Saturday, June 27, 2009

Relationships in Leadership pt 2

Bob and Peggy Kuest

Historical Background
325 years before Jesus, the Greek empire was the power of the world and a philosopher called Plato wrote the first book on leadership called “Republic”. He stated that “if governments will follow” his ”guidelines, they’ll will have a perfect society.” It was a powerful book and is still studied in Universities today.

Plato’s philosophy was that the greatest success for a man, is to achieve power over other men. He said that only the strongest should rule. Examples of this were the 3 levels in society: a) aristocracy, b) auxiliary, warriors and c) producers. The aristocracy battle for positions of power. Plato said it was based on wealth i.e. the number of servants in the house. It means one can lie, cheat, murder to get power or a better position. This was the history of the Greek Empire. It still affects our thinking today, people think the more wealth you have, the more respect and power you deserve. The enemy is using this to trick people – to break relationship for power.
Aristotle became the number one tutor in the world. Teachers taught Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s writings. From the time Plato wrote books to the coming of Jesus, it’s seven generations. In that time Rome conquered Greece.

Jesus comes and announces a new Kingdom. He establishes His own power and overthrows Rome. He feeds thousands of people, heals the sick and people are fascinated with him. Jesus didn’t come for a “man” kind of power, but a “God” kind. He chooses fishermen to be his disciples. The common thinking of the day is power. Key verse: Matthew 20:22 we see people seeking position. It’s into this context that Jesus speaks. Matthew 20:25 – 28. Micro-managing is the order of today but Jesus says “Not so with you.” Jesus came to establish a new thinking, new acting and it’s based on a higher way of doing things. Jesus served the needs of the people and His leadership is based on relationship. Man’s view of leadership is power and it’s destructive. It destroys relationships, marriages and so on. We look at the Trinity and see community or the first Church in Acts and see community.

The struggle today in the Church and at Ebenezer is to come back to God’s Higher Way of thinking. We need to lead God’s Way and it’s a matter of relationship and service. Leadership is not a matter of power but serving others to maturity for them to be leaders.
Pt 3 focuses on Relationships in Leadership

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Relationships in Leadership

Bob and Peggy Kuest

Bob and Peggy Kuest from Washington, USA did a series with the Ebenezer team on Leadership and Relationships in Leadership. Bob and Peggy have a heart to go to different countries and share Biblical principles on Leadership.
Bob started by sharing a key scripture: Isaiah 55:8 – 9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
God wants to be glorified in the way we interact & react to one another. God wants His name proclaimed. When people look at us, they need to see a picture of Christ-likeness. Our thinking, actions, working together and so on are to hold up the name of Jesus. Our life and relationships are to be a reflection of God. We need to return to God.

God’s higher way of thinking and actingOur thinking on leadership needs to be different from the world and even to some church cultures.
Let the word of God impact culture rather than culture impacting the word of God.
Our commitment needs to be to the word of God. When we lead with a Higher way of thinking, it’s not normal. Be willing to be different!
Begin where God begins in His word. Be leaders in Church and leaders in family. Think of the Garden of Eden….. what was it like before the fall of man? It was perfect! The principle in the garden is God is the leader. God created us for relationship. It’s not about who is above us.
God does not use position to control but rather to meet needs and for relationship.
The first measuring point is Jesus. God has set a standard but we deviate from God’s word. We need to lead according to God’s standard and challenge leaders to do things to God’s Higher way. God doesn’t change. In James it says he is the same yesterday, today and forever therefore, God’s standard doesn’t change.

Strategy of the enemyThe enemy has one goal in mind – to separate God’s people from each other and God. He brings in situations that cause us to think that some people are better than others because of education, skill, titles, background environment and so on. The temptations and attacks are to get us separated. God’s goal from the garden of Eden is to bring people together, reconciliation or to have a relationship. The enemy played on Eve’s mind causing her to doubt God, thinking His word cannot be trusted or she has been lied to and so on. Eve “exchanges a relationship with God for an attempt at power.” It is still operating today and to maintain it, we hold on to power. It’s a downward spiral, moving away from God’s higher power.

Proverbs 16:25, Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 12:15 are some examples of an attack on what “seems” right. We sometimes call it “common sense” or that which is acceptable. We need to ask God what HE thinks, ask him for his higher way of thinking and pray about things. All too often, we are saying and looking at what seems right.
WHY? What happened? We are striving for power titles and position.

Compiled by Molly Manhanga
In pt 2, we’ll take a look at HISTORY and how it has affected our thinking.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Getting it on with the Kuests

Up close with Bob and Peggy Kuest

Bob and Peggy

Bob and Peggy from Washington, near Seattle, came to inspire the Ebenezer Team and they were AWSOME. I caught up with Bob and Peggy to find out a little more about them….

M.M: Please can you share a little about your background.
B.K: Peggy and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary. I led a church in America for 34 years and we’ve been involved in travelling teaching ministry for the past 10 years. We have 4 children and 9 grandchildren.

M.M: Bob, how did you meet Peggy?B.K: I was in Bible College and Peggy was visiting her best friend who then introduced us. We got married two and a half years later.

M.M: How best would you describe your family life?B.K: When we are at home, we are involved in the lives of our grandchildren. We are GRANDPARENTS! It’s a God-given responsibility.

M.M: Excellent. What was our motivation for doing the work that you are involved in now?B.K: It was 2 fold: a) Foreign students were coming to America and not returning to their home countries b) I took education to them in their home countries and the response was great. People started asking when I would come back.

M.M: After listening to you, I can understand. You are an amazingly gifted teacher. You have written books on Leadership. What is the title and how best would you define leadership?B.K: The titles of my books are “Uncommon Leadership” and “Servant Leadership in a power-based world.” My definition of Leadership is “Leadership is a relationship of service dedicated to assisting a group/person to reach their potential.”

M.M: What do you think of Ebenezer and the vision?B.K: The stories of the changed lives of the apprentices are beautiful. We can see the growth of people by looking at their plots. The maturity in their garden reflects the maturity in their lives. The theme of our ministry is “Teaching nationals to teach nationals.” Ebenezer is doing that and that has true impact for the Kingdom.

M.M: I found your explanation on how relationships fall apart very interesting. From your experience, what would you say is the main reason for conflict?B.K: Satan is trying to neutralize the Kingdom of God and he does it through our human nature: pride, deception and defending ourselves.

M.M: What nuggets can you share about conflict resolution or reconciliation?B.K: This can happen by us returning to God’s higher way of believing and acting, knowing God will help us and God is our shield. There are 4 steps that run counter to our sin nature:
Be still
Move on

M.M: So, so true. Any last thoughts?B.K: I am impressed with the Ebenezer team. God has brought together a team who has a concept of servant leadership. A warning though – Satan wants to separate the team. Stand strong in the Lord and don’t allow it to happen. There are God-given principles if we’ll obey. Change lives through His grace.

Thank you Bob and Peggy. This has been incredible. Be blessed as you continue your journey in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Interviewed by Molly Manhanga

The Heart of the Kezi Community

Love and acceptance at it's BEST.....

Stephen and I had the most amazing and touching experience at Crossroads Community Church. The local farmers that Stephen trains to Farm God’s Way planned a surprise meeting for him at the church site to thank him for all that he is doing.

The love, warmth and acceptance that was demonstrated from a different culture and people group come directly from God Himself. What an honour to serve in such a loving, teachable, giving community! We have never experienced this before.

Scriptures that came to mind was “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”. God is faithful to His word when He said He will do exceedingly, abundantly, above that which we can ask or even begin to imagine.

By Molly Manhanga

In Tune with the Young People.....

Crossroads Youth Group
The Youth Group at Crossroads Community Church started 2 months ago. On average, there is a weekly attendance of 40 young people whose ages range from 13 – 16 years.

The leader of the Youth Group is Brilliant Khoza, a 2nd year apprentice at Ebenezer Training Centre. He is passionate about God and his desire is to see young people from the community serving God and using their talents to help the elderly, widows & orphans etc in the community. He enjoys the Youth Group and he has met many different characters.

Some comments from the young people:

1) Vusumuzi Nyathi – 16 years. I enjoy learning the Bible. My favourite scripture is Proverbs 3:5 – 6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and He will direct your paths.”
2) Aleck Tshabangu – 16 years. I enjoy the worship most and the games.
3) Nkosana Moyo – 15 years. I enjoy the praise and worship. I like dancing. I also like the jokes. They are funny.
4) Manuel Tshabangu – 13 years. I come to Youth to learn about the Bible and to have fun when I’m not at school.
5) Shylet Ndlovu – 15 years. I find Youth exciting when we share verses from the Bible and worship God.
6) Liznet Maphosa – 14 years. I attend Youth because I want to be taught the word of God.
7) Patricia Moyo – 15 years. I come to Youth to pray for my situation at home and school.
8) Talent Maphosa – 16 years. I enjoy Youth when we learn about our talents ad trust God.

It’s just so exciting that young people can come together and enjoy themselves on a Saturday afternoon. As Crossroads, we really want to see the young people living a life for God and influencing change in the community.

God is able to do that for us.
By Molly Manhanga

Crossroads Newsletter # 3

Newsletter # 3

Dear family and friends

It’s great to be in touch with you again and to update you on what has been happening at Crossroads Community Church.

Buildings: God has been so good to us as we have started our building project. The storeroom is almost complete and so is the small outside kitchen which blends in well with the surroundings. The kitchen will be one of our Cell Group venues in the Community.

Storeroom at Crossroads

Africa Day Celebration Service: This was a real community day event. God blessed us with 173 adults and 249 children. Our focus was on One New Man in Christ. Matt and Kayle Pelettier were a delight to listen to. The atmosphere and unity was outstanding.

Steve on Africa day
Men’s Meeting: The men gathered together at Crossroads Community Church to connect and to pray for the concerns within the community. Stephen shared on “Becoming The Man God Called Us To Be”. He focused on leading yourself, leading your family and leading your community. The men were receptive to the message.

Women’s Meeting: What an awesome time the ladies had. There was such a powerful demonstration of the presence of God and moving of the Holy Spirit as ladies who had been demon possessed were delivered and set free. Glory to God.

Youth Meetings: Brilliant Khoza—a 2nd year apprentice at Ebenezer Training Centre, heads up the Youth Group. He is passionate about God and desires to see the young people radically transformed, living lives for God and impacting their community. His average attendance on a Saturday afternoon is 36.

Foundations For Farming Training: The Farmers from the community attending training contiunes to grow. The training was very practical on How to make compost. This was led in the community by Xolani Ndlovu. We have also established Farmer Groups that inspire and encourage other in Farming God’s way.

LOOKING AHEAD……..New Strategies

Kidz Alive: With many children now attending Crossroads, it’s our desire to see them ‘stick’ with us as we present Christ to them, have fun together and give the children positive, treasured memories. The need for smaller group interaction is crucial, possibly one on ones and children’s prayer groups. Keep us in prayer as we implement our new strategies.

Home Based Care: Known as A Bridge of Hope sees the women enjoying the meetings and having a heart to learn. We are feeling the need to equip the group with knowledge on herbal remedies, propogation and administration of herbs as well as basic hygiene. Within the next quarter, we will hold a Community Workshop at Crossroads and focus on theoretical and practical training.

Leadership Training: As we continue to identify leaders, our desire is to equip them, raise them up and release them. Regular leadership training sessions will be an integral part of what we do at Crossroads. We also hope to work more closely with Thembalezizwe Church in Umguza. Pray for Tapiwa Chizana who oversees the Umguza Church and Stephen Manhanga who leads Crossroads as they work on material to train the leaders.

Prayer Pointers:Finances for our church building project
Possible Cell Group plants in the community
Foundations for Family (more about this in the next newsletter) and Chronological Bible Storying to continue impacting the lives of the congregation
Biblical culture transcending worldviews and traditional Ndebele culture
Breaking of strongholds
Strength and courage as we encounter many different things

Thanks so much

With much love
Stephen and Molly

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Frontiers Magazine...Quotes....

I have really enjoyed reading the New Frontiers Magazine(April - June 2009) on Real Zeal. The articles by Terry Virgo, P.J Smyth, and John Groves etc were very inspirational.

Some quotes from them their articles:
1) “He wanted them Hot! He even preferred cold to lukewarm. Somehow cold was more acceptable. Lukewarm masquerading as hot was revolting.” Terry Virgo2) “Zeal has to be properly directed. Without a proper goal it is mere heat.” Terry Virgo3) “Spending time alone with Jesus results in a myriad of good things, including an impartation of his zeal.” P.J Smyth4) “Relentless zeal is produced through tough times.” P.J Smyth5) “Zeal? None. Then I got saved. God’s pure mercy. Enter the Consuming Fire – hard to stay the same with Him inside – all change. Not instantly, bit by bit with intoxicating moments, eyes wide at the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8). Shocking – I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) switch it off. Stef Liston
6) “Zeal is God inside the person.” Stef Liston7) “Zeal without knowledge is not merely useless it is positively dangerous.” John Groves
8) “Human zeal alone does not achieve the purposes of God. God can often appear slow to us but He is in charge and it is His timetable we work to.” John Groves9) “Someone who is passionate, loving and on fire for Jesus cannot help but ignite those around them.” John Groves10) “Do not lose your zeal but harness it to a total commitment to obey God’s word and ensure it does not drive you outside the parameters of Biblical revelation.” John Groves
Lord help us be a ZEALOUS people, passionate and on fire for you.