encourager? Do we tend to think the worst of people and situations or the best? Come on now – let’s be honest.

We all know people who are half-empty types. We all know people who see the bad in every situation – first. We all know people who are complainers – who tend to see the worst in every situation (at times ignoring the good). At times we might all have that tendency! And – if we were honest – we would acknowledge that we don’t enjoy being around those type of people. If these people are leaders in a church – they can block the church from growing – they can block the Spirit’s work at times. They can stifle the Spirit with a bad attitude.

As a pastor I run into these folks occasionally (when I’m not battling these issues in myself). You know the type – I’ve had them in every church I have served. Worship can just be over – most everyone is on a spiritual high – and they come to you with a complaint. Complaints or concerns are not bad and we all need to hear them to improve – but at times the timing is the issue. Like when we just get home from a long day at work and we are greeted by our family and the first thing we do is complain about something rather than spend time with our family (this makes them cringe when we walk through the door).

At one previous church – I offered an adult Sunday School class. This class met between the worship services during our education time. Our practice was to go deeper with the message – some had already heard it – some were preparing to hear it. My first question each week was – so what did you get out of the service or message this morning? Of course the answers were mainly from the early service people but some had read the Scripture for the day ahead of time and came ready with questions. Most people would ask a question to go deeper or would seek some clarity on some finer point. One or two people – often leaders I embarrassed to say – people who saw things half-empty or saw the negative way before they saw the positive – would respond with some criticism of the morning – like we went too long this morning or the music was too loud. How long we went is a perfectly valid point and something that might need corrected – and the sound is also an issues that should be dealt with for sure – but it wasn’t the subject of the class. Again the timing means everything at times.

Today’s passage gives us insight into what we should concentrate on – the better – nobler things. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Philippians 4:4-9 – 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

At times we become the way we think. If we dwell on the negative – we become a negative person. Paul is instructing the people to rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Paul encourages us to pray about everything – to set our hearts and minds on the things of God and finally he writes – brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

As church leaders – we should be mature in our faith and thus in control – mostly if not completely – of our emotions and our attitudes. People are always watching us and at times modeling our example. We must take this into consideration dear leaders. We must develop a good attitude when it comes to kingdom things!

Good words for us to hear today as we begin our day. Be a people who sees what God has in store for us in the day rather than a person who lives in the complaints of the day. Seek His face while desiring His grace.  Have a fantastic New Year. May God bless you – real good!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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January 4, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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