Home > Bible, dumcMy > Leading from the Inside-Out 2: The Crisis of Leadership

Leading from the Inside-Out 2: The Crisis of Leadership

Pastor Ann Chan, 28/07/2012


Pastor Ann said Pastor Edmund and she are on a strange and wonderful journey together, he is strange and she is wonderful. Wherever he goes she follows, whatever she feeds, he swallows.

“It takes leaders to develop leaders!” (Jesse got this.)

What is the HARDEST thing in Leadership? Personal leadership! Leading oneself is the hardest thing every leader faces.

Sometimes we are like a Christian activist, we do a lot, we know a lot. We are gravitated to the ‘happening’ things where crowd attract crowd. We no longer have the intimacy with God.

Putting the crisis in Perspective … Ministry Dryness and Burnout.

Toxic Spirituality

1. Service without JOY.

When we look around us, we feel self-pity. This happens when there is no inward restedness.

A fundamental mistake of the conservative side of the American church today, and much of the Western church, is that it takes as its basic goal to get as many people as possible ready to die and go to heaven.  It aims to get people to heaven rather than to get heaven into people. ~Dallas Willard

2. Performance without REST.

(Covenant Free Evangelical Church ran Evangelism Explosion.)

Sometimes we need to step aside to be the the God we want to be.

  • Running on Empty: Fast lane. We have a program after another. We are discouraged by what people say. Whatever we do, there will be people who are for us and people who are against us. All we need to do is to keep to what the Lord has laid in our hearts.
  • Spiritual poverty and weariness of the soul.
  • Disillusionment, cynicism and burnout. The ‘laggers’ think they have tried and it doesn’t work. Pastor Ann suggested that we have not rested in the arms of God.

In 2006, the church started IDT (Intentional Discipleship Training, not I Daily Torture). 800 signed up and 600 were taken. Some said they had gone through discipleship programs before and how some didn’t work. They rested and went into rest. There have been 10 to 12 batches now. One sister, Penny travelled from KL to Singapore every Friday to attend. She passed.

3. Work without worship.

“Many discussions about the spiritual journey dewolve too quickly into technique and principles without fully appreciating the rational dynamic of spiritual growth. What we are really talking about is staying in love with the most important Person in our lives.” ~ Doug Banister, Sacred Quest.

4. Devotion without discipleship.

“There are no tricks in the spiritual life. There are no shortcuts to spiritual growth. Those who image that they can discover some spiritual gimmick and put it to work for themselves usually ignore God’s will and His grace. they are self confident and ever self complacent.” ~Thomas Merton

5. Ritual without REALITY.

We just go through the motion.

“The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived.” ~Thomas Merton

The Five Defining Questions of Leading from the Inside-Out

1. Why is “Leading from the Inside-Out” so important?

a. It’s a question of a VALUES!

The divine God who express Himself through us.

b. Because God values Authenticity above Accomplishment!

c. Otherwise we xx or we burnout!

2. If it is so important, why is it so neglected?

a. Because it takes TIME!

We have so little time for this.

b. Because it’s hard to measure!

We must do what God says, not what other people expect of us. An inside-out leadership is an inside walk with God.

c. Because we are not measured by yardstick!

People often ask how is our ministry, or our children, or us. People don’t ask us about the condition of our hearts.

3. What is “Leading from the Inside-Out” all about?

a. It’s all about putting Christ first.

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

b. It’s all about putting Character first.

Luk 2:52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

c. It’s all about putting Calling first.

When we trace the walk of Jesus in Luke, we see how often He turned resolutely towards Jerusalem.

Col 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

4. Why is “Leading from the Inside-Out” so difficult?

a. To lead Inside-Out, you must lead upside-down.

Let God lead. It’s about letting go and listening to God and obeying God.

b. Because we have to face our inner demons!

Many of us have not conquered our addictions. We are addicted to many things except the addiction to God.

It takes 18 months to stop a bad habit – to come clean with pornograohy, to stop intentionally gossiping, etc. We need to persevere.

c. Because growth takes time and we are impatient.

If we are seriously talking about surrendering / dying to self, don’t just talk about it, do it!

d. Because we don’t how.

Nobody models for us how to lead from the heart / in faith / with guiding principles.

e. Because we are ill-disciplined by nature and we feel like a failure.

5. How is “Leading from the Inside-Out” most effectively accomplished?

a. Thru’ Inventory: Taking Stock of our life.

Spiritual inventory is a lost art. Many write resolution in Dec. It doesn’t work. We just put them down to just to break them. We need to plans. Many don’t write resolution nor plan. We need to schedule.

Is is important not just to decide but to do.

b. Thru’ Intentionality: Taking Charge of our life.

Everyday, Pastor Ann asked herself the highlight of her day. If it’s visiting someone in the hospital, then she would clear her calendar and focus on it.

We need to establish clearly the non-negotiable. E.g. no working on Sunday. If we don’t plan, Sunday will just be eating and be gone just like any other day. But if we reserve Sunday for Sabbath, we will intentionally spend time with God and we will get enough rest for the other 6 days.

c. Thru’ Integrity: Taking Care of our life.

We play many roles in our lives. We get angry because everybody doesn’t do what we want. This is because we have not come into a state of rest, we have not come into stage where we say it’s ok.

Conclusion: Cultivate Your Inner Life!

From Restlessness to Restedness!

We believe in God’s track record.

Isa 30:15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

Sometimes, God takes a calculated risk so we can grow and become mature. The benefits far exceed the bad things we experience in our lives. We must be willing to accept the good and the bad.

The moment we let go of such justified anger, life will be easier.

Personal Response Time

a. On-the-Road Christians – always driving, very busy. We are forever doing stuff and helping others. Don’t criticize Christian activists because that is how they express their love for God.

b. In-the-Rut Christians – bored, no spiritual desire and hunger.

c. Thru-the-Roof Christians – very tense and very irritable. React to the smallest things.

d. By-the-Cliff Christians – full of insecurity / worries.

The 3 Journeys

1. The Emmaus Experience

The Spiritual Walk (Luke 24:13vv) – Jesus walked with them. They found out later it was Jesus.

2. The Moriah Experience

The Spiritual Worship (Gen 22). God called Abraham to sacrificed his only son. He actually had another son, Ishmael who was 14 years older than Isaac. But this is the son that God blessed him with. Abraham told the servant he was going there to worship. Worship without sacrifice is not worth anything. Do we want to be a better Christian or a bitter Christian?

3. The Dothan Experience

The Spiritual Awakening (1 Kings 6). Elisha had a great encounter. A king was after him. He led his army to Dothan to look for Elisha. The servant was terrified when he saw the chariots. Elisha prayed and the servants saw chariots of fire protecting Elisha and him. Elisha asked God to strike them with blindness and they ended up in Samaria. Elisha even asked for them to be spared.

The king was so afraid of Elisha – he raised an army to go after Elisha.

The enemy is more frightened than us. If we are grasshoppers in our own eyes, we cannot walk spiritually. We need to open our eyes to see why God does what he is doing, then we can lead inside-out.

Let us make an altar. Tell God we do not understand all these bad things and good things in our lives but we want to believe God and we will submit to him. We want to trust that God has never short-changed us.

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  1. Joyce Teh
    15/03/2014 at 4:39 pm

    Hi, thank you for the sermon notes you posted at here. Can I ask, where to get the Session 1 (Re-Learning Leadership: In School with Moses) sermon notes?

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