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Devotionals

Willow Creek -- Sacrificing the Church on the Altar of Carnal Leadership

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Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. -- 1Corinthians 11: 1 (NIV)

The key verse seems pretty straightforward. It does not appear ambiguous or confusing. It is the leadership paradigm that God has provided for the leaders in His church. Do not seek advice about leadership from the world. Do not even seek it from friends or family. There is no need to because God has already given us Jesus Christ and He is sufficient for all things. That is what Paul is simply trying to say here. Christ is our leader so we follow Him. If you see me following Him then follow my example. These are your leadership principles from the Bible. The purpose driven church however has become obsessed with carnal leadership. They have become obsessed with what the most worldly leadership experts suggest instead of following the Biblical principles. It should not be surprising since the model does not believe in the primacy or sufficiency of Scripture to begin with. It also should not be surprising since the goals are carnal. Sure it is always couched in pious talk about growing the kingdom but all it really promotes is growing individual fiefdoms.

In pursuit of the cutting edge carnal leadership schemes, the church will go to no end. There are now entire careers made for people just to provide consultation to churches about how to "grow" or "multiply." Because the purpose driven church model is a carnal business model to begin with it would only make sense to pursue carnal business models of leadership through which to grow it. Follow my example as I follow the example of Bill Gates. The cornerstone hallmark however of the Churchianity Leadership world is the annual Willow Creek Church Global Leadership Summit. This flesh driven exercise in gratuitous self-promotion will be broadcast to 128 countries in over 60 languages. Now, one would think that given this is supposed to be a Christian event, hosted at a mega church, that the lineup of speakers would be chock full of influential church leaders to provide their perspective on how they follow Christ. Right?

Wrong.

Twenty-three percent. That is it beloved. Twenty-three percent of the speakers at this conference will actually claim to share Christian beliefs as we do. Three out of the 13 scheduled speakers. Now do not get me wrong. I am sure that the nine non-believing speakers are masters in their fields. I am sure they will be dynamic speakers who can truly impart some fine carnal leadership training. That is not the point. You do not go to a mechanic who doubts that cars exist. No matter how smart, well versed, and eloquent they might be they all still think the things of God are foolishness to them. No matter how compelling their stories may be. That is not the point. What can they possibly teach church leaders about leadership if their starting point is not follow me as I follow Christ? So let us reason together as we peruse the lineup of speakers for this year's edition of the Willow Creek Church Global Carnal Leadership Conference

Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, has led a brilliant career by all accounts. She is widely considered one of the foremost women leaders in this country. Her passion however seems to be in corporate feminism. In getting more women more recognition and responsibility. I pass no judgment upon that from a worldly perspective it just has no place in the church. One of the problems infecting modern churchianity is the infiltration of carnal paradigms, such as the feminist movement, into doctrines that for thousands of years have been correctly understood. Ms. Sandberg is Jewish, so I hardly would expect her to know the Apostle Paul's teaching as divinely inspired by God, but Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek should know better.

Marcus Buckingham -- author of Discover Your Strengths and The One thing You Need to Know. He is a worldwide speaker sought out for his vision of a "strengths-based revolution." True Christian doctrine does not spend one iota on determining our individual strengths but rather the strength of the God we serve. If anything, the church needs to not revolt based upon strengths but upon our weaknesses. It is within our weaknesses that He becomes strong. Are you wondering what the one thing you need to know is? I wonder if it is Jesus? Is it faith? The atonement? No. Marcus Buckingham believes the one thing you need to know is to discover what you don't like and stop doing it. What I don't like is church leaders taking their cues for leadership from people who do not know the risen Savior. I wish they would stop.

Bryan Stevenson -- lawyer, social justice activist, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which represents the incarcerated who may have had poor or no representation.

Gary Haugen -- lawyer and founder/CEO of International Justice Mission protecting the poor throughout the world from violence.

I put these two together because of the similarities of their profiles. It seems they do admirable work in the world. Beloved this is not an exercise in tearing down these individuals. They ought to be applauded worldwide for trying to protect the innocent and poor and make sure that injustices are corrected. Not enough people are prepared to speak truth to power so I commend them for such but they know nothing about the God we serve and the church's role in these end times. Some might say that we ought to be able to glean life lessons and to that I say no as well. This is about how to lead the church as we head towards the second coming of Jesus Christ. No offense to Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Haugen but I will follow Paul as he follows Christ.

Juliet Funt -- Founder and owner of WhiteSpace at Work, a performance improvement and productivity firm.

Marcus Lemonis -- CEO of Camping World, which sells recreational vehicles. CEO of Good Sam Enterprises, which provides products aimed towards people who own recreational vehicles. Reality TV star

Laszlo Bock -- former Senior Vice President at Google

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 

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Submitted on Saturday, Jul 15, 2017 at 3:22:13 AM

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