Fast Forward To Skip The Intro And Play The Actual Sermon
The following is a lesson taken from a 52-week series on leadership entitled, “Fan Into Flame.” I wrote the series to encourage and motivate Bible Talk Leaders by studying the life and leadership of Timothy and Titus. Enjoy……Daren
“Do Your Best”
Read 2 Timothy 2:14-19
There are many things in spiritual leadership that seem like a science – apply this formula, you get a predictable result. Other things are different, and seem more like an art. Sure, you can try formula’s and strategies, but the results don’t always turn out like we expect. In my experience, more leaders (especially young or new ones) tend to view leadership as a science, not an art. In reality, it seems to be a delicate combination of both. The problem is, when we view leadership of people as a science, disappointment or discouragement is not far away.
We have established that Timothy had his hands full in Ephesus. From this particular passage, we know that people were needlessly quarreling about words. It was causing fights, and sadly, ruining those who heard it. There were those indulging in godless chatter (aka unspiritual talk or gossip). There was destructive false teaching spreading quickly throughout the church. Paul compares it to gangrene, the erosion of body tissue caused by nasty bacteria…not good! Such people, calling themselves Christians, had in fact wandered from the truth and begun to hurt the fellowship. Faced with these pressures, Timothy was in a heated battle with his own effectiveness. Knowing this, Paul tells him to do his best to seek God’s approval by wholeheartedly applying himself to the gospel and striving to be a diligent workman.
Why would this have been an encouragement to Timothy? It is very possible that he (like many of us) viewed leadership as a strict science. He could have started with zeal and fervor, setting out to do leadership perfectly. Before long, his idealistic vision of leadership and results seemed out of reach. Paul reminds him that before God, he is supposed to do his best, not do it perfectly. Can we perfectly see to it that we never sin, baptize our friends, make our kids respond the right way to things, grow the church quickly, make people repent, make people open, or make people remain faithful? Of course not. Leadership is much more of an art form. Certain things seem to work effortlessly and smoothly, other things leave us scratching our heads in bewilderment. Leaders naturally seek control, and we simply cannot control so much of what happens regarding other people in the church. In fact, when we (for whatever reason) seek to live even our own faith perfectly, we become enslaved to a rigorous, exhausting, guilt-filled walk, devoid of grace. In contrast, when we try to “make every effort” (Luke 13:24, Rom. 14:19, Eph. 4:3, Heb. 4:11, 12:14, 2 Peter 1:5, 3:14) to do what God wants us to do, we can live happy and surrendered knowing that we have “done our best” and the results rest firmly in God’s hands. This reality makes me happier to serve, and ironically, makes me work harder as an artist in God’s wonderful church!
1. God does not expect perfection from you – he expects your best. How does this make you feel? Does this change the kinds of pressure you feel as a leader? Do you find yourself more motivated and joyful in your leadership role because of it?
“Do you love to pray outdoors in beautiful Seattle? Are you excited to see what surprises God has in store for the church auction? Come join us on Wednesday mornings from 6:15-7:00am to pray for God’s blessing on the church auction. The prayer locations are chosen at some of the most beautiful places in Seattle with some variety so people living everywhere in the church can join for at least one week. Use the Bing Map to find the date & location closest to you! If you are unable to join, please add this special area to your prayer times leading up to October 15. All sorts of people need your prayers, including: auction planners, auction item donators, auction servants, and auction guests.”
Love you and look forward to seeing you there,
Todd Schoepflin, Auction Prayer Committee Leader
Here is a Bing map with all the locations…
Parking lot locations:
9/21: Green Lake (parking lot entrance at Latona Ave NE and East Green Lake Drive North, just 4 blocks north of Starbucks)
9/28: UW Arboretum (parking lot at E Miller St and Lake Washington Blvd E)
10/5: Kerry Park in Queen Anne (3rd Ave W and W Highland Dr)
10/12: Dock slightly west of Salty’s on Alki (Harbor Ave SW and Fairmount Ave SW)
“From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the time set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” Acts 17:26-27
In August of 2010, our family moved from Athens, Ga to Seattle. A sister, Megin Bullock, from our Athens congregation gave me a card with the name and number of her mom, and said that her mom was ready to come to church. Within a few weeks, we began studying the Bible regularly with Jody Lowe. During this last month, God has orchestrated several significant events that led to a change of heart, helping Jody to open her eyes to see the lack of a real relationship with Him. Today, Sept. 17, Jody died to her old self, making Jesus her Lord and Savior – truly a story of perseverance on Jody’s 40+ years of searching for God, as well as the 13 years that her daughter, Megin, has been praying for her mom. Jody has become so special to our family that our son, Andrew, shared this Scripture about her: “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” I Thessalonians 2:8
by Teresa Tang
Lynne and I are nearing the end of one of the more interesting vacations we’ve ever had. We are in the mountains of Colorado with pretty much nowhere to go and not much to do–perfect! Time has slowed down in our little hillside cabin, and I’m sure we’ll be in for a jolt when we get back to Seattle on Monday.
I said we were doing little, but that’s a bit of a fib. Lynne and Kurt, her funny and fascinating border collie, have been involved in two dog trials (not a legal innovation but rather a sheepherding competition), including the national championship (!) In fact, as of this morning, Lynne & Kurt made the semi-finals, which is a bit like Hoosiers since Lynne only does this as a hobby. Meanwhile, Scott remains sitting at the kitchen table, trying to write a book (I am now aiming for finishing at Christmas).
With these sheepherding dogs, you hear a subtle debate woven through the comments handlers make to one another–is it the handler that makes the performance great, or the dog? Can a dog of great breeding overcome the shortcomings of a novice handler? Is it vice-versa? Lynne and I were chatting about this a few days ago and I remarked, based on what happens in marriage therapy, “I think there’s a ‘third thing’ at work–the partnership, which transcends the elements that compose it. We’re fond of saying, in therapy-land, that 1+1= 3: there’s you, there’s me, and there’s WE.
Partnership: it’s a big value here in Seattle. It may be one of the most beautiful things about this church. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about, as the Chinese say, “Yat Chaih”–together. We’re better together–as a ministry staff, as leadership teams, in our marriages, in our families. So as the fall unfolds, think about the Partnerships in your life. We’re often focused on “my growth, my goals,” and rightly so, but think carefully, as the season changes again, about the partnerships you’ve neglected and the ones you want to forge (or re-forge). That’s the joy of sheepherding. And the joy of Grace, which tears down the barriers between partners.
It’s the party of the year and it makes a huge difference!
This is our fourth annual auction event. As two-time recipients of the Landmark Challenge Grant from 4Culture we are excited to raise the matching funds needed to use our $25,000 preservation grant from the city of Seattle. We are going to have fun and make a difference for the future of Seattle’s historic buildings preservation efforts.
Please join us as we preserve and restore this beautiful historic landmark building. We need your support.
To sign up, make a donation or get involved check out our auction website below.
The Memorial Service for Peter Allen is:
Friday Night, September 9
Queen Anne Church Building
2555 8th Ave West
Seattle, WA 98119
*There will also be a memorial service on Saturday, September 10 at Peter’s family’s church in Puyallup. CLICK HERE for more info…
*CLICK HERE for a news update from The University of Washington
The following is a message from Alex Whitaker, campus ministry leader at the University of Washington….
Brothers and sisters, it with a sad and heavy heart that I have to announce the death of one of our students. Peter Allen was a member of the crew team, a faithful disciple, and a wonderful friend to many. He was like a brother to me and my son adored him. He died Monday while free climbing with some guys on the crew team he was reaching out to. His family is still in shock and our ministry is really grieving at this point. Please keep all of us in your prayers as this is a painful and sad time for us. Pray for the two guys on the crew team who are studying and pray for us as well. We know God will use this for his good, but right now I don’t feel that way. I feel like I’ve lost a son, and our ministry has lost one of its strongest and most faithful leaders. Please keep Peter, the Seattle Church and the Allen family in your prayers.