God’s 6 Expectations of a Leader Transitioning Into A New Ministry

Date August 1, 2012

“With God nothing will be impossible.”

Luke 1:37 (NKJ)

Since, “NOTHING will be impossible,” it only stands to reason we need to think “God-sized thoughts!” Leaders are to lead in this area more than any other area!

Small thinking has captured the American Church for years. As a result of prayerless leadership, many have shrunk their expectations of what God can do to fit their anemic prayer lives!

Courage For Incredible Challenges

Moses, the great man of God was dead! And with the death of Moses, God wanted to move! In the 1st chapter of Joshua as we look at the source of power that will enact God’s vision.

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, who had served Moses: “Moses My servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites.” (Joshua 1:1–2)

The mission before the Joshua was to cross over the Jordan River with the people of God – at flood stage – so that they could possess the Promised Land! An impossible event if you looked at it from human eyes! God has 6 expectations for any new leader transitioning into a new ministry …

  • With the transition of leadership, God expects the new leader to move His people to accomplish His mission for their lives. (Joshua 1.1-2

The mission before us is to launch us into our neighborhoods as care givers – Spiritual First Responders who actually care for the well being of the people who live around us – so that we might be the first person they come to for help of any kind! What does that mission look like for us? It is very similar to the one God gave Joshua …

I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised Moses. Your territory will be from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great Euphrates River—all the land of the Hittites —and west to the Mediterranean Sea. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you.” (Joshua 1:3–5)

For Joshua, the task was to accept that God had already given them the land they were about to enter! Joshua had to believe God – trust that the occupied territory before them was already theirs!

  • With the transition of leadership, God expects the new leader to trust His promises and act as if the future was already accomplished! (Joshua 1.3-5)

Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance. Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:6–7)

Joshua needed an infusion of emotional strength and courage! For there to be success, Joshua would have to set aside his fears and draw the visceral feelings necessary to lead his people to victory, despite the enormous, obvious obstacles before them!

  • With the transition of leadership, God expects the new leader to act on the mission God had clearly declared to His people hundreds of years earlier despite any personal or emotional fears! (Joshua 1.6-7)

This is so in line with the Great Commission God gave us almost 2,000 years ago when Jesus said,

Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:18–20)

We so need a daily infusion of God’s strength and courage! I mean, when I consider the enormity of the Great Commission – and the vision of God has give our church to reach the South Bay and South LA, I ask God, “Who am I that you should put such a task in my hands and in the hands of this small flock?” Where does such emotional strength and courage come from? The same source that Joshua drew upon …

This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.” (Joshua 1:8)

There would be no success apart from God’s clear and specific directions – which were to be found in His Word! Joshua was given a great promise – “you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.” But, as with all Bible promises, it was contingent upon His action – He had to know the Word of God, recite it to Himself and others and obey it exactly. THEN he would succeed.

  • With the transition of leadership, God expects the new leader to exude the very words of God from his mouth, his heart and his lifestyle; only then can there be prosperity and success in the mission and vision of God! (Joshua 1.8)

We have been given a great promise also! Remember what Jesus said …

Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:18–20)

If we are to lead our people into successful victory, we must stay in the Word – know it, recite it and live it. Any leadership we provide them must flow from the pages of Holy Writ – not from the latest business theory or the popular culture from Hollywood. God’s plans done in God’s ways receive God’s favor and success! How do I know this will work? The same way Joshua did …

Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

God understood that if there was to be success through Joshua, this new leader would need to be fortified and empowered. People are weak, and leaders are just people. So, God chose to pour out His heart one more time to Joshua … He reminded the new leader that 1) It was God’s mission he would enact – a “God-sized” endeavor, therefore Joshua needed to summon all his emotional resources for it; 2) It was God’s presence that he would enjoy – therefore, a “God-infused” enthusiasm should permeate all that he does on the mission.

  • With the transition of leadership, God expects the new leader to accept the presence and plan He has established despite their fear or discouragement! (Joshua 1.9)

God’s understanding hasn’t changed! He knows the pastor better than we know ourselves. God knows we need to be fortified and empowered to accomplish this God-sized mission as well. When the Lord launches us into our neighborhoods as care givers – Spiritual First Responders who actually care for the well being of the people who live around us so that we might be the first person they come to for help of any kind, I will need to summon all my emotional resources and enjoy the God-infused enthusiasm He gives. And with all this preparation, what am we to do? Like Joshua …

Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people: ’Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get provisions ready for yourselves, for within three days you will be crossing the Jordan to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you to inherit.’ ” (Joshua 1:10-11)

 Joshua had a choice to make – act or delay. He chose to act on the command. As a result, God parted the ocean and then conquered the land. As long as the people of God did what the God of the people commanded through Joshua, they were successful.

  • With the transition of leadership, God expects the new leader to lead the people of God on the mission of God as quickly as possible! (Joshua 1.10-11)

I had a choice to make – to act or to delay. I chose to act on the command. And I believe that, as a result, God will part many overwhelming obstacles and we will see God’s prosperity and success.

What choice will you make?

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