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4 Lepers Find New Places

Here are 3 different leadership postures:

  1. Our church is fine. We just need to get back to normal. We’ll be fine. 
  2. Culture has permanently changed. We need to get members to volunteer to be disciples sent into the mission field. 
  3. Culture has permanently changed. Recruiting volunteers to be disciples is a failed plan! I need to learn a new way to lead and disciple people to follow Jesus where they live, work and play. And demonstrate and tell the Good News. 

And here’s a great excerpt from the 3 Ways to Lead Millennials webinar last week.

Let me share a brief summary of 2 Kings 7! 

Elisha stands tall as the prophetic voice. He’s promising hope to a hopeless Israel. 

Israel is besieged by the Arameans. Things are not good. People are starving. Nobody gets in. Nobody gets out. “We’re all going to die.”

4 lepers do some scenario planning. (Not to be confused with the strategic planning or the scenario planning that Senior Leaders master alongside leading staff well.) 

The scenarios? They’re concise! They’re clear!

If we do nothing? We die

If we go into the city? We die.

If we go to the enemy camp of the Arameans and surrender? Maybe we die!… or? Maybe we live! 

They make decisions around scenario 3. They choose to go to New Places!

Here’s what they discovered: God was already there, and God had acted before they arrived. The enemy armies had been made to hear the sound of approaching armies, and they had run for their lives. 

The 4 lepers eat! drink! celebrate! They go back and share their Good News! 

The response? The king was rightly cautious. The resident skeptic was overrun. The people raced to a fresh lease on life God had visited. God had acted. The lepers made decisions around scenario 3: Maybe we live!

If you need some fresh wind in your leadership sails, join the
Restoring the Weary Leader webinar on Tuesday, March 23, at 2 pm CT.

So, there are plenty of skeptics toward the church. And, we are no longer an “assumed good.”

In some ways, the simplicity of the 4 lepers could apply!

–We could do nothing…and die!

–OR…maybe we could live!

I’d like to propose to you that the future is bright! It’s just different! A transformed people always start with a transformed leader. 

Many of you have been in Leadership Essentials. You know that before the ministry is transformed, the leader is transformed. When I first stepped into congregational leadership, I wanted to change the world. It was incredibly sobering to realize that the change needed to start with me.

I don’t think there’s a day that goes by now that I don’t hear a story of someone in PLI who is absolutely overjoyed that they took the step! Like the lepers, they stepped into new places with fresh eyes, trusting God, and they discovered that God was already there preparing a person for them and the Gospel voice with which they would speak and act! 

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give
the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15

So, let me be bold and propose that you:

–Get a couple of young adults in your church or who used to be in your church (they are there!) and point them toward 1,000 Young Leaders. And suggest their names here. Tell them what you see in them. That you believe in them. Ask them to pioneer some new ground.

–Pick out 5 or 6 of your not-so-young leaders and ask them to link arms together to jumpstart moving us into new places, and suggest their names here. OR

–Dig into the larger culture shift of your congregation to build a culture of discipleship that points you toward “new places” mission frontiers in Discipleship to Missional Community.

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