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The Danger of Codifying – Too often a Christian is looking for specific things to do to restore a relationship. They say, “Just tell me what to do.” That is dangerous. If you scripted or codified the solution to restoring relationships, building a small group, or developing a ministry, you would “do that thing” each time.
Relationships don’t work that way, and neither does God. The end result is that you would have faith in your “code of conduct” rather than faith in the Lord who guides you into all truth. While there are good things to know, you must not codify those things in a rigid, parrotlike legalism. You want to learn God’s Word and you want to learn how to “hear from Him” so you know how to apply parts of it in the unique situation you find yourself. And the next time you may do it a different way.
Read how Jesus did this evangelistically in John 3 and 4. Two people–Nicodemus and the woman at the well–needed God’s salvation, but Jesus took two different approaches to witness to them. One size does not fit all.
1 – Ask Your Wife
Maybe this is not the first thing to do, but you want to keep it on the list if all else fails. Granted, your wife could have selfish motivations for answering this question. And she could be unkind by how she judges your ability to lead. But if your wife is humble and will love you especially when you’re not meeting her expectations, it might prove to be wise to ask her.
2 – Observe Jesus in the Gospels
Christ is the perfect leader. He was never aloof, passive, harsh, overbearing, or unapproachable. And His interactions with people were as different as the individuals that He met. His flexibility was born out of His wisdom in discerning people. Great leaders can assess their audience so they can flex to serve them well. This kind of “flexing” never compromises God’s truth, but it makes God’s Word come alive practically.
3 – Ask the Spirit
As you reflect on point #2, it will become evident that you need illumination from God because you won’t always be able to discern the need at the moment. You need the Holy Spirit to guide you into the practical aspects of His truth. I call this the pneumatic life, which means walking in the Spirit.
4 – Assess Yourself
If you’re unsure from “watching Jesus” in the Gospels, there are two templates in God’s Word that paints beautiful pictures of Jesus. They are 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Galatians 5:22-23. The first is the “love chapter,” and the second is the fruit of the Spirit. Here are the two assessments you want to make, which will enable you to find the weaknesses in your leadership so you can improve.
5 – Ask a Friend
For this last point, you will need a good friend. Not a cyber friend, but someone who knows you because they have spent time with you, especially with you and your wife. If you have children, it would be best that this friend has spent time observing how all of you interact with each other. This kind of data is valuable information. Your friend must be as courageous as he is competent and compassionate. You want to hear the truth in love.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).