Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV)
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
The church is put together by all different types of people. The Apostle Paul gives a good overview of the types of people.
The call of the church is to equip people. Equipping for unity and knowledge and maturity. The idea of growing up past childhood to be stable.
I think most church leaders want their congregations to be like that. To be focused and determined. To not be 'tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine.' Sometimes when people are really focused, they might miss out on what else is going on around them. It happens in churches, schools, workplaces and on social media, people can get so intense on their position or opinions, Unfortunately, there are a number of leaders who are aggressive and sometimes downright rude. I think that sometimes leaders feel like they need to be that way, perhaps it's to show resolve. But Scripture says differently. Verse 15 says, ' rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.' I think that there are four parts of leading that Christians should live out.
1. Speak the truth. I think that honesty is important. I think there can be great temptation to 'sugar coat' our thoughts. I never liked the idea of walking around with something in my teeth. As embarrassing as it may be to hear the truth, the awkwardness is short lived, but the benefits are worth it.
2. Speak in love. Honesty is important, but sometimes in leader's eagerness (or impatience, or arrogance) To speak in love is a balance of consideration, tact, thoughtfulness and care.
3. Speak in balance. Our personal styles and backgrounds all affect the way we speak with others. Typically we tend to lean one way or another. Slowing down to ponder a little more about what is said and why is also important.
4. Speak in growth. Leaders share their thoughts concerns and ideas on a pretty regular basis. As I look at the various situations I've dealt with and I notice that I didn't respond to situations in High School, the same way I did in elementary school. I learned and hopefully continue to learn. Sometimes leaders get stuck with the way they communicate.
We don't always see these practices today. In many cases, our students see it less. May we help change the norm.
Copyright 2015 Jackson Fong