Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Called To Serve

Mark 10:45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Life ChangeToday’s thought is a quick reminder for all of us who feel a calling to lead. If we are called to lead – we are called to serve. Leaders in the church – be it pastors – Bible study leaders – Sunday School teachers – church officers – office staff – church staff – and more – are called to be servant ministers rather than dictators. Can I get an amen?

If we are followers of Christ – it should be more about whom we serve than the positions we hold. Some people work hard for title or position – rather than to serve. Some people can’t wait to be called teacher – pastor – reverend – church leader – when it shouldn’t matter what we are called – we should all be serving Jesus and serving others. Let’s keep that in mind sisters and brothers. We’re called to serve! If we are called to lead – we are called to serve. Continue reading

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Leadership IV

Romans 12:3-10

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

I wrote about leadership the last three Fridays and a pastor friend of mine wrote on the last post that he never uses the word leader in the church without using the word servant before it – as in servant leader.  A servant leader is one who serves as he or she leads.  Jesus was a servant leader – remember Him washing His disciples’ feet.  A servant leader is one who thinks of others first – even as they lead – never thinking that some task is below them.  Jesus did the least task.

John 13:12-17 – 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Today’s passage is all about the gifting that God has given to the parts of the Body of Christ.  Paul writes: For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

No one wants to follow a person who thinks they are above everyone else.  We would rather follow someone who believes he/she is like us – just with a certain gifting to lead – a responsibility or call to lead.

Paul writes that we are all in this together as the Body of Christ – Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.

Leadership is just one of the many gifts that God gives to people in the Body of Christ to accomplish the ministry of Christ.  What is our gifting?  What is our part?  Do we know it?  Are we doing it?

Paul writes to the church and says – Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  We should rebuke evil in our midst and cling to the things of God – that which is good.  We should love sincerely!  Paul also writes that we should show love to one another as we operate in our gifts –Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

I pray that we will take this passage to heart as we grow as a church body.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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October 7, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Leadership | , , | Leave a comment

Leadership II

We’re continuing our thoughts on leadership.  I was listening to another leadership podcast during the week and I heard these quotes from Andy Stanley: The less you do the more you accomplish. And—The less you do the more you allow others to accomplish.

He was quick to say—he wasn’t talking about taking time off—or working less than full time—but rather focusing on your strengths and allowing others to step up and do where you are weak.

Leaders have often been told to play to your strengths—hire for your weaknesses.  But Andy was quick to say we don’t always do this because somehow we are convinced that because we are the leader—- the senior pastor—leader of men’s ministry—the leader of the youth program—etc.—we must be involved in everything.

Leaders also tend to feel like they couldn’t ask someone to do what they don’t like doing or feel inadequate to do—yet that is a perfect opportunity for someone else to step up and allow God to use them.

Another Andy quote I like is: You will always—as a leader—have authority in areas where you are not very competent.  Having authority or responsibility doesn’t mean you have to do it—it might be the wisest decision to let someone else do it!  Great leaders will often say—I’ll let you make that decision.

Leaders have heard let go and let God but have a hard time letting go and letting others!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way!

September 23, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | | Leave a comment

Leadership

Over the next few weeks I want to write some articles on leadership and try to describe what a good leader or leaders looks like.  We all might know what a bad leader or bad leaders looks like—maybe we’ve worked for one/them—but what does a good leader or leaders look like?  What are the characteristics—what are some of the assumptions—what are some of the questions we would find in a good leader or leaders?

I’m listening to the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcasts again.  He covers some amazing topics.  I try to listen to them once a year.  I encourage all persons who aspire to be a leader to listen to these (you can find them on iTunes).

In a session titled Assumptions Andy makes some interesting points about good leadership.  You can listen to this podcast here — http://www.mtoak.org/Podcasts/Assumptions.mp3.

Some quotes that seem to touch a nerve in the church are: If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO—what would he do?  Why shouldn’t we walk out the door—come back in—and do it ourselves?—Andy Grove.  If we know what is wrong—why don’t we make the change—rather than wait for someone else to make it?

Another quote is—Long after our methods are not effective we are still in love with them.  Another one is—The church rarely gets serious about change until they are having trouble paying the bills.

I good leader is proactive not reactive.  In the church a good leader reflects upon the vision and mission rather than the offering plate.  Don’t take that the wrong way—you need the offerings to do ministry—but if we become driven by ways to get more in the plate we are focused on the wrong thing.

A good leader or a good group of leaders in the church will keep the church focused on the vision and mission and constantly be making the changes that would promote them.  Lord—help the leaders at Mt. Oak to be good leaders.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

September 16, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership | | Leave a comment

Leadership Podcasts

All Christians need to be built up, to grow in their knowledge of and love for Christ.  With today’s technology, we have every opportunity to be built up, and from the comfort of our office or home.  I encourage all Christians to grow but I especially ask the leaders at Mt. Oak to pay attention to this opportunity.

As leaders, we are called to go the extra mile, to go beyond the norm.  We are called to dig deeper as we search out the things of God.  There are a number of leadership podcasts out there that Christian leaders can listen to and get insights from on a regular basis.  The one I recommend above all others is Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/andy-stanley-leadership-podcast/id290055666, you can also find them on their home page at http://www.northpoint.org/podcasts. These are excerpts of some of Andy’s teachings and then dialogue around the subject of that session.

Sessions to date include:

  • Assumptions
  • Mutual Submission
  • Trust vs. Suspicion
  • High Performance Teams
  • Systems
  • Becoming a Student
  • Effective Communication
  • The Principle of the Path
  • Breaking Paradigms
  • Keeping your Vision Out Front
  • Leading in Uncertain Times
  • Listening, Learning, and Leading
  • What No One Else Is Doing
  • Stating Vision Simply
  • Casting Vision Convincingly
  • Repeat Vision Regularly & Celebrate Vision Systematically
  • Embrace Vision Personally
  • Making Your Mark

I have subscribed to this and other podcasts through iTunes and have them on my home and work computer as well as my iPod so I can listen to them when I am traveling.  I listen to them over and over again – because there is always something that I might have missed the previous time through.  I also review them regularly to keep abreast of what we’re doing in ministry at Mt. Oak.

I would urge all officers and leaders at Mt. Oak to listen to these podcasts.  The pastors and directors listen to them.

Church Council members – as we prayerfully consider our vision and mission I would urge us to listen to the sessions on vision – it will help us as we roll out what God has laid on our hearts.

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Discipleship, Leadership | , , | 5 Comments

   

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