• Will Spink
    Senior Pastor
  • Wyketa Shipman
    Executive Assistant
  • Ron Clegg
    Associate Pastor, Discipleship
  • Shannon Clark
    Administrative Assistant
  • James Parker
    Chief Musician
  • Peter Render
    Assistant Pastor, Youth/Families
  • Christine Betts
    Assistant Director, Youth/Families
  • Ty Commons
    Youth & Families Intern
  • Kim Delchamps
    Administrative Assistant
    Youth/Children
  • Derrick Harris
    Assistant Pastor, Shepherding & Young Families
  • Angela Sierk
    Director, Children's Ministry
  • Niña Banta Cash
    Director, Nursery
  • Robert Blevins
    Director, Community Development
  • Janice Crowson
    Director, Facilities/Finance
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    Print & Digital Media Specialist
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I Feel the Need, the Need to Lead


The word “leader” means so many different things to so many different people.  Tony Robbins writes, “Leaders spend 5% of their time on the problem and 95% of their time on the solution. So, get over it and crush it!”  If you look the word up in the dictionary, you’ll find at least six different meanings, one of which is, “the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.”  The synonyms given for leader are “chief, head, principal, commander, captain, superior, headman, authority figure,” and the list goes on.  I don’t know about you, but all of that sounds very intimidating to me.  It’s intimidating because it makes being a leader sound so authoritative, unattainable, and almost other-worldly.  I must admit, though, that when I read the Bible, I’m shown a completely different picture of a leader. I’m shown a picture of human weakness dependent upon a supernatural strength.

In their best moments, the biblical leaders were not “superior or chief.”  They were weak, failing, and humble, yet trusting a power outside of themselves. There’s no mention of the Tony Robbins percentages breakdown, and the only “crushing” I see is when power is misused by kings or when the True King Jesus crushes the head of the serpent on our behalf.  Again, that happened in a moment of weakness displayed on the cross coupled with the strength of the Holy Spirit and trust in God the Father.  At their lowest, Noah was a drunkard, Moses was a murderer, and Abraham was ruled by selfish fear. David was an adulterer, Peter was cowardly, and Paul sanctioned the killing of Christians.  Yet in their best moments, they gave God glory, repented, and trusted, and God used them to change the world.  The Bible shows us the truest picture of a leader.  A leader is a weak and redeemed vessel who puts trust in God’s supernatural strength to accomplish His will through him or her.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:8 we read, “We loved you so much.  So we were happy to share with you God’s good news. We were also happy to share our lives with you.”  This verse teaches us how the early church leaders interacted with each other.  Love was at their core. There was a happiness about sharing the good news of Christ’s strength in the midst of their weakness.  They were intentional about being present and sharing their lives with each other.  The result was that their faith in Christ grew stronger when it was shared and lived out with others. They provided safe places for one another through their presence, listening, praying, and trusting in Christ to do all that they could not.  They needed each other; they needed community and so do we.

Small groups at Southwood exist to help us find community as we connect to God, to each other, and to our neighbors.  Connecting in small groups requires consistency, honesty, safety, presence.  Connecting in small groups also requires leaders.  Being a leader is not really that intimidating.  A leader is a weak and redeemed vessel who puts his or her trust in God’s supernatural strength to accomplish His will through him or her.  Do you appreciate safe spaces? Do you know how to be present in a conversation?  Are you able to listen to people when they talk about their lives?  Do you have the ability to pray for your own needs and someone else’s?  Do you love Jesus?  If you can answer yes to these questions, then you can lead a small group.

This January we have been taking new sign-ups for our small groups. This presents us with a wonderful problem.  Since most of our current groups are full, we have the opportunity to create new groups, but we need new leaders to be able to do this. Would you prayerfully consider whether God might be calling you to take a step of faith this year and lead a new small group? Through leading a group, you have the opportunity to grow in community and to change lives as you help others grow in their faith through their connections to each other. If you’re interested, please contact me. I’d love to walk with you on this exciting & important journey (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).