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AccountabilityThis week’s topic centers around how Jesus and the disciples developed themselves and others for leadership, specifically how they held themselves accountable to each other and to the mission they were called to do.

Jesus knew a thing or two about transformation and he wanted people to experience the truth that was found in Him. The disciples knew this and experienced it themselves. During this time that was spent with Jesus, the disciples were developed and were groomed for leadership because they were going to be ones to deliver the Good News about Jesus. They were commissioned by Jesus himself in Matthew 28:16-20 but he knew they couldn’t do this on their own. Jesus promised this to Peter and Andrew when they were first recruited by Jesus in Capernaum near the Sea of Galilee when he made his famous quote, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people” in Matthew 4:19. There is emphasis seen here about going out in two’s, which you continue to see throughout the New Testament. Having two is stronger than one, yes. In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus tells the disciples “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers,I am there among them”. What is so important about two’s? Accountability. Through accountability brings growth,development and forward traction. How did Jesus, Paul, James, and John develop themselves as leaders? By being accountable to each other, those they were teaching and leading, and to Jesus himself. Jesus was just as accountable, if not more to them because he was leaving them and had to deliver them to be the example of Him after he left.

“Jesus has been called the greatest leader of all time, but his leadership strategy went against conventional wisdom. You don’t give to get. You give because it’s the right thing to do” (Maxwell, 2006). Jesus focused his lessons on the heart because he knew it affected everything within a person and he focused his teaching on things that mattered, (Proverbs 4:23). Scripture tells us that His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). The only way we’ll bring the two together is by spending more time in His presence; by doing so we’ll begin to think more like God thinks. This transformation can be seen in the way the disciples and those that studied under Jesus, Paul, James and John all were transformed and developed into the leaders they became.

[Foreword]. (2006). In J. C. Maxwell (Author), Christian reflections on the leadership challenge. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Developing the Leader Within

It is vitally important as we continue to plant, water and till the seeds that God has planted within us. As we continue on our own individual journeys of growth and development as leaders, I believe there are three things we must do every single day.

  1. Challenge our existing beliefs and mental models we hold about ourselves and those around us. Be aware of our worldviews and how they affect our outlook. Make sure what you believe really matters and that you know why you believe what you believe. Know the purpose and meaning behind your core values and beliefs.
  2. Surround yourselves with the right people. We are a product of the environment we surround ourselves in. Just as “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corin 15:33). It is important to know acknowledge the influences within the circles of influences in our lives.
  3. Take action – Don’t just be a speaker of the Word, but be a doer. Don’t just know the material, but really live it out. Allow others to see what is you’re preaching and speaking. Don’t be a hypocrite. The measure of a man is not just what he says, but who he is can be seen in his actions and those following him.

The Best is Yet to Come

What is the Best? What does it even look like? Only you know. What are the dreams and visions God has given you but you don’t believe they’ll ever come true? What keeps you from having faith and trusting God that you can achieve that or live that way? For those you who don’t know God, you may be asking who is this Jesus you speak of?

Paul tells us in Romans 8:31, that “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Others may hurt you, but God is ALWAYS for you. Others may desert you, but God is always on your side.

The last six months or so, I’ve been watching Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church on the Elevation Network.

What you expect in church is what you’ll get out of the experience.

What do you mean if I can? Everything is possible if a person believes. _ Mark 9:23

What is the real thing?

Never read a scripture out of context. Read what’s before and what’s after to fully understand the context of the scripture.  Have you ever taken something out of context only to realize it doesn’t mean what you thought because you took it out context?

What is the Real thing?  – The Transfiguration When you’re all alone with God, those are the moments where God can do some of the greatest things in your life.

Hence, the importance of quiet times with God.

God is the God.

Are you worshiping the things of this world you can see and not the things you can’t.

You brought you thing to church, but you have never brought it to Jesus. Is it possible you’re worrying about it instead of praying about it? Have you brought your issues and dysfunctions to everyone but Jesus? Jesus is here today asking, will you bring it to me?

Who are you bringing your problems to?

There is something that controls you and robs you. Mark 9 – it seized him and paralyzes him to keep him from who he could have been.

What is the thing that keeps you from God and that you keep from God. What is the thing that seizes you and takes you over? What is the habit, the pattern, the thing that keeps surfacing in different situations, that guilt, that shame, memory, regret, that bitterness, the addiction, the proclivity, doubt, nightmare, grabs you by the collar and throws you around. Before long, you don’t have the thing, but the thing has you. Before you know it, you begin to manage the thing and hide it, you live in a pattern of conformity, accepting it as the way it is. People often say, “it is what it is”, I hate this phrase. Instead of accepting it for what it is, how about, it is what you make it?

Is there a thing in your life that you’ve been carrying around, that you hide in a secret place in your life,

Mark 9:22, says the thing often makes him fall into the fire or into water, trying to kill him.

Jesus says to bring your #everything to him.  Mark 9:23 says, everything is possible if you believe.

What is the condition of your faith? What is the real thing beneath the thing that keeps you from believing? God wants to cure you of your own heart. The father in Mark 9:24 said, “help me with my unbelief”. You may be asking God for something, but God wants to fix the thing in you.

God wants to fix the thing that you don’t tell anyone about. Not the thing you tell everyone about, but the thing you don’t tell anyone about. God wants to fix your heart condition.

God wants to heal the thing that you look to others for. Sometimes, God doesn’t heal the thing you’re asking for, because He wants to heal your heart and bring out the real thing that’s keeping you from Him.

 Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen to those who believe.