|"Manna for Ministry" Communication - OCTOBER 2002|
Hello from the Regional Office!
Allow me to right at the start of this communication say "thank you for your consistent, spiritual investment into our Region!" It is truly an honor to serve the Church of Jesus Christ, along with you, as we each impact our 'world' (city, village and every home) for the Kingdom.
I value your continued support to me personally as a friend, and also your leadership over what God has entrusted to you within the EHC ministry.
When God calls a person to become a leader, He doesn't choose them on the basis of how clever, talented or educated they may be. Why? Because neither education, nor skills will give our ministry the "power" it must have to transform lives and nations! What will? The full anointing of the Holy Spirit! God made us "kings and priests" unto our God (Rev. 1:6) and His desire is for us to have the 'power of kings' and the 'purity of priests'.
A key factor in purity is 'character'.
It is a privilege to serve the Church, but it also carries with it responsibility.
God is as concerned about the worker as He is about our work and He often spends more time preparing the worker than He does using the worker to perform His work!
In a recent communication from our EHC International Office, we read a very challenging lesson on 'Our Character' submitted by Steve Prensner, our International Vice-President. I would like to share it with you this month and trust it will be a blessing to you as well, along with your team of focus leaders and workers.
Keep up the great work you are doing!
Hennie Hanekom and the Regional Team
(Steve Prensner – International Vice-President, EHCI)
Have you ever thought about what really makes a leader great? How can a leader be successful over an extended period of time? Why do some leaders fail to succeed? One of the key issues in each of these questions is the character of that leader. The character of the leader is that inner identity or intrinsic brand that marks him or her for the glory of God. May the Lord be glorified through our lives! The dictionary says character is a statement about the traits or qualities and behavior of a person.
We build character for a lifetime, but it can be destroyed in a moment. Thomas Paine said that character is much easier kept, than recovered. It is usually reflected in the little things … things that add up to a life statement. It builds its foundation in what happens when no one is looking. It is an intangible quality; it’s hard to point to; it’s noticeable when it is not there. You don’t really see it, but rather experience it.
Helen Keller said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quite. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” It develops slowly … little by little.
Psalm 78:72 says that David “shepherded the people according to the integrity of his heart and guided them with his skillful hands.” Titus 1 and 2 says that an elder (leader) must be above reproach; he must live a blameless life because he is God’s minister; he must not be arrogant or quick tempered; he must not be violent or greedy; he must be dignified; he must be sensible and steadfast; his speech must be beyond reproach; etc. These qualities speak of character.
John Gardner, as a leader, said that “men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community.” The character of a leader lifts the people around them to a higher standard.
Here are three categories of character consequence that we can identify:
Honor – This starts with honoring God through our time in the Word and prayer; it is walking in joy; it is being responsible and exercising patience and restraint. It is demonstrating commitment and living beyond reproach; it is walking in perseverance, courage and endurance. This speaks of dignity, fortitude, sensibleness and steadfastness. It has been said that a man who permits his honor to be taken permits his life to be taken.
Honesty – When we look at honesty we see integrity, genuineness and purity of thought. It is telling the truth; exercising discipline; it means no deceit, lies or corruption.
Humility – We must choose to set aside our personal rights; we must allow the Lord to cut pride from our lives. This also addresses our heart for others; it relates to respect, serving, speech, and attitude. It is breathing life into others; it is being a blessing; it is looking out for others’ interests. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interest, but also for the interests of others.”
No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character. Let’s strive to climb higher and be men and women of true character. Psalm 139:23,24 challenges us to those higher heights …”Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
For me, this means I need time each day alone with the Lord in the Word and prayer to let God work deeply in me. It means I need to thankfully let Him use those challenging circumstances of life to bring deep change.