Pastor Greg concludes his four-part series this week on Servant Leadership. This week he talks about the inevitability of change and reminds us that if we stand against change we may find ourselves actually fighting against God.
1) All Leadership Is Stewardship
2) All Leadership Is Temporary
3) All Leadership Is Accountable To God
4) The Speed Of The Leader Is The Speed Of The Pack
5) Leaders Aren’t Afraid To Act
6) Leaders Act Like Then Is Now
7) Leaders Put The Best Person For The Job On The Job
8) Leaders Embrace Change
The only constant in life is change.
WHY IS CHANGE DIFFICULT?
1) The FEAR FACTOR
The secret to overcoming the Fear Factor is in knowing the God Who is the same yesterday,
today and forever and Who exists outside of, and over all of, this change. ~ Pastor Greg Scott
2) The LOSS OF CONTROL FACTOR
Self-centeredness is always an obstacle to change.
“If you get on board with change early on, you can have an impact in the direction it travels. You can steer change to a degree.
But, if you try to fight it, you will just get run over by it. Change will always win out in the end.” ~ Pastor G
God is all about promoting a certain type of change, called renewal.
The word “new” occurs in Scripture over three hundred times.
Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. ~ Isaiah 43:18-19
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. ~ Psalm 96:1-2
You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them.
Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like
chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found.
But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. This was the dream;
now we will tell its interpretation before the king. ~ Daniel 2:31-36
…The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name,
and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” ~ Acts 5:27-29
But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and intended to kill them. But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.” ~ Acts 5:33-39
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old,
and a worse tear results. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins,
and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins. ~ Mark 2:21-22
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1) In his sermon this week, Pastor Greg talked about how some people fear change or at least fear losing control or influence or power when change occurs. How do you feel about change? Does is scare you or bother you in any way? If so, why? If not, why not?
2) Pastor Greg mentioned “Self-centeredness is always an obstacle to change.” Do you agree or disagree?
3) Pastor Greg said, “People often tend to only focus on the negative repercussions of change and they ignore all the positive aspects that change can bring. “ What is your reaction to that statement?
4) Pastor Greg also said, “The reality is: If you get on board with change early on, you can have an impact in the direction it travels. You can steer change to a degree. But, if you try to fight it, you will just get run over by it. Change will always win out in the end.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
READ: Isaiah 43:18-19 and Psalm 96:1-2
1) Pastor Greg mentioned that one time of change God brings about quite often is called “renewal.” What does God’s “renewal” mean to you and how do you see it working in these two Scripture passages?
2) Can you think of some specific examples from your life where you have experienced a God-driven change of renewal? How did you feel when the change was occurring? Did it result in a lack of your control over a situation or an organization?
3) Did you find comfort in remembering that God is always in control even when many things in our life are in a constant state of change?
READ: Daniel 2:31-36
1) Here is another example of God communicating a very important message through a cryptic dream. This seems to happen fairly often in the Old Testament. Why do you think God often chose to communicate this way instead of a more clear and obvious message?
2) Do you think God still communicates in this way today? Why or why not? If you had a cryptic dream like this that you thought was from God, where would you turn for help with the interpretation?
READ: Acts 5:27-39
1) Have you ever found yourself in the position of Peter and the others; where a person of authority commanded you to do something or to stop doing something that you knew in your heart was not what God was calling you to do? How did you react?
2) Peter and the others were shaking up the status quo of those who had been in power for many years. It is no wonder their efforts were being opposed. What were some of the consequences Peter and the others would face if they did not agree to stop making this changes to the current system of Judaism? Did they let the fear of those consequences stop them? Why or why not?
3) What ultimately happened to Peter and the others when they repeatedly refused to stop bringing about the change God had called them to bring? Do you think they ever regretted it and wished they could have gone back and backed down to those in power over them? Why or why not?
4) What can we learn from their example when we face opposition from people who try to stop us from enacting the changes of renewal that God has called us to bring about?
5) What do you think about the points Gamaliel made to the council? Do you think he was right? Why or why not?
READ: Mark 2:21-22
1) What is the main point Jesus is making with these two analogies? Are they two different ways of making the same point or are they making two different points?
2) Why do you think Jesus chose these particular object lessons of cloth and wine skin to make his point?
3) What are some examples of old wine skins and old shrunken cloth in our world? How about in our church world?
4) What are some examples of new unshrunk cloth or new wine in our world that can rip or burst the old established systems? How about in our church world?
5) You have probably heard the term “sacred cows” before. Do you think a sacred cow and an old wine skin are the same thing? Why or why not?
6) If a non-Christian friend read this passage and said, “I don’t get it. What does he mean?” How would you explain it to them in your own words?
7) What would putting new wine in new wine skins in our world look like? How about in our church world, what would it look like?