[PODCAST] Teams Are Not A Toy

[PODCAST] Teams Are Not A Toy

Teams are not a toy, yet so many leaders treat them like a personal playground.  A popular leader recently tweeted out, “It’s foolish to go where the team can’t take you. Change the team or change the dream. #leadership”

  • BUT, teams are MORE than a means to an end.
  • What about a 3rd option… develop people instead of treating them like tools for a job

Teams are more than a strategic toy so today I want to look at 6 characteristics of the teams Paul served with in the New Testament and how we can implement his approach for better team leadership.

  • First, Paul’s approach to team development placed little emphasis on titles that distinguished him from his co-laborers.  The synergy of roles defined through the use of giftings produces strong momentum for the team.
  • Second, Paul used the power of consensus leadership to develop teams.  Consensus leadership does not preclude the need for good decision-making, but rather it places an emphasis on each person as an equal. See 1 Thes 2:6 “…we might have asserted our authority.”
  • Third, Paul developed teams that he could trust with difficult decisions.  He did not have to override their decisions because he relied upon his training and the equipping of the Holy Spirit to ensure that the church would stay strong.
  • Fourth, Paul demonstrated flexibility within team roles.
  • Fifth, following the example of Jesus, Paul knew that successful leadership was defined by the ability to invest in other people who could in turn invest in other people and establish a chain of generational leadership.
  • Finally, it is impossible to close this segment of today’s show without mentioning the centrality of Jesus Christ throughout the mission of the church.  The headship of the church was, and is, Christ alone who forms the thoughts and mission of the church.


by Dr. J.R. Miller | Christian Leadership Radio

Created For Insignificance

Created For Insignificance

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”
– Napoleon Bonaparte

I was talking with a brand new Christian the other day and I brought up the name Billy Graham. His response to me was, “Billy who?”—I had to chuckle inside. Chances are you and I will never publish a New York Times best selling book, make a hit movie seen by millions, speak before a crowd of 100,000 adoring fans, and it is probably too late to get our names recorded as one of God’s “faithful servants” in Hebrews 11. There are 6 Billion people in the world, and if you’re lucky 200 of them know you by name. In the next couple generations, even our families will most likely forget about us.

Can you give me the name of your great great uncle on your mother’s side?

Yeah… just what I thought.

Fact is, by most of the standards used in our modern society, you and I are destined to live a life of insignificance. I know that sounds pretty harsh, but don’t tune me out just yet. Have you ever thought that just maybe God did not make you or me for fame? Maybe we were not created to have our picture all over the big screen or streets named after us. Who are the people that made the biggest difference in your life? As I look back on my own life and picture the people who made the most impact, none of them are famous.

I am convinced that real meaning comes out of the relationships we maintain on a day-to-day basis. Purpose, value, and impact are determined by the people with whom we share our hearts and hands. A person can have great fame and wealth, but rarely does that translate into having a real importance. Have you done something today that will change a life? Have you given yourself to help another person?

The more I think about it, being insignificant is the best way to make a real difference. God made us to be something more than significant; we were created for insignificance!

This post is featured in my book, “More Than Cake” as one of the 52 team devotionals that take on issues of church, culture, and theology in a way that will engage your team in a full-orbed discussion of missional community. Get copies today for every member of your team!

[PODCAST] The Power of Generational Leadership

[PODCAST] The Power of Generational Leadership

Podcast Liner Notes

Generational leadership is the intentional integration of the past, present and future for mission of the eternal.

  • Its leading through intergenerational teams.
  • Its allowing others to lead from their strengths rather than compensate for your weaknesses.
  • It is helping others do their best rather then leaving them alone to “earn their stripes”

The Leadership Problem

1. The problem of AUTHORITY is both modern & timeless.

“In many ways this questioning of authority is a good thing. The Bible stresses that all derived authority must answer to the living God for its use, misuse and abuse. In our time totalitarian pretenders and spurious authorities have wielded devastating power to the psychic wounding of many people. “  – Carl F.H. Henry

2. The loss of God as the GUARANTOR of leaders creates a dark vacuum.

“The modern loss of the omnipotent God creates a vacuum of which powerful nationalistic ideologies soon take advantage, as the twentieth century learned full well from fascism and communism. A rebellious generation that defects from the authority of God unwittingly prepares a welcome for totalitarian programs that professedly promote the public welfare.” – Carl F.H. Henry

3. INFLUENTIAL leaders are seen as “good” leaders even if they are not biblical leaders.

“But Jesus called [the disciples] to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ” (Matthew 20:25–28, ESV)

4. INNOVATION is valued above biblical leadership.

  • The Church needs less man-centered innovation and more Holy Spirit inspiration.
  • What we need is Generational Leadership instead of Power-based leadership.

Generational Leadership is the Key

Generational leadership is the intentional integration of the past, present and future for mission of the eternal.

A Generational leader recognizes that in the church family, every follower of Jesus is a member, every member is a minister and every minister is a leader.

  • There are Leaders of a Different Kind
  • There are Leaders for a Different Time
  • There are a Diversity of Leaders for a Diversity of Groups

6 Marks of True Generational Leadership

3 Marks from 2 Cor 10:7-12

“Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” – (2 Corinthians 10:7–12, ESV)

  • .First, Generational Leadership is not exclusive (v.7)
  • Second,  Generational Leadership builds up (v.8)

I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.
— Martin Luther King, Jr

  • Third,  Generational Leadership is NOT validated through“personal” accomplishment (v.10)

3 Marks from 2 Cor 10:13-18

“But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence. “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. ” (2 Corinthians 10:13–18, ESV)

  • .Fourth,  Generational Leadership is validated through “people” accomplishment (v.13)
  • Fifth,  Generational Leadership rejoices in the success of others (v.15)
  • Sixth,  Generational Leadership rests in the authority that comes from God alone (v.18)

Remember, Generational leadership is the intentional integration of the past, present and future for mission of the eternal. And this can only be accomplished when everyone understands that in the church family, every follower of Jesus is a member, every member is a minister and every minister is a leader.

[PODCAST] Deconstructing Christian Leadership

[PODCAST] Deconstructing Christian Leadership

Podcast Liner Notes

As you consider the most popular role-models for Christian leadership, ask yourself this question, what exactly is uniquely “Christ-like” in how they lead?  Do they lead like Christ, or do they lead like the World and only talk about Christ?

Here are the 5 Keys to Deconstructing Christian Leadership.

1. You Can’t Lead Yourself

Self-leadership is the ultimate narcissism. Its like saying, if you want to be a great husband, be a good husband to yourself.  OR If you want to be a good parent, practice parenting yourself. It is true that you can manage your actions, but leadership is a relationship—it requires more than one person.

 2. You Can’t Lead Without Following

Following is the not the stepping stone to leadership.  It is not a hierarchy of the powerful rising above the weak.Christian- Leadership is never the next-step “beyond” following.  Followers don’t graduate into leaders, they continue following in one area while learning to lead in another.

3. You Can’t Lead Alone

The New Testament does not know anything of leadership outside the context of teams. Leaders must lead through community. It is true that for some people the word “teams” is just another word for a group of more talented followers, but real team-leadership is about a group of equals sharing the pleasure of service and the burden of authority.

4. You Can’t Lead Forever

Eventually you will die and what will your legacy be as a leader? Some situations demand you follow. Every situation demands that you lead for the next generation. My name will be forgotten, but I live so that the name of Jesus will not!

5. You Can’t Lead to Gain

The Christian leader leads to lose… to sacrifice.. to serve.. to love.  The Scripture tells us that Jesus’ disciples argued about who was greatest & Jesus said, “If you want to be first, be the very last, and the servant of all (Mark 9:34-35).  Therefore, my mission is to be an average man among an exceptional Church rather than an exceptional man among an average Church.

 Next Week

Next weeks show is about the “The Power of Generational Leadership”

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