Faith and Leadership Journal
Understanding Accountability to Grow a Emotionally Healthy Church
Yet, the person who has not had a change of heart will not be truly accountable no matter what program or set of rules he is trying to follow.
- No doubt, all believers struggle with the temptation to sin, but we must not forget what Scripture continues to point us to; The Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit. The Christian must be daily yielding himself and depending upon the Holy Spirit’s power in order to live a life of love and obedience.
- If our first answer to the question ‘How someone can live a life pleasing to the Lord?’ is accountability to other people, then we have truly missed the freeing, good news of God’s Word and are dependent upon the weak, overbearing, and useless arm of the flesh.
Yet, confession to other believers is good for the “Soul” and Biblical as we see in the Book of John. This practice is often neglected or on the other hand overbearingly abused. How one goes about bearing his soul to another believer is a delicate matter.
Let’s look at 1 John 1:9. It says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This pertains to the acts of sins, whatever they might be; the sinner is to believe he has sinned as part of this confession. And a note about the word “all:” All means not some. All means all. Every sin. All sin was remitted, paid for, and put away on the cross when Jesus died for us. Let’s not forget, now, that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. We all need this great forgiveness.
- Confession must always be based upon a trusting, Godly relationships should not be not simply a set of rules in some church group. It must flow freely and naturally.This means that before a person can be expected to confess what is going on in their life to individuals (not big groups), they must have trusted, mature friends who have their best interest in mind always pointing them to Jesus and not themselves or their personal agendas and values.
- This kind of relationship takes time and effort. Before one can get to the nitty-gritty of their life they need to spend time with others just doing life together. As trust builds, so will the depth of the relationship from which confession can flow.
Lastly, our connection to each other means we must lay aside the island mentality. We do not stand independent of one another.
This is the Fifth Part of the Series Building God’s Kingdom Series on Organic Discipleship: Also coming is a book of the series will be released in September of 2018
Omar Liles, D.Min, CDP, Associate Editor
7/19/2018 12:00 PM CST
Since the early days of the bible, “Mental Illness,” has been a serious issue. Research has shown us that many times in history, people were dismissed and easily disposed due to lack of resources, and even in the faith community-there were lack of resources. For our purposes, we would like to highlight, a few biblical examples of mental illness and minus the effects of healthy living:
Genesis 5:5) And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years and he died. This is a period in history where man was able to live for long periods and was able to think better.
Cain slew Abel: insanity would also drive a person to kill (Genesis 4:8) and Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against his brother, and slew him.
David faked mental illness and was wrongly accused of being insane by King of Gath. So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard. Then Achish said to his servants, “ Behold, you see the man behaving as a man. Why do you bring him to me? Do I lack as a madmen that you have brought this one to act as the madman in my presence? Shall this one come into my house? (1 Samuel 21:12:12-15) (bible.ca) by Steve Rudd
(The problem here is that Achish wasn’t a welcoming person and he himself had this and many issues- even though David wasn’t a man with Mental Illness.)
What are we to do?: Reach Out
In order to reach out and correct this problem- Christians and those in the world must be humble and ready to receive any and everyone with open arms. As a community of faith we can deal with the problem of mental illness, and in truth it is a current problem, but we must remind ourselves that “Mental Illness,” has been around for thousands of years. After the acknowledgement then we must pursue ways to address whatever issues are present both from a faith and position of health.
Another example-“King Saul who drove himself insane out of hatred for David and rebellion to God: “ Now it came about the next day on that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house, while David was playing the Harp with his hand (as usual) and a spear was in Saul’s hand. Saul hurled the spear for he thought, ‘I will pin David to the wall” excerpt from (bible.ca).
The Key word that’s not here is “LOVE”
What do we need to teach people about is love? People need to be told that they are loved also.
(Now that we have reviewed biblical examples-Let’s proceed with identifying various mental illnesses and real causes)
Types of Behaviors with Mental Illness
Dementia: loss of reason
Believing lies: false view of reality
Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities
Nebuchadnezzer was stricken with dementia and loss of reason by God for his pride: “While the word was in the Kings mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, “king Nebuchadnezzer, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’ “Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. “But at the end of that period, I,
Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.”
(bible.ca) by Steve Rudd
Nebuchadnezzer’s fall was associated with pride, God had to show him that his position was there only because God put him there. The same way that modern society discards people with dementia and mental illness, perhaps it should me noted that people were treated even harsher in the ancient world. “Nebuchadnezzer was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle” They often drove them out of the community and do not care for them.
Results from Dementia:
Dementia brings confusion
Loss of Memory
Personality change, and Impaired Intellectual functions
How can we help?
• Find places of comfort to live.
• Find consistent counseling
• The church family could help comfort them.
• Make sure that they are properly fed and eating habits are balanced.
• Education and study can help prolong and fight mental illness.
What we as Christians can do is find help by reaching to local agencies
Mental Health Association of Nj
Alzheimer’s Association ( alz.org)
Dementia Society of America 1-800-336-3684
Omar Liles is the Associate Editor of the Faith and Leadership Journal. Omar is certified as a Dementia Practitioner with The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners and a graduate of New York Divinity School with a Master of Religion and received a Doctorate of Ministry from Andersonville Theological Seminary, he is a member of Ecclesia Scholars Society from Trinity College of The Bible and member Urban League Young of Essex County Young Professionals.A Volunteer Substitute Teacher Assistant at New York Divinity School, member of The King Movement and Worships at Christ Resurrection Missionary Baptist Church.
Building God’s Kingdom Series on Organic Discipleship Part 4: Three Essential Qualities Of Transformative Biblical Leadership
Bishop Gregg L.Greer, Editor
In today’s tough modern age-Biblical Leaders must not only concern themselves with how to lead, but they must also address and understand why they are leading or what purpose after acknowledging that their calling and vocation comes from God the Father.
Biblical Leaders must find their why before they know their what. Most gain a sense of the term vision to describe a leader’s purpose and the future state for which they will influence others.
If we were to ask any self described church leader, then he or she would most likely tell you that the idea of vision is at the heart of leading others, to comprehend biblical leadership-then we must realize that in a biblical paradigm- vision flows first from God’s call to the leader.
To better illustrate our purpose we have decided to use the life and Ministry of Moses; Here is a passage about the events that set Moses on his path to righteousness.
Walking along the dusty, desert road, a man named Moses was caught off-guard. He saw a bush that was inflamed but not burning. Ablaze and lit up, it flickered with flecks of fire, but the bush, leaves, and stems were not consumed. Slowly, cautiously, Moses approached the burning bush—and everything changed.
It seems to be extraordinary that Moses (illustration, above) had a clear conversation with God about what to do with his life. This amazing burning-bush moment was like God’s telephone directly to Moses, revealing a clear mission of what he was supposed to do. How could we not be jealous of that?
With this fact in mind we have decided to put together three major bullet points that “Good,” Biblical Leadership should be able to understand.
1. Understanding of the Calling
We know that the Body of Christ is structured to equip us for our function. We understand from the Apostle Paul’s teaching that Christ, “gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
The real question here for most Christians is “How do we understand our place in the Body of Christ?” In other words, “What is my calling?”
2. Unquestioned Obedience to the Faith.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (NIV)
What do we hope for? We grow in the understanding that God is trustworthy and honors his promises.
We can be sure that his promises of salvation, eternal life, and a resurrected body will be ours someday based on who God is.
The second part of this definition acknowledges our problem: God is invisible. We can’t see heaven either.
We must know that-eternal life, begins with our individual salvation here on earth, is also something we do not see, but our faith in God makes us certain of these things, as a Biblical Leader-they key to leading is to keep the faith connected throughout the process.
3. God’s Wisdom must come First
A Biblical Leader must NOT get their intellect confused with God’s plan. We have a dream, an aspiration, or a goal, and it becomes what we believe is God’s vision. We then go to God to convince him to get on board with what we want to see happen in the world. In essence we say, “God, please bless and resource MY plans.” This leads to failure, frustration, and misguided achievements, since God did not author the vision in the first place. Here, leaders achieve only to realize the achievements were not of God. Great Biblical Leadership has to begin and end with humbleness. After we must accept that God’s vision has to be the driving force of our wisdom.
Ministry is hard! Leadership is even more challenging! There will be plenty of times when we will want to throw in the towel and do something else—anything else.
But if we are to become effective leaders we must always be willing to give the gospel it’s place in our lives and ask God to give interpretation.
This is the Fourth Part of the Series Building God’s Kingdom Series on Organic Discipleship: Also coming is a book of the series will be released in September of 2018
Omar Liles, D.Min, CDP, Associate Editor
7/1/2018 10:15 PM CST
The Teacher as Leader
In this writing I will briefly discuss what a good Christian teacher is and what a Christian teacher is not. Many people who graduate from seminary dream of being a good teacher to advance the knowledge of seminarians, congregations and Disciples of Christ in order to grow the church. I will briefly highlight three point” The Teacher As A Leader, Having Strong Communication And Learning By Demonstration.
A Good Christian Teacher
A Teacher As A Leader
A teacher is a leader that is willing to be lead by others. A leader is also a teacher that is willing to demonstrate that they are capable of learning as well. A teacher must take a role in developing, expressing and engaging others. What makes a Christian educator great? A Christian educator is a person who is willing to give instruction in biblical and theological studies as they live their life as an example for those that are willing to be lead by you through Jesus Christ. The teacher shows confidence within their students as to learning to have confidence for those who is willing to be teachers also.
Having Strong Communication
They must have strong communication skills in order to get their point across so that they can be clear of what they are saying to those who follow them. What I have learned from teaching is that I had a great teacher who taught me well because I understood what he told me.
Learning By Demonstration
I also learned by demonstration. The primary focus of teaching is to teach not only what you know but to teach how it can be done. A gymnast can never know how to use a parallel bar unless he or she is taught how to use it effectively. Using a parallel bar without demonstration will be a result of injury.
Omar Liles is the Associate Editor of the Faith and Leadership Journal. Omar Liles graduated with a Master of Religion from New York Divinity School. After he graduated he pursued his Christian education further in 2014 at Andersonville Theological Seminary and graduated with a Doctorate in Ministry in 2018 with a grade point average (Magna Cum Laude, GPA 3.80). In 2015 he was Certified as a Dementia Practitioner with The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. In 2016 he became a member of the Urban League of Essex County Young Professionals. Currently he works as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor and Administrator at Exodus Training and Employment Services. He a member of the Ecclesia Scholars Society and a volunteer substitute teacher assistant at New York Divinity School and is a member of The King Movement that is founded by Chris Broussard. Despite these accomplishments Jesus has become the central focus of his life and continues until this day to serve Christ and there is nothing that he could or would of have done without Jesus Christ as the head of his life. Amen
Building God’s Kingdom Series on Organic Discipleship Part 2: Etiquette , Protocols, and Pure Righteousness in the Faith
Many times in the movement of faith people lack understanding of the basic rules that govern how we should conduct ourselves to make the faith experience as impactful as possible.
The major issues that govern how we should act are not necessarily written but some are implied and others we would expect to come naturally or with added logic-simply due to the fact that they follow the rules governed by society.
For clarification lets look at a few examples of what we mean:
Etiquette is a code of polite conduct. If you practice proper etiquette, you are less likely to offend or annoy people — and you may even charm them.
According to Bishop Don Adams Founder and General Overseer of the Building Gods Kingdom International Ministries and co-author of this series;
Without the proper etiquette-it is assured that issues remain in place that will take away from the faith experience….
Under this classification we could include items like:
Pulpit Etiquette -Before giving a sermon it is always necessary to announce, acknowledge and “Thank” the leadership of the church. 1) for their dedication to the faith, and 2) even if you are a guest preacher-it’s good practice to offer “Thanks,” to the leadership of the church (house)-for allowing you to come and share your faith in their service.
Dr. Keira Banks presents Spiritual Protocol as a tool and guide to assist pastors and believers in embracing the Biblical mandate for divine order in the local church. Pastors can use this book as a teaching tool in an effort to transition their entire congregations out of chaos and into the Kingdom of God realm of love, light, prayer and divine order. Individual believers will reference this book to ensure that their motives are pure and their conduct brings honor and glory to God.
This means the areas that protocols are set to address- items that are more standard policy either; written or expressed. For another example, a standard protocol in the church may be to open the service with a scripture reading and prayer-A process that most churches have adopted and follow routinely.
Lastly with that said, let us spend a little time on pure righteousness:
This is another area where sometimes the most natural spiritual experience is hampered by the “money see-monkey do-ism” of the church; for example-praying in submission to God. (see example in illustration below)
According to many people in the modern church- some love to pray in the “submission,” position. For our purposes-we only want people to let your posture express the attitudes of your heart. Not to follow someone else who you see using this prayer position without truly understanding what it means.
In the Biblical accounts of prayer, many postures are described. Abraham fell upon his face before God. (See Genesis 17:3, 17.) Moses prayed with his hands outstretched. (See Exodus 9:27–29.) King Solomon knelt in prayer. (See I Kings 8:54.) Jesus prayed looking up into heaven. (See Mark 6:41, John 11:41, and 17:1.)
Communication with God does not require a certain physical position, but postures do give expression to the attitudes of our hearts.
While we only provided a few examples-there a hundreds for more reasons why a little practice in learning to identify good “Etiquette , Protocols, and Pure Righteousness,” and how they interchange in the church can go along way into building a lasting faith experience. A more positive faith experience-where everyone is willing to come and share and grow in the Body.
Please know-these items are critical for faith leadership in the modern church to navigate and understand and apply daily.
This is the second Part of the Series Building God’s Kingdom Series on Organic Discipleship: When The Good News is Spiritually Based And When it is Not! Also A book of the series will be released in August of 2018
Building God’s Kingdom Series on Organic Discipleship Part 1: When The Good News is Spiritually Based And When it is Not!
Preaching is a dangerously high calling in which mere mortals dare to speak on behalf of God. All too often, well-intentions preachers preach poorly. But what do good preachers do well? And what can we learn from them? Simon Vibert has studied the work of today’s leading preachers with an eye for discerning the dynamics of effective preaching. Each chapter profiles a contemporary preacher and lifts out practical principles for sermons that are biblical, motivational and transformational.
Fact Number #1
Fact Number #2
Fact Number #3
Fact Number #4
Gods word is the force and the power, that brings about obedience to all His laws. It is actually the creative word that produces the fulfillment of those laws in our lives. It was the creative word that brought the world into existence; God spoke and it was done.
That is because this planet, in its empty state, was not rejecting God’s word, this is why we must uphold and honor the word of God because when we do- the power that comes into us is truly “amazing,” to say the least.
Fact Number #5
Philippians 4:6 ESV /
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
This simply means the approach must always be humble-petition for the will of God to shine through all that we do, and it will be given.
Fact Number #6
Study and Meditate on Scripture continually!
God told Joshua, “Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed” (Joshua 1:8, NLT).
God’s definition of success in life is to know Him better. One way we do that is to read and understand His Word!
Fact Number #7
Building bridges to bring others to Salvation must be our main goal.
Lastly, when the Lord shows you those needing Christ, you should always seek to build a relationship with them-and be an open conduit for their salvation.
Remember how Jesus went to the home of Zacchaeus where many sinners had gathered? While we must be careful not to place ourselves in an environment where we’ll be pulled down, we must be equally careful to cultivate friendships with those needing Christ.
When preaching always remember this golden rule-That Christ has placed you in your particular place just to reach those whom no one else can reach. Your mission at the end of it all is to-bring them home, bring them into “Salvation.”
This is the First Part of the Series Building God’s Kingdom Series on Organic Discipleship: When The Good News is Spiritually Based And When it is Not! Also A book of the series will be released in August of 2018
A Faith and Leadership Journal Commentary: Spiritual Warfare Part 2-Can Whole Communities Suffer From Demonic Oppression?
Hello in part 1-We have stated in an effort to understand with the battle over demonic spirits we have to understand internal signs to avoid and so on.
The Mob Mentality
According to biblical scripture-The “mob mentality” possibly could apply to the kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah (illustration, below) which we understand were allied with the cities of Admah, Zeboim and Bela. These five cities, also known as the “cities of the plain” (from Genesis in the Authorized Version), [Gen.13:10] Divine judgment by God was passed upon Sodom and Gomorrah and two neighboring cities, which were completely consumed by fire and brimstone.
Neighboring Zoar (Bela) was the only city to be spared. Sodom and Gomorrah have been used historically and today as metaphors for vice, sexual perversion, and homosexuality, although a close reading of the text and other Ancient Near Eastern sources suggest that this association may be incorrect.
On last point that I think it is very important to mention. According to historical research- it was during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the era of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, there was an ‘epidemic’ of such possessions. Some of the hundreds of cases that were reported were group possessions in which many people in small, close-knit communities, such as convents and orphanages, displayed the same symptoms. Why?
The question as to why and how demon possession can effect mass groups of people is a good question, but If we use our imagination and possibly some common sense then we can say yes!-that consistent bad habits and filthily living may be a chronic incubator for evil to exist, and demons to feel motivated to work. Examples can be areas where drugs become influences, prostitution, wild parties and sex clubs are largely frequented and so on.
As a person of faith our response must be a clean healthy lifestyle. Period!