Pastor Greg continues his message series on servant leadership. This week he talks about how The Speed of the Leader is the Speed of the Pack. In other words, as the commitment and vision and moral authority of the leader goes, so goes the people he or she is leading.
MESSAGE NOTES ON
THE SPEED OF THE LEADER IS THE SPEED OF THE PACK
Moral authority is the alignment between what I SAY and what I DO.
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!
If you want to be a great leader, you have to lead from a position of moral authority.
“The Speed of the Leader is the Speed of the Pack”
As the leader goes, so goes the organization or community or nation that he or she leads.
Nehemiah learned that Gentiles practiced usery against the Israelites and oppressed them by taking their lands, livestock and taking their families into slavery to pay off their debts. He gave of his own resources to buy back their freedom from the Gentiles. Then he learns that Israelite nobles are doing the same thing to their own people and he is furious!
Then I was very angry when I had heard their outcry and these words. I consulted with myself and contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, “You are exacting usury, each from his brother!” Therefore, I held a great assembly against them. I said to them, “We according to our ability have redeemed our Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations; now would you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us?” Then they were silent and could not find a word to say.
~ Nehemiah 5:6-8
Again I said, “The thing which you are doing is not good;
should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?” ~ Nehemiah 5:9
And likewise I, my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Please, let us leave off this usury. Please, give back to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the new wine and the oil that you are exacting from them.” ~ Nehemiah 5:10-11
Then they said, “We will give it back and will require nothing from them; we will do exactly as you say….
So I called the priests and took an oath from them that they would do according to this promise. ~ Nehemiah 5:12
I also shook out the front of my garment and said, “Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not fulfill this promise; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” And they praised the Lord. Then the people did according to this promise. ~ Nehemiah 5:13
Imagine if some leader in our world had this kind of moral authority that Nehemiah did and if he or she asked the rest of the leaders of our world to do the right things. Imagine if he or she could challenge them to go beyond what the law requires them to do and to instead do what they should do on a moral and ethical scale of evaluation.
If ALL THE LEADERS are morally bankrupt, the ENTIRE SYSTEM will stay morally bankrupt.
Moreover, from the day that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, for twelve years, neither I nor my kinsmen have eaten the governor’s food allowance.
~ Nehemiah 5:14
But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people and took from them bread and wine besides forty shekels of silver; even their servants domineered the people. But I did not do so because of the fear of God. ~ Nehemiah 5:15
I also applied myself to the work on this wall; we did not buy any land, and all my servants were gathered there for the work.
~ Nehemiah 5:16
Moreover, there were at my table one hundred and fifty Jews and officials,
besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us. ~ Nehemiah 5:17
Now that which was prepared for each day was one ox and six choice sheep, also birds were prepared for me;
and once in ten days all sorts of wine were furnished in abundance. Yet for all this I did not demand the governor’s food allowance, because the servitude was heavy on this people. ~ Nehemiah 5:18
The moral authority level of a leader affects the moral climate of the people they lead.
Remember me, O my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people. ~ Nehemiah 5:19
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS ON
THE SPEED OF THE LEADER IS THE SPEED OF THE PACK
1) Pastor Greg talked a lot about “moral authority” in this message. How would you describe a person who has moral authority? Can you share an example of someone in your life that you respect for their moral authority?
2) One of the ways Pastor Greg defined “moral authority” was as “the alignment between what I say and what I do. “ Is that kind of moral authority something we should expect only from leaders or from everyone? Do people tend to hold leaders to a higher standard than they hold the average person they know? Why or why not?
3) If you were giving an overview of this message for someone who wasn’t there this week how would you summarize Pastor Greg’s main leadership principle (The Speed of the Leader is the Speed of the Pack) this week? What does he mean by that? Have you found that to be true? Why or why not? Who are some of the greatest leaders you have encountered in your life? What was it that made them a “great leader?”
READ: 1 Timothy 3:1-15
1) Pastor Greg mentioned there was more to moral authority than just keeping your word but didn’t have time to cover all of it in this particular sermon. This passage from 1 Timothy is one of those key instructional passages for all leaders in the church but do you think many of these guidelines from Paul really apply to all Christians and not just leaders in the church? Why or why not?
2) In your own words, what does it mean to be “above reproach” or “beyond reproach?” Does this require being perfect? Never stumbling or sinning or ever making a bad decision?
3) How does living in the way Paul is describing in this passage give a person the “moral authority” to effectively lead other people? How are they connected?
READ: Titus 1:5-16
1) There is some similar wording here to the 1 Timothy passage you just read. Paul is consistent in his requirements for those in church leadership positions. Again, aren’t many of these qualities really desirable for ALL Christ followers? Why or why not?
2) In verse 7 Paul says the overseer must operate as God’s steward. How does this line up with what Pastor Greg taught in the first week of this series? Paul refers to people who are “self-willed … quick-tempered … pugnacious.” How are you affected by a leader like that?
3) In verse 10 Paul refers to “empty talkers and deceivers?” Who is he referring to? Have you ever had interaction with someone you would describe in this was, as an “empty talker and deceiver?” What was it about the way they spoke and conducted themselves that made you fee this way?
4) Pastor Greg is especially intrigued by verses 15 and 16 of this passage. Paul really presents a dualistic and absolute perspective here. In verse 15 he writes: “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” What do you think of this statement by Paul? Are all people either 100% pure or 100% impure with no degrees in between? What would Paul’s definition or standard of true purity be? How is this related to the idea of having “moral authority” with other people?
5) In verse 16 Paul writes: “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” Given the context of the entire passage, to whom is Paul referring here as “they?” Can you think of examples from your life where someone professed to know God but then acted in a detestable, disobedient and worthless way? Do you think Paul seems to be saying their actions prove their claim is false? Again, how does this fit into the idea of being able to influence people through “moral authority?”
6) Author Brennan Manning once wrote something that was inspired by this passage: “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” Do you agree or disagree with Brennan’s statement? Why? How does this relate to the larger idea of living with “moral authority?”