Monday, June 23, 2008

Leadership 101 - Keeper of Order/Maintainer of Focus

Chapter 2 of 1 Timothy can be a real headache, but I want to keep it real simple. What message is Paul trying to convey in chapter 2. In my NIV Bible the heading of chapter 2 is "Instructions on Worship." A pastor's job is to maintain order and keep people's eyes focused on God particularly during worship, but I see this as being the job of every leader all the time. A leader MAINTAINS order and ENCOURAGES focus on God.

This doesn't just happen during our "spiritual" moments during the day. Every moment can be a spiritual moment. Having the proper attitude and focus on God makes life's moments so much easier even when they are real tough.

Our job as leaders is to help people stay focused on God and this requires a certain amount of order. There will be situations that demand more order than others. Playing a game demands a level of order. Sitting in a youth lesson demands order. Leading a small group demands order. It is up to the leader to maintain that order.

Here are some simple suggestions that can help a leader maintain order.

1. Know what is going on and what is supposed to be happening. If you don't understand, ask. If a leader doesn't understand chances are others don't understand as well.

2. Be aware of what is going on around you. It is real easy for people to develop tunnel vision. Leaders need to develop panorama vision. Tunnel vision leads to us missing some of the disorder that could be flying under the radar. Panorama vision helps us see everything so that we may maintain order.

3. Listen. We may assume we know the reason why there is disorder when in reality it could be something very different. Listening, and not just seeing, is key to keeping order.

Ultimately we set the atmosphere that helps people keep their eyes focused on God. If we fail to know what is happening, be aware of what is happening and listen to what is happening we only make the confusion and chaos worse.

Because small groups are such a big part of ministry I have included some guidelines for leading a small group Bible study developed for one of KCC's training days.

Why group Bible studies?

Group Bible studies provide an atmosphere for discipleship, fellowship and mutual edification to take place.

Essentials for a successful Bible study:

Preparation. Study and know the material. Know definitions of words, know cross references, know what the Scripture says in context.

Atmosphere. Create a comfortable atmosphere that lends to learning and sharing.

Facilitate. The job of a small group leader is to HELP people discover truths found in Scripture. Small groups are not class room settings. No lectures allowed.

How to be a successful facilitator:

1. Take the group through the process you went through when you studied the Scripture.

2. Ask lots of questions:

"What does he mean by....?"
"How does this connect with what he previously said?"
"What does this look like in our lives today?"
"Does anyone have an example?"
"How does this apply to you?"
"Are there other scriptures that can help us understand what is being said?"

3. Be encouraging. Encourage answers and encourage Bible usage. Always find something positive to say that is truthful.

4. Stay on subject.

5. Stay on time.

Leaders are the Keepers of Order

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