[shoulders] SHOULDER TO SHOULDER #323 ---- 2/16/04

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From: "Bob Tolliver" <lifeunlimited@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 11:23:47 +0200
Standing Shoulder To Shoulder Together As 
We Fight the Good Fight of Faith

A personal letter of encouragement to You, written solely to "lift up hands that hang down".

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SHOULDER TO SHOULDER #323 ---- 2/16/04

Title:  "Qualities of Effective Leadership"



Dear Friend and Ministry Partner:

Greetings to you, my friend, in the wonderful Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I pray that the very mention of His Name lifts and encourages you at this moment.

While not everything has  gone well from my perspective last week, I cannot begin to describe just how good God is.  I must say that yesterday was perhaps one of the richest and most meaningful services we've had thus far at International Church.  We had one of the largest (if not the largest) attendance since Jo Ann and I have been here, the worship time was extraordinary, and the attentive response of the people was profound . . . . even while sitting in a cold brick building.  I just can't figure out where all these people come from, . . . or why.   It was truly an amazing day, concluded with an excellent Leadership Council meeting where unity of purpose and direction were obvious.

Perhaps one of the greatest expressions of His goodness is His inexhaustible patience with me in the growing up process.  Yes, it may sound unbelievable . . . . or impossible . . . . but I'm still growing up.  It's really funny . . . . I look in the mirror at this aging face and think, "Tolliver, you're really getting old!".  But then I realize, . . .  "I don't Feel old! I should Feel old!"

Well, . . .  how are you supposed to feel as you get "old". . . . And just what IS "old" in the first place?

Frankly, if getting older is like this, then it's a real hoot!  The only difficulty I see is my body; it appears to develop a mind of its own . . . a mean mind with revenge as its motive.  It deviously continues gathering certain aches and pains, it distorts its shape by getting shorter and rounder, its parts begin to break down . . . . or fall out . . . ., it starts gathering itself up in folds, wads, and bundles . . .  it's a horrible sight!  No more full length mirrors in this apartment!

Otherwise, I think I like the process.  I especially like the gray hair.  According to Proverbs 20:29, "The glory of young men is their strength, And the honor of old men is their gray hair."  You understand, of course, that I'm really not "old" yet . . . . just on the way, slowly getting there.  Frankly, I'd rather have my hair turn gray than turn loose. . . . like a few friends I know.

The real blessing, however, is in learning to be more contemplative and less driven.  It's in discovering that you have perhaps successfully traversed at least portions of the pathway from the desert of learning information and gaining knowledge through the valleys of understanding to finally resting a bit on the crests of wisdom.  It's nice to realize that you not only "know" something, but you perhaps even "understand" that which you know, and have hopefully become insightful enough to pass it on to others.

Mind you, I don't classify myself to be a wise man at all.  Far from it, but it's at least been fun to discover that I'm getting there. . . . and a few folks apparently think I might know something that could help them along the way.

Anyhow . . . . it's fun sensing God opening up new insights and understanding to my heart in ways that don't cause me to explode, but rather to just sit back, smile, and say to myself, "Oh! . . . Yeah! . . . Now I get it!"  I spend lots of time doing that.



TRADITIONS AND MOTIVES:

As I live here in this amazing country, hardly a day goes by but what we don't encounter some interesting tradition.  Things like not whistling inside, or never shaking hands across the threshhold . . .

Over the week-end a friend sent an example of how the motives of traditions can change from one generation or circumstance to another.  Perhaps you've already seen this, but I thought it was amusing.

Barbara Walters of 60 Minutes (USA) did a story on gender roles in Kabul several years before the Afghan conflict. She noted that women customarily walked about 5 paces behind their husbands. 

She returned to Kabul recently and observed that women still walk behind their husbands, but now seem to walk even further back and are now happy with the old custom. 

Ms. Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked. "But why do you now seem happy with the old custom that you used to try and change" 

"Land mines," said the woman. 



PRAYER REQUESTS:

This week is a pivotal week in a number of ways, and I'd like to ask you to pray about the following:

1.  Our Student Ministries' Leadership Team" of eight has been meeting for prayer the past several weeks, seeking God' face for His direction in beginning this strategic ministry.  There are over 300,000 university students in the more than 50 universities, institutes, and colleges in Kiev.  Tens of thousands are from other countries (for example, 6,000 to 10,000 from China alone).  When you consider evangelizing and raising up a new generation of church leaders, the mission field is right here.

This team meets tonight in our home for further prayer.  Probably this week or the next we will break this team up into three or four smaller teams with the assignment of each finding a few others whom God is calling to be part of the initial leadership core that will begin probing and penetrating the various campuses.

The ultimate goal of this team is three-fold:  evangelizing unbelievers, discipling them into disciplers, and planting new churches throughout Kiev, outlying villages, and other places where God may send them.  So, tonight's meeting is strategic to that.

2.  An American evangelist, Michael Gott, has a group of some 30 Americans with him conducting two weeks of intensive "evangelistic English" classes at the Central Baptist Church in Kiev.  There could be as many as 1,000 people attending these classes.  Please pray that people will come to Christ.

Also pray that, as God leads, our own church might be able to provide continuing follow up for some of these new believers and also unbelievers through our weekly English language and Bible study ministries.  Since we rent space in Central's building for our own services and ministry, it would be a natural progression.  Unfortunately in many Ukrainian churches, follow-up is an unknown concept. . . . much like some churches in America.

3.  This next Friday  at 10:00 am I will be meeting with a group of missionaries and local church leaders from a variety of Great Commission ministries to discuss the feasability of developing a major prayer network that would ultimately blanket the entire city with ongoing prayer.  Pray that many will attend, and that God will reveal His intentions to us.  I wrote to over 90 individuals representing probably 30 church groups and ministries.

As is usually the case, I didn't hear back from nearly as many as one might expect.  However, of the 25 to 30 who did reply, all but two expressed a definite interest, some with great enthusiasm.  As with most ministries, busy schedules will prohibit more than half of those from attending, but it looks like we could have between 10 and 20.  Pray that God brings together the skeleton of a network with which to begin.  I am very excited about this.

4.  This next Friday evening at 6:00 we will conduct our first "Excellence In Leadership" conference, jointly sponsored by International Church and CCX (the Ukrainian version of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship).  We are currently maxed out for space with more than 40 people registered to attend, most from International Church.  That evening and all day Saturday we will be leading and training on "The Personal Life of an Excellent Leader".  (Bernard, this would be your cup of tea!)

It is our intent to conduct three to four such conference week-ends a year, one building upon the other.  Following each conference we will provide ongoing weekly leadership development, expanding in more detail the general topics of each conference.  As a result, we will have an perpetual ministry of leadership development with those who want to become people of spiritual influence in the marketplace and in the church.



THE PERFECT PASTOR:

More than 30 years ago I ran across a great description of "The Perfect Pastor".  I'm sure you've seen it or something similar.  A couple weeks ago, a good brother and friend of some 20 years, Dave, from Wisconsin sent this to me.  I was so grateful to get it because my old "hard copy" version is stuck in an ancient file drawer in my garage in the States.  His version has a modern twist to it, so I wanted to pass it on to you.

The perfect pastor preaches exactly ten minutes.  He condemns sin roundly, but never hurts anyone's feelings.  He works from 8 am until midnight, and is also the church janitor.  The perfect pastor makes $40 a week, wears good clothes, drives a good car, buys good books, and donates $30 a week to the church.  He is 29 years old and has 40 years of experience.

Above all, he is handsome.

The perfect pastor has a burning desire to work with teenagers, and he spends most of his time with the senior citizens.  He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his church.  He makes 15 home visits a day and is always in his office to be handy when needed.

The perfect pastor always has time for church council and all of its committees.  He never misses the meeting of any church organization, and is always out evangelizing the unchurched and taking care of his family.

The perfect pastor is always in the next church over.

If your pastor does not measure up, simply send this notice to six other churches that are tired of their pastor, too.  Then bundle up your pastor and send him to the church at the top of the list.  If everyone cooperates, in one week you will receive 1,643 pastors.  One of them should be perfect.

Have faith in this letter.  One church broke the chain and got its old pastor back in less than three months!



BEING AN EFFECTIVE LEADER:

It seems that more and more of my time is spent in preparing material for teaching.  For example, beginning in one week I will teach the book of Acts to 35 freshmen at St. James Bible College not far from Kiev.  I will spend three to four hours a day for two weeks on the subject.  I'm also preparing material for our "Growing In Prayer" workshops that meet every other week, and I'm working on material on "How To Study the Bible" for our optional ESL Bible study (we just finished the Gospel of John last Tuesday)

One of these areas that I'm currently scurrying around writing about is in the area of leadership.  So, when my friend, Jeff Floyd, sent the following to me a few days ago, I knew it was something I wanted to share with you.  It is concise and to the point . . . . just like most of what Jeff writes.  So, if you'll indulge me, I'd like Jeff to be the primary thinker in today's letter.  Read on.

----------------------

Enduring Qualities of Effective Christian Leaders

Paul, in his writings, gave glimpses of some of the problems in the early church. He lamented Demas who deserted the cause. He rebuked the disorder at Corinth, and in his letter to Titus, commanded the establishment of elders that "those things might be put to order that are lacking" (Titus 1:5). (In other words, straighten out the mess!)

Leadership in the church sets the tone of the church and ultimately determines whether it prospers or stagnates. Unfortunately, every church has those in it to whom stature and recognition are important. This tendency is explained by a very fundamental principle built into all human relationships, i.e., "The weak are compelled to dominate while the strong tend to accommodate." The problem with such a state is that it is a condition of immaturity that to some extent places the church in bondage and will ultimately be destructive to it. The tendency to dominate is a compulsion that by its very essence disqualifies from effective service those gripped by it. Unfortunately, stronger and mature people are often content to sit by and let the domination take place simply to avoid the confrontations that inevitably occur when the immature feel their role is threatened.

Jesus addressed this compulsion in a situation involving his disciples: "And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, 'What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?' But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, 'If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all'" (Mark 9:33-35). The very fact of their quarreling over prestige and authority illustrated their immaturity. 

Proper leadership is an absolute must if a church is to prosper and Kingdom causes are to be advanced. Every great church is characterized by great and wise leadership. There are several characteristics often overlooked that great leader possess that would encourage people to follow him and cause his work to prosper.

1. His spirituality must be indisputable. Spirituality has to do with the extent that one walks under the leadership and anointing of the Holy Spirit rather than following the dictates of a carnal mind and the flesh. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, sharply contrasted immaturity with spirituality clearly indicating that one cannot be both: "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ."

2. His love for his people must be undeniable. It is demonstrated by the depth of his personal and uncomplaining sacrifices made in behalf of those he leads. Jesus voiced it this way, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

3. He must be farsighted. Leadership requires one to project out in his thinking the potential outcomes of both personal and corporate decisions as well as proposed projects, i.e., judging their flaws, predicting difficulties, seeing their helpful possibilities. He must see more, sooner, and further than his flock does.

4. He must be consistent in his lifestyles, attitudes, beliefs, and values. Consistency is a pearl of great price. What one believes, says, and does on a daily basis speaks far louder than what is preached on a given Sunday. Paul wisely counseled young Timothy:  "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:12-13). "Anyone who is wise or understanding among you should from a good life give evidence of deeds done in the gentleness of wisdom" (James 3:13 NJB).

5. His walk should demonstrably be a walk of faith. Romans testifies of the faith of Abraham:  "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform" (Romans 4:20-21).  Paul admonished the faith walk: "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13).

6. He must be meek and gentle in all situations and with all people in their home, church, and in the community. Jesus was both gentle and meek. Notice that both are mentioned as essential fruit of the Spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-25).

7. He must be a person of prayer. Paul emphasized the centrality of prayer in his dissertation on spiritual warfare: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

James taught that one should not be quick to desire leadership positions since that person would be subject to greater judgment: "My brothers, not many of you should become teachers, because you know that those of us who teach will be judged very carefully" (James 3:1). God does not look kindly on those who take lightly their gifts and responsibilities in Kingdom work. One should take seriously the roles that they are given and their effect on others. Paul admonished Timothy on this very issue: "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5). 

Jeff

Links: www.jfloydministries.org, www.mylifeline.net (click on Daily Devotional). To order Neither Give Place or A New Look at an Old War, email <<jhf72934@...>>.

Jefferson H. and Norma R. Floyd, CO-directors
Jubilee International
P. O. Box 3202
Carmel, IN 46082
Copyright February 2004 by Jefferson H. Floyd. All rights reserved. 



FINALLY:

Thanks, my friend, for letting me take your time today.  This letter was a potpourri of several things, so hopefully something encouraged you.  Thanks for praying for me.  I'm grateful for your participation in my life.

In His Bond and For His Kingdom,

Bob Tolliver -- Psalm 2:8
Copyright February, 2004
Life Unlimited Ministries
  lifeunlimited@...
   www.peopleteams.org/kiev/team/tollivers.htm (Personal ministry)
   www.peopleteams.org/kiev (General team ministry)
   http://community.webshots.com/user/01lum for our pix albums.

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REMEMBER ---- "We will not Work where we have not prayed."  (Todd Golden)

May I Recommend . . . .

If you have a heart for God and would like to be encouraged in your life and ministry, 
    and you have a burden for your church, your community, and the world, 
    then you may want to receive . . .
www.cnsnews.com for daily world news without a liberal, godless bias.
www.worldprayerteam.org ---- A world-wide network for praying together.
www.watchword.org ---- excellent resources on revival, prayer, missions.
www.waymakers.org ---- resources on prayer, evangelism, etc.
www.operationiraqcare.org ---- To adopt and pray for a special historic city in Iraq.
http://www.nppn.org ---- "National Pastors' Prayer Network" newsletter.  ~  
    email: phil@....  Register your PPG: http://www.nppn.org/ppg/ .
Usprayercenter@... ---- U. S. World Prayer Center.
www.cityreaching.com ---- City Reaching/City Impact Roundtable.
fridayfax-subscribe@... ---- Wolfgang Simpson's "Friday Fax" from New Zealand.
www.LifeAction.org ---- "Life Action Outreach".
www.revivalcsa.co.za ---- "Bulletin On Revival" by Francois Carr in South Africa.
www.yifa.org ---- "Youth Interceding For America".
www.missionamerica.org ---- "Mission America" .
www.lighthousemovement.com ---- "The Lighthouse Movement". Click on "Lighthouses".

Other Great Resources Are:
www.sermonIndex.net for access to thousands of sermons by great preachers.  Exceptional site.
www.biblemaster.com for great Bible resources and downloads.  Exceptional site.
www.e-sword.net (one of the best free download Bible study site I've ever seen!)
http://associate.com/camsoc/ctt/"Christian Communications Toolkit" (using internet wisely) 
http://www.associate.com/camsoc/crop/software.html#freewin. Free software or shareware listings, 
www.associate.com/camsoc/crs/ for church related software from CAMSOC.
    To subscribe to CAMSOC update newsletter, go to grga@....
www.ccmag.com.  "Christian Computing Magazine", 
ccmag-subscribe@....  CCMag discussion newsletter, 
http://www.christiangraphicdesign.com/premierinfo.htm  Thousands of Free Christian graphics.

Online Resources on Ukraine are . . . .
   www.uazone.net
   www.hope4cee.org
   www.ukraineinfo.us
   www.peopleteams.org/ukrainians
   www.reachukraine.org 
  http://www1.excite.com/travel/travelguide/destination/0,20310,europe-550,00.html

Secular News on Kiev and Ukraine will give you interesting views at . . .
   www.kyivweekly.com
   www.kievpost.com
   www.kyivpost.com
   www.ukrainenews.com 
   www.ukraine-observer.com