Knowing who you are
Sat May 25, 2013
by Jeremy Pace
Resurgence roundup, 5/24/13
Fri May 24, 2013
The places grace empowers us
Thu May 23, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
‘Each next risk is the biggest one’: James MacDonald talks with Mark Driscoll
Wed May 22, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
The Exhorting Leader: The Two Sides of Exhortation
I’ve probably read most of the pros and cons of using spiritual gifts to determine a person’s fitness to occupy a leadership role.
I’m aware of the argument that the “gifts” we have in Scripture may be a sampling and not meant to be a complete list of all the God-given gifts the Lord has made available to us.
I’m also aware of the fact that determining a leader’s gifting doesn’t give us the entire picture of a particular leader’s God-given design, or necessarily point said leader toward a particular type of ministry. Having said all of that, I still think that examining the spiritual gifts of a person can be of help, particularly as it pertains to a significant leadership role.
I personally don’t want to become a person who is so loving that I don’t speak the truth . . .
The Gift of Exhortation
I’m thinking primarily today of the gift of exhortation, or parakaleo, in the Greek. It is, becoming clear to me that the word has two sides or parts. In Romans 12:8 it is listed along with a few other gifts (emphasis, mine): “The one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Parakaleo, which is the same Greek word used to speak of the Holy Spirit (one who comes alongside to speak to us), means, according to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary: “both to encourage but also to urge, admonish one to pursue some course of conduct (always prospective, looking to the future, in contrast to the meaning to comfort, which is retrospective, having to do with trial experienced).”
. . . . or so truthful that I don’t really demonstrate love.
Two Parts to Parakaleo
I believe it is important for a leader to possess the whole of the word “exhort.” A leader needs to be able to take initiative and be proactive in both encouraging and admonishing those under his/her care.
As leaders, we need to grow in both parts of parakaleo: the soft side of encouraging and the tough side of admonishing, warning, speaking sternly into someone’s life. Generally speaking, many, if not most, leaders are good at the positive encouraging aspects of the equation but sometimes are found wanting when it comes to the confronting, warning aspects, even going so far as calling out sin in a person’s life. If the admonishing side is practiced at all, it’s more likely to be done from the pulpit (more generalized and “safer”) than on a personal level.
I want to be a leader who practices loving integrity, combining both truth and love.
We Need Both
King David was fortunate and blessed. He had Nathan in addition to Jonathan: Jonathan to love and encourage him, and Nathan to confront and admonish him, calling sin what it was/is—sin. David needed both. Most people do. Ephesians 4:15, “Rather, speaking the truth in love.” I personally don’t want to become a person who is so loving that I don’t speak the truth, or so truthful that I don’t really demonstrate love—I want to be a leader who practices loving integrity, combining both truth and love and expressing the full spectrum of the gift of exhortation.
Have Dave Kraft speak at your church about Leaders Who Last.