Discipleship Matters – Spiritual Leaders

What has been your most successful Team experience? What were the elements that made it work?

Teamwork demands great attention in churches, businesses, family, sports teams and many other areas. Why is this so important? Recently a ministry leader asked for help in building teamwork in his team of faithful workers. Certain things were breaking down in the execution of the ministry. People were losing trust in each other. Teammates were not being heard. Commitment was at an all-time low. There was no accountability. It was unclear how to measure the success of the ministry. He wanted to know how to correct poor teamwork. Here are some passages of Scripture to guide us.

Philippians 2:1-2:

Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

1. What are the prerequisites to teamwork from verse one?
2. Why do you think these are so important?
3. In verse two what are the elements of team work?
4. How do you see your team becoming of the same mind?
5. How do you see your team working building the same love?
6. What will it take for your team to be united in spirit? (Desire)
7. How will your team move to be intent on one purpose? (Being of one spirit and mind)

8. From these qualities of teamwork which one does your team need to work on first?
9. What would be a specific step for you to take?
10. What steps will you take to do this?
11. When will you execute this step?

A great book to read on this topic is Patrick Lencioni’s, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

1. What is the most important part of this lesson to you? Explain.
2. How do you see applying aspects of this lesson to your life?
3. When do you feel would be the best time to make that application?
4. What do you hear the Lord speaking to you about this right now?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com


Discipleship Matters – Spiritual Leaders

I FEEL SUPPORTED IN MY LEADERSHIP: What do I do when we have a church conflict between elders and staff leaders?

In a recent meeting the staff of the church had a severe conflict with the elders of the church over the finances of the church. One of the staff was operating by an old set of bylaws. The elders thought that the church team was using the new set of bylaws. This confusion produced personal conflict between several members of this team. The anger and frustration were high. The conflict was so high they had to dismiss the meeting without resolve.

Church conflicts arise between leaders for many reasons. Sometimes they are from selfish reasons and sometimes it is a misunderstanding. The goal of any coaching would be to provide a place of understanding between the parties. Let’s look at Acts 15 to gain some guidance on how to bring solution to church and leadership conflicts.

Acts 15:1-21:

Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” 6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” 12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 16 “‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’ 18 things known from long ago. 19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

1. What were some of your observations about how the early church leaders worked on conflict situations?
2. Where do the Scriptures fit into the conflict?
3. What is the key to a conflict being resolved?
4. What was the experience of the leaders when the conflict was resolved?
5. How did the council operate to insure this conflict was settled throughout the church
body? See Acts 15:22-33:

Acts 15:22-33:

Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. 24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
2|Page 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell. 30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message.
32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them.

1. What did you observe about the apostles and elders and what they did to further clear up conflict?
2. How does communication fit into the conflict you might be experiencing?
3. What principles can you take from this story to help you in the conflict you are experiencing?

4. What do you do when you can’t get resolution?
5. When will you take steps to resolve the conflict you are having?

Let’s look at Acts 25:36-41:

Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas
36 Sometime later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

1. What do you do when you can’t get a resolution to a conflict?
2. What are the principles that we can learn here?
3. What would be the steps you can take when the situation is irreconcilable?

4. How would you use an outside peace maker to help you?
5. What will you do as a result of these discussions?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com

Discipleship Matters – Spiritual Leaders

I FEEL SUPPORTED IN MY LEADERSHIP: How do we build love into these team relationships?

All relationships in a church or ministry requires teamwork. One of the ministries that we have been involved in found themselves facing some team issues. We held a retreat and it created an environment for each team member to identify where he or she thought the team was. It enabled each person to share their point of view and begin to clear the air of confusion and lack of trust. The people became a closer team by applying a verse on love from the Bible.

1 Peter 4:7-11:

The end of all things is near. Therefore, be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

1. What observations do you make from this passage about the prerequisites to deeper love?
2. What does it mean to love one another deeply?
3. How does love cover a multitude of sins?

4. What situations are you facing in which these principles will apply?
5. Who do you need to share these with?
6. When the passage says, each person should use whatever gift they have received, how does that need to be emphasized in your teamwork?
7. Who would you use these verses to help build a foundation for teamwork?
8. When will you share these with your team mates?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com

Discipleship Matters – Spiritual Leaders

I HAVE CONFIDENCE AS A LEADER: I feel powerless in ministry?

John was a pastor being coached in developing his life plan and ministry vision. He wanted to develop foundational thinking in his discipleship ministry. He questioned what would be the key issues that he should meditate on as he developed his thinking. His coach suggested Matthew 5, where Jesus teaches eight key attitudes that must be incorporated into the life of the disciple. The coach asked the pastor to look at this passage and identify the eight attitudes. These are sometimes called “The beatitudes.”

In this chapter, we will look at the introduction that Jesus gives his disciples as they begin to follow him. In Matthew 4:19 He invites these young men to “follow him, and he promised to make them fishers of men.” Yet sometimes our current reality in following Jesus is that we are not fishers of men. He then gives us the action step…. Follow me. What is our intended future? Fishers of men? Wow! What a statement. Do you want that? Then let’s learn what steps we need to take to start following him from his first sermon in Matthew chapter 5. Let’s start by reading the first verses of Chapter 5 from verse 1 to verse 16. As your coach, I want you to identify the 7 or 8 attitudes that Jesus describes and the resulting qualities if these attitudes are in place.

Matthew 5:1-16
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes
He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

1. List the eight attitudes: Note the first four are about our relationship to God, and the second four concern our relationships to people. Why do you think that is significant?
2. List the resulting qualities vs. 14-16. What will your intended future look like?
3. Which attitudes do you not understand?
4. How can you take steps to grow in understanding these key attitudes?
5. Which ones do you see working in your life.
6. Which ones are missing or unclear?
7. What can we do to take steps to understand how they are linked together?

8. Pick one attitude that you see is strong in you. Describe it. How did it get strong?
9. Which attitude is weak in you? What can you do to grow in this attitude?
10. Let’s then imagine this attitude in your life and what it will look like.
11. What steps do you need to take to move toward that attitude being a reality?
12. Let’s work on the rest of the attitudes in the same way.
13. Now picture all the attitudes in place and what will happen in your life from these verses.
14. What will show up your life when you are salt and light?
15. Describe what happened in this coaching session? What changes did you get to observe?
16. How can I help you implement your planned improvement steps?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com

Discipleship Matters – Spiritual Leaders

I KNOW WHERE I AM GOING AS A LEADER: How do I know what’s on God’s heart and my heart?

Scott shared with me his love for the Lord. He loved being in times of devotion and growing as a follower of Christ. As he saw his growth, he came to me with a question for his future. He wanted to know what is on God’s heart for his life.
“How do I find that out?” was his question. What direction should I go to find out about this?

Often times in our walk with Christ he leads us to the Father. He says in John 14:6 that, “He is the way the truth and the life and no man can come to the Father but through him.” What does this verse tell you about knowing what is on God’s heart?

In Ephesians 1:17 it says

“I pray that he would give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know him better.” What can we pray for others and ourselves in knowing the heart of God?

Ephesians 1:18-23 it says:
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

1. What did you discover from these passages about God’s heart?
2. What does it mean to have a spirit of wisdom and revelation?
3. What do you need to do to have these things that are on God’s heart?
4. How do you explain what it means to “open the eyes of my heart?”
5. What does he want us to see?
6. What is so important about each of these three?

7. What would be your first step in knowing what is on God’s heart for you?
8. What would be some practical steps for you in discerning this?
9. When will you put these steps into action?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com

Discipleship Matters – Spiritual Leaders

I UNDERSTAND MY CALLING, WHO I AM SENT TO, AND THE VEHICLE GOD HAS PROVIDED: How do I choose the right vehicle for ministry? A church, a para-ministry, or work?

Vehicle means the practical way in which you will be able to minister and still be fiscally responsible for your bills, your family and housing.

Lisa knew that as a Christian she had been called to the ministry of the gospel. She knew that God had laid on her heart the need of women on college campuses. This led her to seek wisdom about what ministry that exists now would be the right vehicle for her gifting, calling and passion. To help her in her decision the coach took her to the Bible passage listed below.

Acts 18:1-3:

After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.

1. What did you discover about Paul’s work?
2. What was Aquila and Priscilla work?
3. How did they use this as their vehicle?
4. What is the flexibility of a vehicle?
5. What are other vehicles that we know of today?
6. What would make it feasible to use other vehicles? Or multiple vehicles?

7. What would be some of the vehicles (Ministries) that would be possible vehicles for your calling and sending?
8. What will you do to determine the best vehicle for you to carry out your calling?
9. When will you start working on this

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com