Sitting in the Good Seats

I was blessed a couple of weeks ago when someone asked me if I would be interested in using their tickets for the Houston Texans first pre-season football game at Reliant Stadium. My hope is that my answer to such questions can always be “YES!” And, this time, thankfully, it was.

My daughter Rebecca and I went to the game together and had a great time. These seats were on the third row up on the goal line on the end where the Texans come out for the game. We were right there to see the inflatable bull and we could feel the heat from the pyro-technic flame throwers that signaled the Texans’ entry. It was AWESOME! It allowed us to see things more clearly and to be part of the excitement in ways many don’t get to experience. Again, I was blessed.

As I met with some folks to talk about our upcoming Small Group Leader Training session I began to realize how blessed we are as Christian leaders to “sit in the good seats”. Now, let me say, leadership is not given because people are special or better. Leadership is conferred by the Holy Spirit of God. Through the church we seek to discern whom God is calling to serve as leaders. And, through the church we seek to build up those leaders through prayer and training so they are in the best position to serve their calling. Those who are called have the great privilege of sitting in the good seats and seeing the action like many others may never get to do.

What do I mean by that? Well, if we take hold of the authority and power God gives us as we lead others, we have the chance to encourage and nurture the work of God already happening in the people. Leaders in the church have the privileged perspective of watching the lives of others whom they lead. If we pay attention we will see things – like the stirring of the Spirit in the hearts of new Christians. We get to see people catching fire and taking hold of the truth of God in their lives. We get to reach out and help them answer a call they may not yet realize is there. We get to see the spiritual struggles happening in the hearts of the people around us and we get to reach out to them and say:

I can tell God is working in you right now in some way. It may be to help you overcome a struggle or it may be God is calling you to take a new step of faith. Whatever it is, know that I am praying for you and that I would be glad to help you work through this. If I can be of help or pray in a particular way, let me know.

What an amazing privilege it is to sit in that seat and to see into the hearts of the people we serve and to reach out to them in gentle and loving ways.

Such things only happen when we ourselves give ourselves to the Spirit’s leading. It is only when we realize we serve under the authority of the Spirit that we can see the hearts of others and respond. To live under that authority is to realize not just the responsibility we have but also the POWER. To serve under the authority of the Spirit is to be given the authority to act in the lives of others.

If I had been offered the seats to the game and I accepted the tickets I could then go to the game and stand in the food area and watch the game. I would be there and I would be the one given the privilege of sitting in the good seats. But, if I don’t go sit in the seat I don’t have the greater experience of the game. As leaders in the Church, if we take hold of the call to lead and teach others but we don’t fully live into that role and fully accept and act on the authority given to us, then we will not have the greater experience of watching the Spirit at work up close and personal.

So, have you been called to lead?
Are you simply doing the job or are you stepping into a calling?
Are you seeking to teach a lesson, or are you seeking to be used by the Spirit of God to build up others?
Do you take the authority to act in bold ways to encourage and pray over others in your charge?

Leading others in the Church is done not because others believe you can do a good job (though they do), it is done because God has called you and God wants to use you to lead others further along the path – to lead others to their own “good seats” in the Kingdom.

Let’s go offer others a chance to see the game like we do.

Holy high-five to you,
Mike

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