I will be frank here, I’m not really sure where I’m going with this and I’m not sure there is a definitive destination. I wouldn’t be surprised to get feedback that “wow”, that was five or so minutes out of my life I’ll never get back.
Back hey, lets rush in, where angels might fear to trod.
“Gallup identified three basic leadership styles and determined the dominant style of each CEO from the Inc 500 and national sample.” (Inc Magzine Sept 2014 p 31)
The chart compares “Activation, Strategic and Relational”. By far, Inc 500 CEO’s are more on “activation”, then the other styles. Activation is described as “Action oriented, focused on results, unafraid of risk, forceful, pushes people to improve, high expectations.” If I was to pick anyone in the Bible that I’d describe as an entrepreneurial, risk taking, CEO type. It would be St Paul. Yes, he was relational, but I really think that it was in terms of results. He had no compunction about confronting, he repeatedly said we should rebuke, exhort. He wasn’t bashful about pushing on people and people at all levels of society.
“ESV 1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.”
We might think that Paul was being a little crass. I really read this passage as saying: “I will do whatever it takes to get the results (within the law). But what is the real point of getting those results? Now I’m not going to say that Paul “led” someone to Christ, that he converted people, however you want to state it in Reformed theology. But let’s just say in terms of being used by the Holy Spirit to witness to others to Jesus. Sure Paul could, although I’m sure he wouldn’t, claim to have all these converts. But clearly, he was used powerfully by the Spirit in order to bring thousands to Christ in his relatively short ministry. In an era where there was no mass communication, transportation, lacking a large organization, Paul showed up in a city and within what we can guess was a short period of time, established meetings, designated leaders and, essentially built churches.
Did Paul build relationships? Absolutely. I don’t see how you can be a leader and not build relationships as a part of the efforts to establish an organization. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong, but I think that when people start to associate with you in a common cause, they are more motivated to help to establish that organization, then they’re concerned with building a relationship. In fact I would submit that, especially for guys, that relationships are built as a result of the efforts put forth for the enterprise to grow.
Paul said that he would do whatever it takes in order for someone to come to Jesus and to be saved in Him. Sure there’s a relationship involved, but I don’t think Paul was particularly concerned whether he had a “relationship” with each person. The goal was for them to know Christ as Savior, if a relationship grew out of that, and they certainly did, so much the better. But the goal for him and should be for all of us is to do what we can do in order for someone to come to know Jesus.
If Paul was in the corporate world and made promises such as “I am made all things to all men,” it might even seem somehow unauthentic. “Do whatever it takes to make the sale???” I suppose, but… What is the goal? The emphasis seems to be in building relationships and I understand that and that would be highly desirable. I’d love to have an active, deep relationship with everyone in my church. I’m not sure that everyone would want that in my church, but that would be the ideal. But would that be achieving the ultimate goal? No.
Let’s face it, there’s no guarantee that I will wake up in the morning. I’ve lost two brothers, both younger then me. I have no assurance that I will be able to build a relationship with someone else. Even worse what happens if they die without any evidence that they are in Jesus? Hey if I don’t wake up in the morning I know that I will be in the presence of the Lord. Can I say that about everyone I know? No, I can’t.
Yea, relationships are great. I think that they are really the result of people who share goals and dreams, instead of people who are unequally yoked? Yes, there’s certainly something to be said that you don’t want to make someone a “project” and you certainly don’t want them to feel that way. There has to be a sense of urgency, is it really ever too soon to know Jesus as Savior? Life can be too fragile and when we lack of sense of urgency, we can fail to faithfully follow how the Holy Spirit leads us.
It’s not a hard sell and I know that. I think it is frankness, candor, putting it on the line and knowing that what you say will be rejected. Remember, they’re rejecting the Holy Spirit, not you. It’s the Holy Spirit who puts us in the presence of those He wants us to witness to.
Inc CEO’s put aside fear of risk, they to push people to improve (can you improve in salvation? Salvation is a vast improvement over damnation!) and they have expectations. Let’s have high expectations of the Holy Spirit, if He leads us, as He led Paul, to “be” what was necessary to “be” in order to show Christ to others, then let’s have a sense of urgency and follow the Spirit’s leading.
We need to always keep in mind, that we cannot drag anyone into the Kingdom, it certainly will always be the work of the Holy Spirit. But if we are being urged by the Holy Spirit and we do not put into action what He is leading us to do, we take the risk that we have failed. We can sin as much by omission as we can by commission. We aren’t on commission, for those who are baptized in the Name of Father, Son and Spirit, when we hear the preached Word and study the Word, when we take the Body and Blood, we are saved in Jesus. But we aren’t being faithful to Him who died for us when we put off pointing others to Jesus.
I’d like to talk about it more. We meet Wednesdays at 10am at the coffee shop corner of W King and Beaver St’s in downtown York, Pa. Feel free to park behind the church, I’ll even buy your first cup of coffee. Just look for me.