Jesus’ ministry included amazing Wisdom for managing
In this article we will explore the Wisdom we can learn from the way Jesus managed and taught about administration and financial management. This is a side of Christian discipleship that is relatively unexplored and especially in local churches.
In our previous article we looked at the basic points of Nehemiah’s leadership.
We tend to focus purely on Jesus “ministry” in theological terms and by-pass the form of His management. The starting point for most reviews of Jesus’ leadership is that he was a “servant leader” and “pastoral” in all ways. This view tends to put Jesus on a level like “kneeling on the floor washing the disciples’ feet”. However; Jesus managed His team also, at that time and has continued ever since.
Let’s look at Jesus’ management to highlight His real Wisdom and highlight the four key points required for our administration and financial management.
Jesus’ management as a model for managing tasks and general activity
- Pray – commission, in general over a department or specific for a project or person for a task or new job, empower the team member/s Luke 9:1-2, Luke 10:2
- Clarify the assignment – be very clear, especially with some tasks that are not “discretionary” use scripts. Jesus was not vague or laissez faire with instructions.
Jesus sent them out with very clear instructions: what to take and not to take, how to relate with people, how to react or respond. Luke 9:2-5, and 10:1. At the crowd feeding He gave very clear instructions for the disciples to follow, Luke 9:13-15 and again in 10:2.
- Accountability and followup – expect to report back/or be reported to, results and measuring, reviewing, checking against the instructions, trust the process per point 2. Clearly, the sending of disciples in teams of 2 provided immediate accountability – no “lone rangers”, no one disciple doing ministry their own way.
Jesus expected their trip report: Luke 9:10, and 10:17. Even with Judas’ John 12:4-6, Matt 27:5 God convicted him of the wrong of his betrayal of Jesus.
- Ongoing followup – trust the process, as detailed in point 2, including that God will reveal mis-management and corruption when we exercise Wisdom, Luke 9:5, and 10:16. See this in the parable of the Soils (sower and the seed) – finding and sowing on fertile soil Luke 8:5-8
Ongoing followup is essential.
It is too easy to set up some procedures, put a person or some people to the assignment or role and then “let them get on with it”. There is a tendency to do this because we are often too busy to followup and simply move on to the next/other activity. Jesus’ gives us the example to learn from.
After His ascension Jesus didn’t simply move-on and leave the disciples alone to get on with growing the church. He followed through with His plan.
At the ascension He gave clear instructions, go and wait for what I’ve planned next for you all, Luke 24:49,
- then He sent Holy Spirit as their “counsellor” to continue the teaching and mentoring as the apostles went out John 16:5-7
- very soon there were many people/disciples at least 120, Acts 1:15 and soon after 3000 people, Acts 2:41
In church administration and financial management too many times we find that ongoing reporting, reviewing and renewal are neglected. A typical response we hear from church leaderships is “oh, we’ve been doing it this way for 5/10/20 and even 40 years”, “I’ve had this role for the last xx years’, or “they can’t find anyone else”. This is not Biblical and “they” can’t find anyone else because there is no vacancy and it’s become too complicated.
We believe that it is essential for the administration and financial management teams move ahead continually working through a model like this towards the expected growth in the ministry of your church. While the ministry teams are concentrating on evangelism, pastoral care, preaching and ministry to the community at large, it is incumbent on the support teams to be agile in providing competent support.
What form of model do your administration and financial management teams follow?
Where are you up to in the cycle of the model: 1,2,3 or 4 ?
Please leave your comments here for further discussion
If you would like to discuss any aspect of this model or the previous article on Nehemiah, please book-a-chat here