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Servant Leadership

Luke 22:24-27 

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And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. [25] And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.' [26] "But not so with you, but let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. [27] "For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. 
 

For fifteen years, prior to coming to this ministry position, I devoted significant amounts of time to equipping people for the Pastoral ministry. I taught in Seminary Extension in Palm Desert, California and Turlock, California and was an Adjunct professor at Trinity Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico while I pastored there. When I moved here, I made a strategic decision to stop training people in Pastoral leadership and refocus my efforts to training lay leaders. I have continued to write for professional journals and to provide resources for over 2000 Pastors a week through my Internet websites, but by and large my writing ministry and teaching ministry has made a dramatic shift when I moved here from training the clergy to training lay leaders.

In talking with our church leaders here, I came to believe that I could have a greater impact for the Kingdom by moving to The Monterey Peninsula and pastoring a church that trains lay leaders for churches around the world. We do not develop leaders for our church, we develop them for churches around the world. Because there is a steady flow of people coming through the church, we have a unique calling and a unique opportunity. Now, I don't want you to think that I brought this vision to this church. The vision was here before I arrived. It was a vision God gave this church years ago and it was a vision He gave me when He appointed me to be your Pastor. It wasn't a new vision for you, but it was a new vision for me. As I said, prior to moving here, I focused on training clergy, not laymen. 

We've made some strategic changes to facilitate this vision. For one, we've nurtured a multi-generational, multi-ethnic church. We are cutting against the grain of the conventional wisdom of the Church Growth movement. It says that to be effective, we need to target an age group and sculpt our ministry and programs to meet their unique needs. Instead, we've fostered "intentional dissatisfaction" among our membership. We've said, that we don't want to build a church where just the old or just the young attend. But we want our church to include everyone. Because we are multi-generational, we know that no one group of people will like everything that goes on in our church. As I often say, "If you like everything that is going on in our church, you're not paying attention." Because not every program, service and ministry was designed with you or your age group in mind. We don't ask you to like everything we do, just to support the vision of being a church where all generations can attend. Where the young can learn from the old and where Paul can remind Timothy not to despise his youth.

I am convinced that people grow more by being involved in ministry than attending a class so we involve as many people as possible in ministry. The old and the young alike. This is a strategic decision. I know it doesn't foster satisfaction among everyone, but it does give every leader, regardless of age, an opportunity to grow as they serve their Lord. We try to mix up the generations when we form our committees and ministry teams to give the opportunity for cross generational fellowship and provide natural opportunities for mentoring to take place.

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