Lead The Way

A little over a year ago, I transitioned out of my role as a Senior Pastor and into a new role as the Lead Pastor of “GROW” at Pure Heat Church in Glendale, AZ. In essence, I now oversee all things related to discipleship and spiritual formation – Life Groups (both on campus and off campus), Pastoral Care, Health & Wellness, and digital discipleship processes such as the weekly podcast and (now) ZOOM groups which are defnitiely a work in progress. {Side Note: we all should have bought ZOOM stock a couple of months ago} I have a phenomenal team of high capacity leaders to work with which makes all of the parts work together AND, as an added bonus, we have fun doing it.

As a leader, I am continually evaluating what we do in light of what I see as our central focus: Equipping people to live the way of Jesus. In essence, I along with my team have to “Lead the Way”

image

The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated a great need for the body of Christ to live differently, not in the sense of attitudes and actions that taint our witness in the world but rather, those attitudes and actions that align with the way of Jesus. It is no accident that the first followers of Jesus were actually called “The Way” (See Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14). They understood that living the way of Jesus (John 14:6) was counter-cultural, but it was truly a better way to live. Our discipleship efforts have to focus on equipping people to live the way of Jesus, and as leaders, we must move forward and lead the way.

I recently read Paul’s letter to Titus. Paul had left Titus in Crete to set the churches in order and appoint Elders in all of the cities on the island (1:5). Cretans were self-described as liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons (1:12), so those coming to faith had to learn the way of Jesus. They had to be discipled on how to live in the new family of God. So much plays into this. People who come to faith in Jesus today have a past that has shaped them. Families of origin have deeply influenced their world spiritually, emotionally and relationally. These are the old things. We know that in Christ, old things have passed away and all things are being made new (2 Corinthians 5:17) but it takes time. Discipleship is slow and messy, but the way of Jesus is truly the better way and as leaders we are tasked with demonstrating this to those we are discipling. Again, we have to lead the way.

Paul told Titus to teach in accordance with sound doctrine and to model the way of good works, living in such away that no one on the outside could speak evil of him as a leader. I see Titus 2:11-15 as a mandate for this idea of leading others in the way of Jesus. Further, as a discipleship Pastor, I see this as what we need to order our teaching and programming around.

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. 15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2:11-15 ESV)

Equipping people in the way of Jesus involves training them to renounce ungodliness & worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. It is truly a better way to live, counter-cultural, yet life-giving and totally zealous to do that which is good. As a Pastor, I am challenged by this for my own life to always be leading the way.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s