Up Close

I love it when spiritual leaders tell their stories, especially when they share the wisdom they have gained through their amazing experiences with God. What happens in meetings with major leaders can also be intriguing. You may wonder, “What are they like up close?”

I’ve spent decades working with Church and missions leaders at the national and international level. I’ve found they are at the same time amazingly inspired and humanly flawed. Their devotion to Jesus is real, and their visions and strategies to complete the Great Commission are awe-inspiring. They are humble and faithful.

These amazing men and women of God can be so focused on what God has instructed them to accomplish that some of them become subtly forceful and sometimes angrily confrontational. The best spiritual leaders allow those personalities to express themselves.

Because I’ve been up close, I can honestly say that I prefer a meeting of leaders who are strong in their convictions, even if they raise their voices and forcefully make their argument. I’m grateful that I’ve seen the human weaknesses of leaders. I’m humbled by the lessons I’ve learned watching men and women of God as they’ve told their stories of miraculous moves of God.

The best lessons are when the character of God is revealed in the lives of leaders who have battle scars defending the faith.

“Fourteen years after that first visit, Barnabas and I went up to Jerusalem and took Titus with us. I went to clarify with them what had been revealed to me. At that time I placed before them exactly what I was preaching to the non-Jews. I did this in private with the leaders, those held in esteem by the church, so that our concern would not become a controversial public issue, marred by ethnic tensions, exposing my years of work to denigration and endangering my present ministry. Significantly, Titus, non-Jewish though he was, was not required to be circumcised. While we were in conference we were infiltrated by spies pretending to be Christians, who slipped in to find out just how free true Christians are. Their ulterior motive was to reduce us to their brand of servitude. We didn’t give them the time of day. We were determined to preserve the truth of the Message for you.”

Galatians 2:1-5 MSG

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