Tuesday, March 4, 2014

4 Goals Toward Raising Christian Leaders

Do you desire for your children to be strong Christian leaders? There are so many different roles of leadership. One of the most important of all is, if/when our children choose to follow Yeshuah the Messiah, they too have a role in helping to fulfill the Great Commission.

We parents go about leadership training in different ways. Some of us send our kids to leadership camps. Some of us enroll our kids in sports with the hopes of them becoming team captain. Perhaps we immerse our children in classical literature and read works by great thinkers. Or maybe we get them actively involved in community work as volunteers. Will any of this work? Regardless of the approach, what are we aiming for and how will we know if we have helped them?? 

This is a meaty post based off of my study from The Noah Plan's 7th grade Bible overviews for the second quarter. This is something our son, Scientist, and our daughter, Artsy Girl, studied as well. Won't you continue reading to find out what I learned?

What is it that the Bible teaches us about Christian leadership? Before we can get to the 4 goals, let's make sure we really know how leadership is defined:

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines lead as: 
LEAD, verb transitive preterit tense and participle passive led.
1. To guide by the hand; as, to lead a child. It often includes the sense of drawing as well as of directing. 2. To guide or conduct by showing the way; to direct; 4. To conduct, as a chief or commander, implying authority; to direct and govern; 6. To guide; to show the method of attaining an object. Self-examination may lead us to a knowledge of ourselves. 8. To induce; to prevail on; to influence.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines leader as:
LE'ADER, noun
1. One that leads or conducts; a guide; a conductor.
2. A chief; a commander; a captain.
3. One who goes first.

Considering that a leader is to guide by hand; to direct and to govern; to influence, Christian leaders need to renounce hidden things of dishonesty. Those little nooks and crannies of the heart need to have some good, regular housekeeping. It comes down to repentance and choosing to be self-governed under Yeshua (Christ). In doing so, this helps us to protect our conscience- which is the most sacred of all property.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines serve as:
SERVE, verb intransitive serv.
2. To be employed in labor or or other business for another.
3. To be in subjection.
4. To wait; to attend; to perform domestic offices to another. 6. To answer; to accomplish the end. 7. To be sufficient for a purpose.

Christian leaders need to be humble. If we are raising our children to receive pats on the back, focus on accolades, cheering, personal accomplishments, rising to the top... it becomes about self. It becomes about exalting one's abilities. There's that pesky western thinking again. The Hebrew mindset is to be humble in heart; the glory is to go to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Whatever activities we involve our kids in, we need to take care to cultivate a humble heart within our children... and ourselves. They pick up on us and feed off of our direction- even if we think it is ever so subtle (that hint of pride, ya know). Let us remember that to lead, "as, to lead a child. It often includes the sense of drawing as well as of directing." We really need to be sure to have ourselves in check, too.

This will look the same for Christian leaders regardless of where we serve... where our children serve. As upcoming leaders, they will need to learn what it means to serve in different venues. Let others go first; let them go for the shot. Allow room for others to grow and practice, too. Help them to see who may need to go first. Maybe that other kid is timid or quiet but has excellent words the Lord has given him/her to speak... help your child to learn to identify when to step back and encourage someone else to share what has been laid on their heart. It's about not drawing attention to ourselves. The ultimate point is to: "With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:"- because it isn't about ourselves. Or... it shouldn't be.

Being a Christian leader means being a servant leader. We are to serve the Lord with gladness! If our focus is not on ourselves, we cannot help but serve Him with gladness. We are also to serve one another in love and to share each one another's burdens. Care must be taken to help encourage and train our children to not think too highly of themselves. Is one person better than another... or are all people unique... created with God's Principle of Individuality? If we can help our children to grasp this, they will more easily serve others with love.

Yeshua's yoke. How did He live? How did He serve? Did He not obey the Father's Laws? Is this not the example He set for us? Not for salvation... but because of salvation do we obey Him. God's Laws (Yahweh's Laws) are instructions for life for us. They teach us moral excellence and gentleness. They are not a burden (the man-made *laws*... traditions of men that were added to God's Laws were what was/is burdensome).

"and learn of me..." 2 Peter 1:4-11 teaches us:
"4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." KJV
Virtue equates moral goodness which equates God's Laws (His instructions for life). When we learn these, we are to add knowledge (of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah). To knowledge we add temperance (habitual moderation). That is to say that we are to restrain from indulgence of appetite (I understand this to be lusts of the flesh). To this, we are to add patience. It takes time to grow, to change, to be renewed of our mind. And to all of this we add godliness. Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines godliness as:
"1. A religious life; a careful observance of the laws of God and performance of religious duties, proceeding from love and reverence for the divine character and commands; christian obedience."

It is the Hebrew way of "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:" Isaiah 28:10

Oh isn't this beautiful?! I love word studies and to learn the Word of God in context. How wonderful it is to learn what a delight the Law of God truly is. 

In summary, whoever we have our children learning leadership from needs to be modeling these aspects themselves. Also for consideration, are the camps and activities allowing for parents to disciple their children in these areas of leadership? 

Prayers for you as you learn to walk in His ways and teach your children in His instructions; as you endeavor to diligently raise Christian leaders. And please keep me and Cool Daddy in your prayers as we, too, learn and grow and aim to do our best as unto the Lord (out of love and reverence unto Him for what He has done).


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