(You can find a recording of this sermon here.)
This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
We have all heard of “leadership”, how many of us have heard of “leadershift”? For our purposes in this Touching Base, I want to draw out the contrast between these two words. Leadership in our culture can be very much about the leader and her agenda. Leadership can at times be a position people use to feed their hungry ego.
Have you ever worked under a leader where it was all about him?
Leadershift is all about leading strongly but, ultimately, leading people to a greater cause than just oneself. In a company, leadershift is about leading people to embrace the values and mission of the corporation that will outlast the leader. In the Church, leadershift is all about using one’s gifts to direct people to Jesus Christ. My life becomes a means of deflecting and directing people to Christ.
In our text today we see Paul practicing leadershift.
Text: 1 Corinthians 2:1-4
Big Idea: Leadershift is God-Centered Leadership!
Paul demonstrates leadershift in two ways in our text.
1. He demonstrates leadershift by being authentic about who he is. 1,3,4a
Examine these verses and list the number of ways Paul is being authentic. How is Paul “undressing” in front of them?
To understand the emotion of v.3 read Acts 18, note specifically v.9-11.
What makes Paul’s authenticity really interesting are the following two facts:
A. He is speaking into a context where people are rejecting him and the gospel that he is preaching. He is not sharing this with people who might be kind. In fact they might be kind of mean, and use his weaknesses to further reject him.
How good are you at self-disclosing? How good are you at self-disclosing when you know your audience might use it against you?
B. His deficiencies are in the exact areas that were greatly valued in that culture. The itinerant philosophers and teachers depended on their wisdom and eloquence to gain followers. The city of Corinth was filled with such “spellbinders.” Paul is not buying into their techniques or trying to appear stronger than he really is.
Do you see how Paul is practicing leadershift? He is not building himself up in some way so as to make people think he is THE MAN, he is the hero. Instead, he is very self-deprecating.
Some questions to consider about this kind of person:
- How does this kind of person handle power?
- How does this kind of person relate to his/her team that he/she may lead?
- How does this kind of person deal with others’ failures or struggles? How do you think he/she makes others, who may not have the greatest confidence, feel?
- How approachable is this kind of person?
- How does this kind of person process praise or promotion?
2. He demonstrates leadershift by making Christ the focus. v1b,v2,4b,5.
Read and discuss these verses and see how, for Paul, Christ was clearly the focus.
The key verse for me is v.5. The result of his willingness to be authentic and to focus on Christ is that people will not attach themselves to Paul, but place their faith in Christ. Note how he says it in v.1:31.
In the context, what is a demonstration of the Spirit’s power? Verse 5 answers that question. Who does the phrase “God’s power” refer to? Check out v.1:18,24
Note the relationship between humility and being powerfully used by God (v.4).
How is it that Paul could be so comfortable that he could practice leadershift?
I think one of the answers is seen in this text: Paul had an intimate relationship with Christ (note that this week in our Move prayer focus, intimacy is the theme). Notice his passion to know Christ (v.2) and his intimacy with the Spirit in v.4. The result is that people will come into relationship (intimacy) with Christ. This is a man who knew God and as a result he led others to know God.
His confidence came from a deep place that, no doubt, was nurtured over time, thus he was able to self-disclose.
Discuss the following: When you see your worth in Christ you don’t need to prove your worth to people!
The heart of the gospel is not about us, but about God, not about our glory, but Christ’s, not about our work, but God’s superb work, not about our agenda, but God’s, not about our wisdom, but God’s wisdom.
Who are people in your life that model leadershift?
What do you need to do to better model leadershift?
Botox Church is where we make it all about a human personality. Detox Church is where the toxic elements of human ego are set aside and Christ is glorified.
Let me close with the words of John the Baptist (John 3:30): “He must become greater; I must become less.” Leadershift!!
I would encourage you to participate in our Move prayer focus this week. Join us Sunday March 10 at 4pm.
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact firstname.lastname@example.org