Yesterday I received a gift in the mail. It is a new book called Building Blocks of Spiritual Leadership by Commissioner William W. Francis (retired commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory of The Salvation Army) published by Triumph Publishing and Crest Books. As I read it, I found several passages that inspired me in my vision of seeing the spiritual method of 1 Corinthians 14:26 released in The Salvation Army and in churches of every type around the world.
“As Jesus sacrificed His life for the redemption of creation, so the offering of our lives as His coworkers must be characterized by a divinely inspired zeal to accompany, lift up, support and nurture God’s people. Such a leadership model is radical, countercultural, transformative, and ably articulated by Commissioner Francis, whose book I am most pleased to endorse.” –General André Cox, International leader of The Salvation Army.
“Only Spirit-filled leaders who employ spiritual methods can accomplish spiritual goals. However, brilliant, gifted or charming, men and women who lack the power of the Holy Spirit have no place in church leadership.” –Commissioner William W. Francis (former commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory of The Salvation Army)
Nowadays Christianity desperately needs “Spirit-filled leaders who employ spiritual methods” and empower and release God’s people to reach and transform our 21st Century culture. We’ve had enough of what Commissioner Francis calls “unfit leaders.”
He says: “An unfit leader: seeks to be first and to be noticed; refuses to submit to spiritual authority; gossips and enjoys defaming others; controls others; and drives away those who will not submit to his or her authority.”
Commissioner Francis says: “God is not concerned with keeping the status quo.”
–So why do we work so hard to defend the status quo and keep it from changing (especially in church)?
–Why not let ordinary people speak out in church meetings as they are led by the Holy Spirit, according to the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 14:26?
Participatory church is about pastors focusing on what ordinary people can share and accomplish in a church meeting, rather than keeping center focus on their own preaching.
–“Finding fulfillment in others’ accomplishments is the foundation of spiritual leadership. Such leadership opposes that of leaders who only find fulfillment in personal accomplishment. The practice of the Christian faith requires the exact opposite of wielding authority.” –Commissioner William W. Francis
–Here’s a challenge for pastors along those lines: A Challenge For Pastors In 2015 #2 (Let the living Jesus lead a church meeting).
What if we made the Holy Spirit our featured Sunday morning speaker? “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Perhaps a church meeting could have many mini messages by many different people rather than only one single sermon by only one ordained man called the pastor. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26.) That’s our goal at The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, Tennessee. If you are ever in the area come see: Sunday mornings @ 10:45, 225 Berry St., 37207.