(Audio Transcription Below)
Stated Purpose of Iron Leadership: “To act like men by equipping men to be better leaders in their own personal lives, their homes, their work, their churches and city for the sake of God’s Glory.”
This phrase: “act like men” is lifted from the last chapter of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (16:13). The phrase comes at the close of the Apostle Paul’s difficult letter – difficult because the people in the church at Corinth were chaotic (politics in the church, cliques of people who like one preacher over another, pride & power struggles, sexual immorality, lawsuits, troubled marriages & disorder in worship services).
I love this brief bio of people who make up the church in I Corinthians 6:9 – “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. …..And that is what some of you were.”
Although Paul addressed these challenges in the letter, he knows when the letter is finished being read – some leaders in the church will have to face the chaos with courage. They will need to tackle these issues and these people – HEAD-ON! This will be an enormous leadership challenge and Paul knows the challenge will require leaders to “act like men.”
(An/drid/zo/mai) – One word in the Greek, no explanation. Paul assumes his readers will know it’s time to stop being children. It’s time to grow up, grow a spine, and courageously step into God’s intended role- to be leaders. Dave Ramsey, a financial author, quotes- “Children do what feels good, adults devise a plan and follow it.”
Iron Leadership is designed to help us devise a plan and follow it – to learn to “act like men.”We believe the best place to learn how to act like men is by reading the Bible, examining the lives of men in the Bible, and by being around other men.
Proverbs 27:17 – “As Iron Sharpens Iron – so one man sharpens another” – We are Sharpening One Another for More Effective Leadership
Video: Yellowstone – Trophic Cascade
The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National park changed the entire ecosystem. I love the phrase they use: Wolves caused a TROPHIC CASCADE. The addition of a top predator causes many other cascading interactions that affect the entire ecosystem. One leader, or a pack of good leaders inserted into a chaotic situation, family, business, church, community, or nation can have a powerful effect on the entire system.
Quote: “Of course, wolves kill things…but perhaps we are slightly less aware they give life to many others.” Wolves kill things. They put things to death. They create boundaries. They stabilize the geography. They do these things NOT simply to “get their way,” but to give everyone around them opportunities to flourish!
This is KEY: great leadership – especially biblical leadership is servant leadership. It is NOT designed so you get your way- it’s designed to allow everyone else space to flourish! Jesus is the Supreme Example. He put things to death so we could live and flourish!
No one faces a bigger leadership challenge in the Old Testament than Moses. The first leadership challenge for Moses (and for us) was understanding himself!
If you can understand yourself and who you are in relationship to God – then you can become a truly effective leader! It took 80 years for Moses to understand God and Himself!
- Moses is going to ask people to move out of generational slavery. Moses will be asking people to put old patterns “to death.” Moses will be asking the people to take on a totally new identity (God’s people) and to learn to trust God -not themselves or Pharoah (another god). In order for Moses to lead people in these ways, Moses will first need to do them Himself! A critical leadership skill is modeling what you are asking from others.
Where are You?
Q & A: Answer with: Always – often – rarely – never
NOTE: Which question resonates with you….Why?
1. More and more I notice I am going through the motions of life.
- I teach or lead others in ways I am not personally experiencing. I frequently must manufacture emotions I am not feeling. I connect with people, but don’t have compassion for them. You feel like you have gone numb.
2. I am aware of a nagging sense that something is not quite right but I don’t take the time or make the effort to really look into it.
- I know it’s there, but I don’t know how to identify it or even if I want to identify it. Something within me has closed down inside and I cannot push myself back to life.
3. I find myself rushing from one thing to the next without time to pay attention to what’s going on in me or around me.
- I don’t take time to turn aside and notice what God wants.
(Moses – Exodus 3:3-4) – Moses’ whole life changed when he took time to turn aside. Who knows how many burning bushes Moses didn’t notice…in 40 years!
- I am rarely fully present…..frequently multi-tasking or hurried.
4. I am keeping up with what _______ (job, society, school, Instagram, friends, parents) desires or requires, but I feel like I have lost touch with who I am with God. (This is a Big One)
- I have lost my identity…because I have lost touch with God.
- I am at the mercy of others expectations. I am overly swayed by others expectations. I live by the expectations of others.
- I am at the mercy of my own inner compulsions.
5. I am tired, not just physically, and I don’t know how to get rested. I am not sure what provides rest for my soul.
• Challenge: 6 hour Sabbath – NO Technology – NO Check-list….mowed my lawn, trimmed hedges, washed boat…
• Josh Garrels Song: Resistance – great line: “My rest is a weapon against the oppression – Of mans obsession to control things” >> obsession to: (Always be connected) / (To accomplish things in order to impress others or feel valuable) / (To make a little more money)
6. I am aware of an underlying irritability, anger, disappointment or restlessness just beneath the surface of my life.
• Easily irritated – one thing goes wrong and you kick your dog or do you spout off or boil over! People walk on egg-shells around you.
7. I have become addicted to technology.
- It’s the last thing I look at before bed and I look at my phone before I get out of bed.
- I sleep with my phone. I don’t know what healthy boundaries around technology look like….I don’t think I could go 6 hours without technology.
- You can’t learn to live with technology until you first learn to live without it. (Business deals: especially cars or homes need walk away power) Do you have “walk away power” when it comes to technology.
8. I don’t have regular spiritual practices or healthy daily routines.
• Seems like a long time since I have had real connection with God – I am out of rhythm….. Heart arrhythmia
• I get more animated/excited, worked up by the messages from CNN & FOX than words from Jesus? I am Discipled by Cable News
9. I embrace escapist behaviors: Tik-Tok, eating, binge watching, porn, shopping, drinking, dreaming about having a different life.
• I do these things to avoid engaging what’s going on inside of me.
• I make excuses and give myself permission to do these things because I am tired or wounded….
Moses was led into the Wilderness by God to be re-vealed (to find out who he was & wasn’t!) Then to be re-shaped, re-cast in order to be re-turned to Egypt. We must know where we are – we must be putting things to death in order to lead other people into the Wilderness.
Questions: Discuss the one or two statements which most resonated with you. What effect does it have on your leadership
Iron Leadership Meeting Materials: