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Category Archives: Church Leadership

COVID-19 | Response – Part 1

COVID-19

We are living in uncertain times! But, know that already.
When I read the reports about the ravaging capabilities of the coronavirus (COVID-19), it leaves me with an ominous feeling. It almost smells like death is inevitable. Even if you are not thinking in those extremities, it’s capacity for spreading fear, causing anxiety, cultivating relational suspicion, creating emotional chaos, and developing social distancing has crept into our most atomistic relationships. The world is frantic. World leaders can only issue commands, mandates, and guidelines for ensuring safety, knowing that this silent enemy, unlike anything we have experienced before could be lurking in our very homes. They do it in the hope that our precautionary activities will buy us some time. Time being a relative commodity is now more so than ever before. Some people might say that we are living on borrowed time. With every passing day COVID-19 entrenches its presence among us.

Would you have thought that in this modern era of advanced technologies, artificial intelligence, the most brilliants minds in every field, and with every kind of resource at our disposal, we would be left fondling for an answer to stem this pandemic? I can almost imagine this invisible enemy COVID-19 standing by and laughing at our feeble attempts to catch him out.

My mind goes back to approximately twelve thousand years when Moses, the greatest leader of the Israelites faced a similar situation in the desert. Back then, Moses was leading well over two million people. And, one by one they were dying, almost one-hundred people a day. No, it wasn’t a virus. It was God’s judgment on the nation Israel. And right there, in the middle of this invasion by death, Moses says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Right now, the human race, collectively, is under attack. It’s the HUMAN RACE! Not just America, or China, or South Africa, or South Korea, or Canada, or the UK…No! It’s the human race collectively. This is not an individual’s battle. This is a battle of EVERY individual.

It will be easy for me to be condemnatory and say that this is God’s judgment on humanity who have become errant, recalcitrant, arrogant, proud, stubborn, and self-sufficient. Perhaps it IS that, and it could be something else too.

Let’s talk about just one thing here in the time I have left with you. Let’s talk about social distancing. Social distancing is the prohibition of all social gatherings that exceed a certain number of people. In some places, a gathering of more than five people is prohibited, while in other places a gathering of more than one-hundred people is prohibited. This social distancing prohibition varies from country to country or city to city. This prohibition means that weddings would be canceled. What bout funerals? COVID-19 sufferers have died, will there be a funeral for them? Should there be a funeral for them? What id the prohibition for the funeral is not more than fifty people? Would a supermarket having a sale be considered a gathering? Would a business that has more than one-hundred employees be considered a gathering?
Is a gathering defined as an exclusive group of people who are familiar with each other, and who meet each other on a regular basis (churches, businesses, schools), or is a gathering an ad hoc group of unrelated people who have come for a planned event, or a one-time event (concerts, inter-organization conferences, inter-church conferences, inter-religious meetings, inter-schools)?

From a pastoral point of view, creating social distance may be more of a harm than good, especially if the group that is meetings are familiar with each other, and are fully transparent, and are taught accountability, should an individual contract COVID-19 elsewhere.

Are we coming toward the end of relationships as we know it? Taking our churches online is a great idea, but at what relational cost? And, when churches go online, does this mean that people remain couped up in their homes forever? Is COVID-19 a convenient reason to shift platforms form face-to-face to online? What about the blended church? Have an online service with everyone there and during the week small face-to-face gatherings? Or, better still, have people converge at different locations in small gatherings for an online church? Will the blended church be better?

COVID-19 is currently the most feared nemesis the human race is facing. Let’s think very carefully about how much we should cave in to his demands before we make decisions that when COVID-19 is gone, we won’t be able to reverse easily.

I look forward to your dialogue, suggestion, and your thoughts.

Selvan Govender, M.Ed
Pastor | The Safest Place on Earth
http://www.thesafestplaceonearth.org

 

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Lid Lifters

John Maxwell speaks at length about lid-lifters in the Bible. What do we mean when we speak of lid-lifters? Lid-Lifters are people who remove the lid of other people so that those people may reach a greater level of potential.

Today I want to introduce you to some lid-lifting imperatives for the church, that, if implemented will cause ministry to thrive. We all want to see our ministry bear fruit, but they will not bear fruit if these important ingredients are absent (these are not exhaustive but imperative).

1. Lift the Lid of Someone by Lending Them Your Spiritual Gift (1Corinthians 12, Romans 12)

Stop being selfish! In this same vein, Romans 12:5 reminds us that we belong to each other. No Christian is an island. Can you wrap your mind around the kind of impact the church would have if we lent our spiritual gift so that someone else may increase?

2. Lift the Lid of Someone by Sharing Your Material Resources (Philippians 14-17)

Stop hoarding! There are too many Christians who are lovers of their wealth. Paul waited for, and accepted, material resources for his ministry. He commended those that gave and he credited their account because sharing material resources is essential to lid-lifting. If you shared just a little bit of your material possessions, do you think you’ll become bankrupt? Think about the impact you may have through that person when you give some material resource.

3. Lift the Lid of Someone by Sharing Your Financial Wealth (1 Corinthians 8)

Stop being miserly! I don’t think one can read this passage on giving and not feel convicted about giving generously. The Macedonians were an example to the Corinthian believers. They were poor yet they gave generously. They asked for opportunities to give. They gave in spite of not having much. Greed is usually a good indicator of who your real god is. When the Macedonians gave, they were lifting the lid off other Christians. Have you considered if you gave to the ministry with faithfulness and with rich generosity, the impact it would make in our world? You should consider releasing your financial wealth so that someone or some ministry might reach another level of its potential.

Shalom
Selvan Govender
Director of Shepherds Heart SA
http://www.shepherdsheart.co.za
Director of Theological Education for the BMSA

 

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From Vision to Fruition

Walt Disney, famed for Disney World, died before Disney World in Florida in the United States was completed. On opening day in 1971, almost five years after Disney’s death, someone commented to Mike Vance, creative director of Walt Disney Studios, “isn’t it too bad Walt Disney didn’t live to see this?” “He did see it,” Vance replied simply. “That’s why it’s here.”

Many individuals and organizations have a vision but they don’t have the fruit. Reminds me of the short sitcom tune, Love and Marriage, it goes something like this, “Love and marriage, love and marriage. Go together like a horse and carriage, horse and carriage. You can’t have one…without the other!”

Vision and fruition is exactly like that. They go together!A vision of a good marriage will show the fruit of it. A vision for business success will show the fruit of that. A vision for God will show the fruit of that. A vision for your organization will show the fruit of that. A vision gives you and your organization a clear understanding of where you are heading and on the way you can eat the fruit of the journey. Nehemiah 2 gives us some principles for moving from vision to fruition.

A vision of a good marriage will show the fruit of it. A vision for business success will show the fruit of that. A vision for God will show the fruit of that. A vision for your organization will show the fruit of that. A vision gives you and your organization a clear understanding of where you are heading and on the way you can eat the fruit of the journey. Nehemiah 2 gives us some principles for moving from vision to fruition.

1. You must ASSESS how things are (Nehemiah 2:11-16)

The text tells us that Nehemiah made a thorough assessment of the condition of Jerusalem. He did not assume nor did he presume. Nehemiah did a complete post-mortem. When last did you do a complete assessment of your life? When last did you do a thorough post-mortem of your organization? Nehemiah needed to know how bad the situation was and what is required for the rebuilding process.

2. You must ACKNOWLEDGE your situation (Nehemiah 2:17)

Nehemiah did not hide the dirt under the rug. After assessing the situation he reported back that the situation was deplorable. He acknowledged that the situation brought disgrace to God. Reminds me of Isaiah in Isaiah 6, when he was confronted with God’s holiness he said, “Woe is me. I am a man of unclean lips and I come from a people of unclean lips…” Are you sweeping personal misdemeanors under the rug and bring disgrace to Christ? Is your church or organization sweeping misdemeanors under the rug and not acknowledging that there is something wrong? Fruit will only start growing when you start admitting something is wrongAre you sweeping personal misdemeanors under the rug and bring disgrace to Christ? Is your church or organization sweeping misdemeanors under the rug and not acknowledging that there is something wrong? Fruit will only start growing when you start admitting something is wrong

Director of Shepherds Heart SA

http://www.shepherdsheart.co.za

 

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Keys to a Successful Life

The story is told of a new bank president who met with his predecessor and said, “like to know what have been the keys to your success.” The older gentleman looked at him and replied, “Young man, I can sum it up in two words: Good decisions.” To that the young man responded, “I thank you immensely for that advice, sir, but how does one come to know which are the good decisions?” “One word, young man,” replied the sage. “Experience.” “That’s all well and good,” said the younger, “but how does one get experience?” “Two words,” said the elder. “Bad decisions.”

All of us are striving to be successful people. You want to be rewarded with the best possible achievement in your field, in business, with your peers and society.

The Bible offers some keys for a successful life. In the book of Joshua 1 the nation is poised to claim the promises of God in their lives. They are on a journey to success. Let’s look at some keys to a successful life.

1. A successful life comes from following God’s agenda (Joshua 1:1-4)

God has an agenda for Joshua. It’s the same agenda he had for Moses. No surprise because he’s the same God. The problem arises when everyone else’s agenda is crowding out God’s agenda. You have to admit everyone has an agenda for you but not everyone’s agenda gets the priority and no surprise (again), God’s agenda is shoved aside. If you are not following God’s blueprint (agenda) for your life, you may never know or experience your full potential. Take a moment to think about how quick you are to push God outside your daily activities than you do to bring him into it. Following God’s agenda will revolutionize your entire life. Start today by making deliberate choices of getting onto God’s agenda.

2. A successful life comes from a willingness to break new ground (Joshua 1:1-4)

God makes a promise to Joshua and to the Israelites that he will give them every place they will set their foot. As long as they are setting foot on the places that are in God’s agenda, he will give them that place.

There are some places in our hearts that are like the fortified cities of the land of Canaan. There are some parts of our hearts where we have built thrones and castles on high places like castles in the land of Canaan signifying pride and security and independence. Breaking new ground may mean that you will have to decide to tear down those high places if you want to experience his promises. Identify your fortified cities. Identify you high places. Now ask God to give you the courage to tear them down. You will never experience success until you have a willingness to break new ground.You will never experience success until you have a willingness to break new ground.

 

 

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Moving Your Organization or Yourself Forward

I remember when I was growing up I tried riding a bicycle. I was bad at riding bikes. I would almost always fall the moment I got on. I was told that in order to keep myself from falling I must have momentum. Movement prevents falling.

This is also a great organization and personal principle too.

If organizations lack momentum, two things will happen. First they will plateau (stagnate) and second they may fall (become obsolete). This fate also applies to the personal lives of every individual as well.

When we read through the opening chapters of Nehemiah we will notice some antidotes to organizational death and the corollary is that we will experience forward movement in our organizations and in our personal lives. Here’s how Nehemiah teaches us to overcome organizational and personal death.

1. If you want to move forward we must cry over how things are (Neh.1:4; 2:1-4)

Nehemiah was sad over the current situation of Jerusalem. He was sad that Jerusalem became a laughing stock. He was sad that God’s glory was being defamed. When you look around you and when you look in your own personal life, what is there that’s defaming God’s glory or being made a mockery of? You should be crying over it. It must sadden you. It should cause you grief.

2. If you want to move forward we must confess why things are the way they are (Neh.1:5-10)

Nehemiah took responsibility for Jerusalem’s current circumstances. He did not criticize. He did not ridicule. He did not shift blame. He did not point fingers. He confessed that it was his sin also that has contributed to the downgrading of Jerusalem. What role are you playing in the damage to your family’s life? What role are you playing in the damage t your organization’s health? Maybe you too should own-up to the things you are not doing that is bringing organizational and personal death.

3. If you want to move forward we must consent to getting things to the way they should be (Neh.1:11-2:6)

Nehemiah didn’t just cry over things and make a confession that he was a culprit in causing damage, he also consented to making things right again. When the King asked him what’s wrong, Nehemiah explained and asked permission to go and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Your organization’s walls may be broken. Your personal walls may be broken. But, things will never get rebuilt if you do not consent to getting them to the way they should be. Please consider today how you can participate in the rebuilding process so that you don’t experience plateaus or death.

Shalom
Selvan Govender
http://www.selvangovender.com
Director of Shepherds Heart SA
http://www.shepherdsheart.co.za
Principal of Bethany Mission School

 

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Role of (Pastors) and Deacons

A Study in the Biblical Role of (Pastors) and Deacons in Light of Scripture and Church History and in Examination of Current Practice – by Derek Gentle

Click on the following link to download an article on the “Role of (Pastors) and Deacons”

Role of (Pastors) and Deacons

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Church Leadership

 

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