The Basics That Build Leaders
(Part Two)

by Dr. Waylon B. Moore

A godly leadership base is critical for lasting church growth. As I've traveled extensively overseas and in the United States, I continue to discover that most Christians have little idea how to specifically help a believer become a growing, spiritual leader. If you will begin mentoring others in these six key areas, God will transform you and your church!

In part one , I shared the first three of six basic “handles” to build into the life of the person you're mentoring:

  1. How to be filled with the Spirit
  2. Personal Bible study
  3. Specific, believing intercession

Three other basic “handles” that need our focus now, are

  1. Daily Obedience
  2. Witnessing
  3. Attitude: Seeing With His Eyes

4. Daily Obedience

All of the talent, human beauty, and Bible knowledge together cannot compensate for a rebellious heart toward God. “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (1 Samuel 15:23). As you model daily obedience to the Lord, the person you're mentoring will be challenged to also let Christ be “boss” of his life.

Our life in Christ is not a daily run, although the Apostle Paul uses this analogy, too. More often Paul uses the word “walk” to describe the Christian life. It may seem plain and ordinary, but being “in step” with Jesus brings supernatural and eternal dividends.

Walking — that's the best way to describe the plodding gate of obedience. “Yes Lord. Yes, Lord. Yes. . . .” However, the moment we disobey, saying “No,” we stop walking and fall down spiritually. Unless we confess the sin, we never get up and walk with Jesus again!

Also, unless our repentance and confession is very quick, we pay the consequences of sin. Though God's memory is perfect, His patience is sometimes like the Energizer Bunny (“it keeps going, and going, and. . . .”) However, when He spanks us, He knows right where to do it: where it hurts!

Learning to walk in victory involves learning to listen to the Holy Spirit, when His voice echoes Scripture in our hearts that has been implanted there. We must “. . . be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). To “do the Word” we must know the Word.

With some 575 direct commands in the New Testament, who can know or remember them all at once? I asked the question, “Isn't there an easier guide, Lord, to help me learn to walk with you?” And He gave me an insight. Link your specific opportunities to follow Jesus with one main verse: Luke 9:23. Take up your daily cross. Yes! The cross is choosing God's will for my life today. I take up the instrument of death to myself and, led by His Spirit, follow Jesus through the day. Each time that I deliberately choose the Father's will for my life, He imparts His life in that area of my death. Choosing Jesus runs interference from temptations that Satan would try to tackle me like linebackers going after the running back.

Ministry follows obedience like a shadow. The will of God is never all that it seems on the surface. When the Apostle Paul was jailed, he was “walking” in obedience to Christ. Be sure that no contemporary of Paul ever looked beyond that prison sentence, to dream that from it Scripture would be written. From that isolation period were born Ephesians, Philippians and other books of eternal gold. Pilgrim's Progress, the second most read book in 200 years, was written by Baptist pastor John Bunyan while he served time in jail. He was jailed because He was obedient to God in baptizing and preaching, outside of the State Church.

Biography in Scripture and the book of Proverbs are practical resources for teaching the rewards for obedience, and the tragic consequences of sin. Why not do a biographical Bible study with the one you're mentoring? Studying the life of Asa or Saul, David or Caleb, will reap giant rewards in shaping hearts to obedience. To know Christ is to love Him, resulting in our obedience. Obedience enables us to “abide in Him” and fruit is the result (see John 15:1-16 ).

5. Witnessing

Jesus shared his public and private witnessing experiences with the disciples. We are rich as we look over a disciple's shoulder — reading about the woman at the well, the rich young ruler, and Nicodemus. Not witnessing together is the missing link in most sterile, church mentor-relationships. Other than prayer together, no ministry is as life changing, more leadership birthing and bonding, than sharing the gospel together.

This work is the Spirit's delight! He gives us the boldness, brings the circumstances together, leads in the verses and words we use, convicts the lost and moves them to salvation. I have quoted John 10:4 many times as two of us stepped onto a dark house porch to visit a lost family. “He goes on ahead of them, and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.” We need not fear. Jesus is on the porch ahead of us!

Many seek to mentor around a table doing Bible study. It is never enough. There is no substitute for going and reaping together. And the joy one experiences is contagious! Ask for a commitment to witness and visit together for a number of weeks. It may take time to reap and gather results. Restart your engines together, and you'll never be the same.

6. Attitude: Seeing With His Eyes

Learning to mentor means to learn to listen. The mouth exposes the heart every time. We can be so full of what the mentoree needs to know, that we never scratch where he itches. “Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5 NIV ). Attitude is everything with God. Why you do what you do is more important than that you do it.

Parents seem to hit at the surface. They respond much more to what kids do, than find out what kids are feeling and thinking behind their actions. That takes time to listen.

So it is in mentoring. God wants the attitude right — the action is secondary. Who has confronted you about your griping, yapping, and whining? Mentors must. That kind of heart attitude reveals from your mouth a lack of practical faith. Is your Lord alive now, with you in this situation?

Paul knew the reality of a Roman dictatorship. However, with the promises of God he lived in a faith dimension, seeing reality through the eyes of Christ. A person climbing stairs to look out the window sees with a new perspective — above, beyond, what anyone standing below can see.

The Bible is filled with verses that lift our attitude. Paul contrasts God's viewpoint with the world's: “As sorrowful” (a fact of life in pressure) “yet always rejoicing” (seeing the circumstance with the eyes of Jesus). He continues: “as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing and yet possessing all things” (2 Corinthians 6:10). The fruit of the Spirit is nine attitudes, if you will: What a delightful book title on attitude: Happiness Is a Choice.

Why did Paul and David both say in Scripture, “I will,” “I can do”? They were seeing with God's eyes an impossibility made possible — the Divine viewpoint. Was Jesus a problem-prone whiner or a power-focused person? Why do God's leaders see possibilities? Because they are looking with the eyes of Christ. On their knees they've found the victory believing, "claiming," a verse with God's viewpoint.

As I share attitude changes with a mentoree I make myself open for them to confront me with my own whining. Whatever the level of pain or pressure, the Holy Spirit will link us with Scripture to have the attitude of Christ.

God uses more than these six basics, of course, in our lives. But they are giant steps that change lives when we release them to a hungry heart.

Sharpen your focus on these six basics. Ask the Lord to teach you these simple yet profound areas once again. You'll see the ministry of the Spirit working deeply in hearts — hearts that have working “handles” on growing in Christ and being the victorious leader He means for them to be!

This concludes Part Two.
Part One featured the first three handles: Go to Basics (Part One)

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