Characteristics of Godly Leaders: Self Control & Temperance

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As we continue to look at I Timothy 3:2 we see that a church leader must be someone who exercises self-control or demonstrate temperance.

This hits hard to some of us. I, for one, struggle with my weight. I’m going to be vulnerable here and just admit it. Food just really tastes good. And it’s fun to eat delicious food. It’s also such a social thing to do in our society. And not only that, but for some of us, food is an escape from reality as much as alcohol or drugs.

Some may say, “Well, those things are different!” I will agree that in some ways they are. We have to eat food to live, but we don’t have to have drugs or alcohol to live. In fact these things could kill us. But if we are truly honest, food can kill us too. Certain foods have been proven to be unhealthy. And overeating to the point of being overweight causes health issues, which can eventually cause death.

Ouch! Gracious! This article started out straight up and to the point.

But lest I appear to just be picking on those of us with weight issues, let me mention a few other areas I believe we need to demonstrate self control and temperance.

What about how much TV we watch? Or actually WHAT we watch on TV? There’s much too much junk on there.

What about those books we are constantly reading? Are we reading God’s Word too? What about all the time we spend on the internet?

What about our talk? What about that gossip? What about those harsh words that come out of our mouths to our spouse and children?

What about the way our homes look? Are we so busy doing other things that we don’t take care of the things with which God has blessed us? Are we so busy doing “godly work” that our families are suffering?

We as leaders in our churches must pray and maintain balance in our lives so that we are being good examples, demonstrating the qualities listed here in this scripture. Even though we are human like everyone else, we as leaders are looked up to and the world is following our lead. That is a sobering thought.

Is your life measuring up? Are you living as a good example of self control?

God help us to be diligent in rising above our human desires and let the Holy Spirit maintain control of our lives in every area so that we are truly leading the world into a relationship with Christ. And in doing this, we will be happier women. How so? Because following God’s way is always best.

Self control is not just something that is found as a qualification of a godly leader, but also listed as a Fruit of the Spirit.  We are all called to be self controlled, and leaders are expected to set the bar.  

Leading Well Starts With My Character

Screenshot-2017-11-6 InstagramWhat does it mean to be a leader?  If leadership is directly related to our character, then we can begin to dig through the Word and learn what God has to say about leadership characteristics.

We are going to begin to explore those characteristics over the rest of 2017.  That seems HUGE but remember, 2017 is almost over.  Plus, we will still have our regular contributors Jenny Andrews and Aimee Nelson providing leadership devotionals.  Sheila Thomas and Trish Jones will also continue to contribute to our teaching from the Word.  Make sure to like our page on Facebook so that you can keep track of new posts.

Growing in Godliness Together – Jenny Andrews

I was living in Los Angeles, California when I had met her.  I was new to the church I was attending and wasn’t sure what to expect from the mommy and me class. I just knew that I was lonely in motherhood and needed someone to say hi to me. She said hi and then invited me over to her house for burgers with the kids. My husband was getting ready to leave for war and I was so in need of support. I had been a Christian for about 1 year and was sure in need of godly women.

As we sat and chatted about who we were and how we came to be where we were now I told myself this woman is a safe person for me. I really love talking to her. That conversation was nearly 10 years ago and we have had hundreds of conversations since then.

I wasn’t always in a leadership role so when I took on a leadership role in the church after fighting with God about my skills and talents my sweet friend came with me on this journey. She lives in another state now but we talk regularly. She has heard my tears, joys, anger, and heart through many circumstances in ministry.

Leadership can be lonely, hard, and frustrating at times we all need a small handful of friends who can walk with us through some tough decisions in ministry. Leadership is not a journey that we walk on alone because God never intended us to be lone Christian rangers.  He created us to be relational. But how do you find that godly person to go to when times get tough or when you want to celebrate what the Lord is doing? Below are 3 important steps to take to finding the right person to walk through leadership with.

  1. Prayer for the Lord to send the right person to you. God cares about our relationships with others so He will gladly answer that prayer for the right person.
  2. After prayer, be intentional on educating yourself in what a good friend looks like and become one. We usually attract the type of people we want to be like. A great book called, “Safe People” by Henry Cloud is a great starting point to becoming a great friend and looking for healthy traits in other women.
  3. Look for woman who you can learn from and grow from with. Women who absolutely adore Jesus and will not compromise their relationship with the Lord for anyone. Women who will graciously call you out and hold you accountable.

My sweet sister in Christ has been through this leadership journey with me since day one; and continues to encourage me and challenge me in my walk with Jesus. She has prayed with me and for me on numerous occasions. We are growing in godliness together. We aren’t perfect but we are in love with Jesus and His word.

We are living in the last days where people will turn to their own ways and not acknowledge who God is.  But, one thing I know for sure about our Father He always leaves a remnant of people behind to stand glorify Him and His holy name. It may get harder to find those who hearts are set on God, but when you pray and seek Him He will send the people your way.

Remember you can’t do it alone friend you need others to help you lift your hands up like Moses had in Exodus 17:13 NLT:

Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So, Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So, his hands held steady until sunset.”

Those friendships are invaluable and you will not regret having them when you them the most.

Qualifying the Called by Aimee Nelson

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If I only had a few minutes to tell you about who I am, this is what it would be, my snapchat version, here goes.
I’m God’s girl. Adopted twice. Wife to a Pastor. Mother. Mi-Mi. Writer. Speaker. Mentor. Homeschooler. I love God’s word, a nice pair of shoes, and anything that will bring encouragement.
That was the quick version, now let me give you the real deal.
I’m a preacher’s kid born and raised right here in West Palm Beach. My father was the founder and senior pastor of a local church in the heart of the city. I grew up front row piano side.
A lot of who I am is because of how I was raised and the family God placed me in. That’s a really loaded statement. Never-the-less Growing up in the church gave me a foundation in the faith and that sustained me when I wondered away. I know firsthand that God makes “broken beautiful”!
Growing up a Preachers kid, I had no idea how much that would impact life. Little did I know that ironing handkerchief’s and helping my dad study for his sermon on a Saturday night was preparation for the role I’m serving in right now. This wasn’t my plan. I’m living proof He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies whom He calls
I’m married to Daryl also known as “Mr. Incredible”. His love for Jesus and me, is a huge reason I am who I am. I’m the mother to four amazing children, two adults and married and two elementary aged. Yeah about that aged gap………that’s another post! I have three incredible grandchildren who I adore and I happen to think they are cutest ever. I love my family. What God has given me testifies to the fact that He “Restores and Redeems”.

 

I am a sinner saved by grace, and I’m grateful for that. I’m amazed at His love for me. The fact that He didn’t need me but He wanted me takes my breathe away. He chose me and that makes me His Girl!
Everyday I’m learning to trust God’s plan for my life and walk out the purpose He has for me. My prayer is that I can be an encouragement to others along the way.
I’m dedicated to helping women live their life on purpose. With over 20 years of experience as a mom, mentor, and pastor’s wife.  I’m passionate about teaching women how to discover their significance in God and His specific purpose for their life, connect
biblical principles to everyday decisions and helping them to influence the next generation.
I pray that as I share what God has shown me it would be a blessing to you and others. It was nice meeting you, I’ll see you on the journey!!
———– About Aimee Nelson
Aimee ministers alongside of her pastor, husband, at Calvary Chapel of the Palm Beaches. She is the Founder and Executive Director of YouMom. Her priority ministry is to her husband, her two adult children their spouses, her two school aged children and
her three grandchildren!

Leadership Begins In Me

Woman Looking at ReflectionI don’t know any leader who doesn’t actively seek to improve their skill set.  We dig into books, internet articles, and discussion with other leaders to better ourselves.  Hours can be spent looking at ministry trends, taking leadership assessments, and digging through the scriptures to identify what a good leader is and does.  We invest in our time in conferences and workshops, we seek to the best with the job God has assigned for us.

One of the things I have been focusing on lately, however isn’t the stuff I add into my leadership repertoire but instead the foundations I began with.  As leaders we are to be an example to those we lead, and sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our ministry work we can begin to drop the ball. It’s easy to excuse those moments because we have all of this leadership work to do, right?

If I want to lead well, I must begin within.  I must lead myself, well.

I must lead myself to church each weekend.

I must lead myself to spend time in the Word, regularly.

I must lead myself to talk with God through prayer.

I must lead myself to relationships with other believers that will strengthen me.

I must lead myself to still waters, quietness where I can HEAR the Lord.

I must lead myself to tend to my household, my husband, and my children.

Recently, a leader shared this statement with me:

You can not lead where you do not go, you cannot lead in what you do not know.

Leadership Qualities

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When it comes to understanding our role as leaders, there are so many great books I could recommend.  But, let’s be cautious that we do not rely merely on the words of man to define what a Christian leaders should look/behave like.  What does God say?

When you are leading a group of people, from a pulpit or a seat on the ministry team; consider the following:

1 Timothy 3:1-7

  • It’s a noble task.   (Don’t take your position lightly.)
  • Be above reproach.
  • Spouse to one.
  • Sober minded.
  • Self Controlled.  (That’s a fruit of the Spirit.)
  • Respectable.
  • Hospitable.
  • Able to Teach.
  • Not a Drunkard.
  • Not violent, but gentle.  (Another fruit of the Spirit, gentleness.)
  • Not quarrelsome.
  • Not a lover of money.
  • Manage your household well.

Exodus 18:21

  • Able.
  • Fear God.
  • Trustworthy
  • Hate bribes.

Deuteronomy 1:13

  • Wise.
  • Understanding.
  • Experienced.

1 Timothy 3:8-13

  • Dignified.
  • Honest.
  • Not greedy.
  • Not addicted.
  • Blameless.
  • Faithful.  (Another fruit of the Spirit!)

As we come toward the last month of 2016, perhaps we should spend some time in the Word exploring these descriptions.  Ask the Lord to reveal areas you need to strength yourself in, make right any areas where you have slacked, ask for forgiveness where necessary.

We enter December with our hearts cast on the birth of Christ, who came to reconcile God’s people back unto Him.  A birth, life, and death foretold in the Old Testament that came to fruition in the New Testament.  Before Christ left to prepare His Father’s house for us, we were left with a charge.  Kingdom leaders that would go out and share the gospel, making disciples of the nations.  To lead in such a way, we must constantly be aware of our character, course correct when need be.

Head to the scriptures, do your own research on characteristics of Christian leaders.  Then test yourself.  Pray before you start, for open eyes, heart, and mind.  Pray through each verse you find, asking for the Spirit to convict your heart if this is an area you need to improve.  Pray at the end for the Lord to protect your role as leader, giving you wisdom… guidance…and discernment.

Team Series – Is That All We Need?

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Team Series:  Is That All We Need? , by Gena McCown

It is time to cap off this series, but I don’t want you to think that this handful of suggestions is the perfect combination for leadership teams, the must haves, the only needed support.  The truth is a great leadership team is going to look and function differently from church to church.  Your teams is going to be built around the vision you have for the ministry, to support the vision of the church.

You may wish to have a Prayer Team Leader, who is a woman with the spiritual gifts of intercession.  She will help lead and teach others how to pray, coordinate prayer events, etc.

If you have a lot of stay at home moms in your church, maybe the Women’s Ministry would sponsor starting up a MOPS Group and you will need someone to lead that group.

The church may request that you coordinate a meal ministry, and that may require having someone with the gift of hospitality step up to lead it.

Each of us, as leaders, will need to assess the individual needs of church and community and develop a team of women who can meet/coordinate to meet those needs.  We would LOVE to hear about unique leadership positions you have within your Women’s Ministry team.

  • What is the position?
  • What characteristics or spiritual gifts are used in this position?
  • How do they serve?
  • What are the responsibilities and expectations of that person/role?