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"Manna for Ministry" Communication - NOVEMBER 2003

Greetings from the EHC Anglo Africa Regional Office!
Below is another in our series of teachings 'Leading Like Jesus" - Leading with Integrity (which Pastor Alan Platt shares with our Regional Office). Leaders who serve will serve as good leaders, and as the Regional Office team, we are here to serve you - our Anglo Africa team - with integrity!

It's interesting to note that when Israel was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem under hard and dangerous conditions, the leader Nehemiah took his turn at both building and standing guard and he ate from the same rations that were offered to everyone else (Nehemiah 5:18), not the special food that was allotted to him as the leader. He worked on the wall "along side the others" and got involved in the day-to-day activities. A good leader keeps in touch with the work needing to be done.

Like Esther, each of us are unique individuals in history - called to God's representative wherever we are (Esther 4:14 "Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?")
Jesus' example of Leadership inspires us to follow in His steps, die to self, and serve the needs of others.

Hennie and the Regional Office Team

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LEADING LIKE JESUS
LEADERSHIP WITH INTEGRITY
Ps 78:72 "and David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skilful hands he led them."

After surveying thousands of people around the world and performing more than 400 written case studies, James Kouzes and Barry Posner identified those characteristics most desired in a leader. In virtually every survey honesty or integrity was defined more frequently than any other trait. If people are going to follow someone, whether into battle or in business or ministry, they want assurance that their leader can be trusted. They want to know that he or she will keep promises and follow through with commitments.

In Matthew 23:1-39 Jesus called the Pharisees "hypocrites" six times in His sermon (verses 13, 15, 23, 25,27,29). Each verse that includes the word hypocrite begins with the words "Woe to you, ....." In this passage Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees for saying one thing and doing another. When we talk about integrity today we generally use other closely related terms such as ethics and morality, but a clear understanding of the concept of integrity requires a clear thinking about all three words.
Each has a distinct meaning:
  • Ethics refers to a definite standard of right and wrong. It is what the Pharisees said they believed was right.
  • Morality is a lived standard of right and wrong. It is what the Pharisees actually did.
  • Integrity means sound, complete, integrated to the extent that a person's ethics and morality are integrated. That person has integrity. To the extent that a person's ethics and morality are not integrated. That person lacks integrity.
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INTEGRITY AND RESTRAINING FORCES
In our lives there are powerful restraining forces at work to pull down and contaminate the purity of our integrity. Among those forces are: 1. Appetites and passions.
2. Pride and pretension.
3. Aspiration and ambition.

We can overcome these restraining forces by making and keeping the following three resolutions: 1. Self-discipline and self-denial - (restrains forces of appetites and passions).
2. Investment in character and competence - (restraining forces of pride and pretension).
3. Dedication of talents and resources to noble purposes and service of others (restraining forces of unbridled aspiration and ambition).

KEYS TO INTEGRITY IN A LEADERS LIFE
1. Never see yourself as above temptation.
1 Cor. 10:12 "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."
2. Monitor your own spiritual temperature.
1 Tim 4:16 "Take heed to yourself ... for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you"
3. Guard your thoughts.
Prov 4:23 "Above all things guard your heart."
4. Take steps to protect yourself.
Rom 13:14 "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts."
5. Remind yourself of the destroying effects of a moral mishap.
Rom 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death .."

THE RESULTS OF A MORAL MISHAP
1. We grieve Jesus Christ who saved us.
2. You drag your name through the mud.
3. Lose your sense of self-respect and self-worth.
4. It disturbs the calling of God on your life.
5. The church you serve becomes confused and ridiculed.
6. It creates a time of pain for your family.
7. It brings a reflection on the trustworthiness of other leaders.

The challenge is to constantly invest in your own life, especially in the areas where you are weak and vulnerable. Eccl. 10:10 "If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened more strength is needed, but skill will bring success."
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