As we continue our series on what good church leadership is and is not, we'll look at three images of good leadership detailed in the Gospel of Luke: steward, shepherd, and servant.
In this week's sermon, I examine the difficult parable of the "dishonest manager" (Luke 16:1-12). This parable hinges on the inclusion of the Pharisees as "overhearers" of the parable. It calls them to see themselves in reality as the overbearing master and then to move towards the new ideal of being the shrewd manager, lightening loads for the sake of inclusion. This is what good stewardship is about.
Godly leaders are faithful with what God has entrusted to them; they are generous toward others (not overbearing); they use their resources to help and serve others; and they are responsible with the "little things."
| Godly Leaders are Good Stewards|
|File Size: ||32138 kb|
|File Type: || mp3|
In Luke 12:13-21, a man asked Jesus to referee between him and his brother regarding a family inheritance. While the man likely was in the right to expect a portion of the inheritance, his question to Jesus was wrong because it was based in his desire for money (the inheritance). This greedy attitude came in the way of his following Jesus, caused him to try to use Jesus for his own agenda, and forced him to become self-serving instead of a servant to others.
In contrast, Jesus taught us to beware of all kinds of greed--and it takes effort! But he taught us, first by his example, then by the parable of the rich fool who left no room in his life for God and did not care about sharing out of God's abundance with others, to be rich toward God.
We're rich toward God when we practice both the right attitude--stewardship of God's resources--and the rich action--sacrifice in matters of money (since it's all God's anyway).
This sermon is a personal sermon. I presented the financial state that we are currently in as a church (we face a weekly deficit) and asked people to consider whether they can give more. I shared our personal circumstances with all humility to share that we are leading by example in this.
To encourage more giving, I offered the $3 Challenge. I asked us to consider making a sacrifice in order to give $3 more per person each week. If we do this, we will close the gap on our weekly deficit and begin rebuilding our savings. It's really that simple!
In the sermon, I offered a number of ways we can save in order to sacrifice: eating out less (or skipping dessert, or eating fast food instead of dining in); making coffee at home once or twice a week instead of buying it; and using the library once or twice each month for a book or DVD instead of purchasing the item.
We can do this if we work together. Will you sacrifice a little to help us a lot?
| On Giving (Luke 12:13-21)|
|File Size: ||33957 kb|
|File Type: || mp3|