Apr 22, 2021.
Leadership is an interesting thing. There is both knowledge and attitude that must flow from a leader to direct and inspire the group they are serving. But what is that ‘secret sauce’ a group needs from their leader? That is always the question of the day.
#JesusStories: Jesus told a parable in Matt. 13: “The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a woman mixes a little yeast into three big batches of flour. Finally, all the dough rises.” While there is drama in waiting for dough to rise, I am most intrigued by the image of the ‘yeast’ in this story – that small ingredient that must be present for bread to become impressive. For us in the Christian faith, the ‘yeast’ that makes us rise into a strong people is undoubtedly the presence of Jesus living within us. When we quiet ourselves to pray, the Spirit of the Lord begins to rise within us in yeast-like fashion, and comfort, and courage, and renewal, and wisdom rises too. We are PROFOUNDLY BLESSED because of the active ingredient of Jesus at work in our lives – the author and finisher of our faith. This makes my soul thrill just to talk about it.
However, there is another way to look at yeast. Everything our Lord is doing upon the earth needs us, his body, to actually deliver it. His inbreaking kingdom plans needs his church to enact them. Subsequently, this means that Jesus needs his leaders to step up first, and be the yeast that inspires the rest of the family to engage in those plans. Leaders are always the yeast in Jesus’ world. Let me offer some yeast-like elements that needs to be flowing out of Dinner Church leaders: 1)your team needs to see you turning strangers into friends over and over again, 2)your people need to hear Jesus Stories coming out of you every time you open your mouth publicly and personally, 3)your team needs to hear you offer bold prayers of healing and miracles whenever someone needs it, 4)and your team needs to see a lion-like desire to pull people free from oppression and a dogged determination to flood the inbreaking kingdom of God into your neighborhood. These things become the yeast of leadership – the repeating behaviors of leadership – the secret sauce of leadership that makes dinner churches thrive. And may the Lord infuse his yeast into you everyday so you can make your team and church rise in something wonderful.
#DinnerChurchQuotes: “It remains for us to take up courageously and without hesitation the work He has given us, which is the task of living our own life as Christ would live it in us.” -Thomas Merton
#Practical Stuff: How long has it been since you have taken your core team through a book together? Team book-reads are a powerful way to keep your group growing in their Christlikeness, in their leadership, and in their teamwork. Have your team read a chapter, underline the highlights, and then get together to discuss your ‘underlines’. In this way your group can ‘own’ a book in a very deep way. If you have already read through the books I’ve written (available on DinnerChurch.Com), then how about ‘Table Talk’ by Mike Graves, or ‘From Tablet to Table’ by Len Sweet. They are both wonderful! Keep your leadership team growing; you have a new congregation to form in the likeness of Christ.
Blessings & Boldness,
Dr. Verlon and Melodee Fosner have led a multi-site Assemblies of God Dinner Church in Seattle, Washington since 1999 (www.CommunityDinners.com). In this decade when more churches in the U.S. are declining than thriving, and when ninety-six churches a week are closing, Verlon and Melodee sensed that a different way of doing church was needed for their 97-year old Seattle congregation. It soon became obvious that they were not the only ones in need of a different path. They joined the FX team in 2016 and founded the Dinner Church Collective. And then in 2019 founded the Dinner Church School of Leadership. There is a lot to be gained when church leaders begin to see open doors in the American landscape that they had previously overlooked. Therein lies the journey for those who will forge a new future for the American Church.