As we enter into the year 2013, one of the assignments I will be fulfilling is to write a weekly article for the pastors and leaders in Metrolina Baptist Association. We will call them LeaderLessons. Our theme for the year in MBA is “Focused Obedience,” with Hebrews 12:1-2 as the theme text: “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.”
Obedience to God and His Word is an issue for me and for us in the church. We know plenty, but are we doing what we know? Are we obeying what God has told us to do? If we had to compare how much we know to how much we are obeying, how would we measure up? Yes, obedience is a daily issue, and I for one need some help in living the obedient life.
First, that help comes from my relationship with Jesus – I must keep my eyes focused on Him if I am to be successful in obediently following Him. This is why being focused is so important to obedience. As Hebrews 12 says, I must get rid of everything that hinders and the sin that entangles my feet so that I can run the race, live the life, eyes fixed, focused on the Lord.
Second, I need accountability – I need brothers in Christ who will walk with me and help me stay focused on Jesus and obedient to His Word. I need fellow Christians who will help, pray, listen, challenge, and encourage me. With my experience over the past 27 years as a pastor and leader, I know that other pastors and leaders need the same kind of encouragement in order to practice focused obedience as a follower of Jesus and a servant of God.
So, each week of 2013 I will be sharing what I am learning as a follower of Jesus and a servant leader who must pursue focused obedience. My prayer is that God will use what He teaches me to encourage and help my fellow Christians, those who follow Jesus and serve His church where He has planted us.
One of the resources I will be using and sharing this year is Handbook to Leadership by Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell, and Bill Perkins. Following their lead, in the weeks of this year we will be examining (1) personal development, (2) skill development and (3) relational development as Christian leaders. This will encourage us week by week to practice focused obedience. These weekly articles will be emailed to our pastors and leaders, posted on www.metrolina.org and on the MBA Facebook page, and printed for distribution.
We will also be gathering small groups of pastors together for prayer and partnership in different communities around Metrolina throughout the year. If you would like to host one of these gatherings, please let me know and we will include your location in our schedule. Watch for other groups and gatherings you can be part of, to encourage and equip you as you live and serve in 2013.
Please join me in this journey, praying that God will make 2013 a year of focused obedience for us and for the churches we serve. May our obedience cause others to see the Body of Christ in a new way, actually being who God has called us to be and doing what God has told us to do in this Metrolina mission field and to the ends of the earth.
Bob Lowman, Jr.