Can You Hear Me, Leaders?

Next Reformation’s Len Hjalmarson fired off a cryptic email to me this week: “Robby, you have one hour to tell 25 pastors and leaders what they need to know about leadership in this transitional time. What are you going to ask them? What things do you want them to know?”

Well, let’s just ponder on that for a minute or two …

Inspired by Jesus’ example, I think I’d work harder on coming up with better questions than giving answers. Even if I were able to craft a compelling one-hour presentation, the chances of my listeners retaining much – even if they 100% agree with me – isn’t reassuring.

But questions … Those can continue to have impact long after we’ve all gone our separate ways. So, Len, to respond to your email challenge, I think I’d focus on questions.

[Surgeon General’s Warning: Sarcasm/pointed wording ahead.]

Assorted Questions

Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand (Matthew 11:15, NLT).

Are the emerging generations (teenagers and 20-somethings) attracted to your church, or are they leaving?

If they’re leaving or have already left, to what do you attribute their decision?

Have you actually spoken to any of them?

On what Scriptural passage do you base the idea that “leaving our church = falling away from God?”

Listen carefully to the following quote from a 20-something friend in Winnipeg; she articulates a common theme: “I am not really interested in where the church is going per se, but if there is a safe place for my parched and weary soul.

How would you respond to her?

When was the last time you read the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:3-7)?

Can you create a diagram or flowchart that reflects your leadership team’s ability to model the following?

“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:25–28).’”

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3–4).”

“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you (John 13:12–15).’”

Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand (Matthew 11:15, NLT).

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