Relationship with Leaders

"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." - Rosalynn Carter
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Submission to leaders is being a good follower is the first step in becoming a good leader. It means putting aside our own desires for the benefit of others thereby signifying that we are servants.

0. Review of Yesterdays study:

– Hans what can you remember of yesterdays study?

  • Francois I thought that movie was funny in the sense that a kid of 18 years old could do and have plans like that. 
  • I can see that submission is a huge thing.
  • It is almost a measure you can use to see where you are in your relationship with God and other people. 
  • It is intense to think that if I do not submit I rebel against God. 
  • If you do not submit you rebel and it is pride that causes that.

1. The Movie:

The movie “Invictus” starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The story is based on the 2008 John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The Springboks were not expected to perform well, the team having only recently returned to high-level international competition following the dismantling of apartheid—the country was hosting the World Cup, thus earning an automatic entry. Freeman and Damon play the South African President Nelson Mandela and François Pienaar, respectively. François was the captain of the South Africa rugby union team, the Springboks.

Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) after being elected President, sets to bring his divided country together  But it won’t be easy because there are those who still resent the presence of the Afrikaners who oppressed them. They want to get rid of all symbols of their oppression, amongst them is the National Rugby team, the Springboks  which for many is a major symbol of their oppression. But Mandela chooses to stand up for them. With the World Cup approaching, Mandela sends for the team Captain, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), and he subtly tells him that he wants them to win the World Cup. So they train, but Mandela decides to show them for what they are playing by making them teach rugby in small townships and spend some time in the prison where he was held for twenty-seven years [email protected]


2. Quotes from the Movie:

"Tell me Francois, what is your philosophy on leadership? How do you inspire your team to do their best?

By example. I always thought to lead by example, Sir.

Morgen Freeman (Nelson Mandela) & Matt Damon (Francois Piennaar) - Invictus

"Well that is right. That is exactly right. But how to get them to be better than they think they can be? That is very difficult, I find. Inspiration perhaps."

Morgen Freeman (Nelson Mandela) - Invictus

"How do we inspire ourselves to greatness, when nothing less will do? How do we inspire everyone around us. "

Morgen Freeman (Nelson Mandela) - Invictus

"I sometimes think it is by using the work of others. On Robben Island, when things got very bad. I found inspiration in a poem.

A poem?

A Victorian poem. Just words. But they helped me to stand when all I wanted to do was to lie down."

Morgen Freeman (Nelson Mandela) & Matt Damon (Francois Piennaar) - Invictus

"On the day in a big match, say a test in the bus on the way to the stadium, nobody talks.

Ah yes, they are all preparing.

Right. But when I think we're ready, I have the bus driver put on a song, something I've chosen, one we all know, and we listen to the words together and it helps."

Morgen Freeman (Nelson Mandela) & Matt Damon (Francois Piennaar) - Invictus

"I remember when I was invited to the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Everybody greeted me in the stadium with a song. At the time the future, our future seems very bleak. But to hear that song in the voices of the people from all over our planet made me proud to be a Sourth African. It inspired me to expect more of myself and do better.

May I ask what was the song, sir?

Well it was Nkosi sikelele Africa. A very inspiring song. We need inspiration, Francois. Because in order to build our nation, we must all exceed our own expectations.

Morgen Freeman (Nelson Mandela) & Matt Damon (Francois Piennaar) - Invictus

– This instance where we won the world cup rugby in 1995 was such a momentious occasion. The mere fact that president Mandela and Francois Piennaar had this talk is really motivational. Instead of falling into civil war we deciced to work together. What Francois said is the key, to lead by example and not be a hypocritical leader.

When they both submitted to each others leadership sharing what inspired them, the synergy was evident in our country. 

I am thinking of that song, “Lord of all” and the words, “If life is just a song I will sing it for You, if life is just a path I will walk for You”. I pray that God can be the inspiration of our song!

At the 1992 Olympics people sang “Nkosi Sikelele“. If you read the words you know why it inspired Nelson. It is really a spiritual song. 

In essence like Nelson said, we all must exceed our own expectations.

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo,

Lord bless Africa
May her glory be lifted high,

First verse, last two lines in Zulu 

Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho Iwayo.

Hear our prayers
Lord bless us, your children.

Second verse in Sesotho 

Morena boloka setshaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setshaba sa heso,
Setshaba sa, South Afrika, South Afrika.

Lord we ask You to protect our nation,
Intervene and end all conflicts,
Protect us, protect our nation,
Protect South Africa, South Africa.

3. The Bible Scriptures:

– Let’s see what the Bible has to say about submission to leaders. 

       In the Body of Christ God has placed certain men over you. First there are elders (overseers) in the body. 

17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church 

Acts 20:17

28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

Acts 20:28-31

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christs sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of Gods flock that is under your care, watching over themnot because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

1 Pet 5:1-4

– There are others Hans who are over you because of special responsibilities they may have been given in the fellowship.

17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

Heb 13:17

– What is your responsibility to these Christians?

  • Have confidence in them your leaders.
  • Submit to their authority.
  •  Make their work a joy not a burden. 
  • All this is for your benefit if you submit to them.

"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be."

– Do you know the name’s of the elders and other leaders in the congregation where you are?

  •  Yes. 

– Have you reached out to them in any ways since becoming a Christian?

  • Yes they disciple us.
  • We have spend so time with them in studying the Bible with people and at their house as well.

– How would you show them that you have a submissive attitude toward their leadership and that you want to make their work a joy and not a burden?

  • Obey their instruction.

  • It is not just blind obedience but if you do not understand is to ask why.
  • Ask them advice. The Bible says many advisors makes victory sure. (Pr 11:14)

– Does this passage say we have to agree with everything a leader does before we can submit to him and obey him?

  • No we are different people with different opinions. There is always those disputable matters. (Rom 14:1)

– Make sure your relationships with all your leaders are good ones. If there is ever any anger or resentment or hurt in you toward any of them, don’t put off sitting down with that leader and opening up your heart. What would happen in a congregation if this did not happen?

  • I think it is a matter of unmet, maybe unrealistic expectations if there is anger and resentment.
  • The church’s unity will be affected.
  • Your relationship would break down and you will not be friends any more.
  • You might even leave the church because of it.
  • Relationships is always a two way street, you would not feel anger and resentment if there wasn’t something the other person did that caused it.
  • We should have the confidence that our leaders would listen patiently to us to resolve the situation.
  • If our leaders does not listen to us, escalate it to the next level.
  • My auty told me a story on escalating matters. She had a problem with her phone and she reported it on the normal channels. When there was no response she called the regional office and explained the fault to them as wel. When after a month there was no response she call the State Presidents office (Telkom at that time fell under the government). That afternoon two truck of Telkom stopped in their street and they pulled out the whole phone line of the street and fixed the problem.

4. Close

– Hans yes South Africa has gone through quite a lot of things since it’s 1994 independance  For Nelson to have taken the innitiative to unite people through sports was great. We need to have confidence in our leaders. The word leader means you are leading and that is by setting an example like Francois Piennaar said. The churches grow and unity is dependant on us humbling ourselves and submit to leaders. Submission also affects our relationships in a big way. I pray that we can find the humility to submit to our leaders and have a good relationship with them.

  •  Francois yes it is easy to submit to leaders when they are loving and respecting you. It is much harder to follow when they are prideful and do not listen to you. The tendencies is to rebel and do your own thing; which most of the time is sin and you feel justified in doing so because your leaders did not set an example of humility. In the end it is God who we are following and are responsible to. We should not feel insecure about our leaders not being humble and lead us in the right way but we should disciple them and persevere untill  there is change. I am thinking about that scripture is your brother is in sin go and talk to him, if he do not listen take another brother with you. If he does not listen to you still take it before the church and then in the end disfellowship him. (Mat 18:15-17)

–  Hans I will close us out in a prayer today.

  • Amen.
  •  Good Morning Father.
  • It is so great to wake up in the morning and listen to the birds singing.
  • Each of them has it’s own song and that is exactly how we are, we can sing to you each morning we wake up.
  • Father spring with it’s trees and flowers are awesome. 
  • Just sniffing all the amaizing flavours just make me stand in awe that You can make such awesome plants. 
  • I pray spiritually we might smell as good as they do as well as our attitudes.
  • Father revenge, hatred, rejection has never build any country and yet father we still experience it in South Africa. 
  • We do know that if we hold hands we can build this country together.
  • Help us to be humble and submit to you first and then to our leaders.
  • We know that our leaders care for us and it would not be to our advantage if we do not submit to them.
  • Help us to have a great heart in submitting to them.
  • Amen.

5. Practicals

– So Hans how can I make sure I submit to our leaders?

  • Francois I think to submit to God first.
  • If I do not submit to God I will not submit to our leaders.
  • I have to be righteous first and not have any expectation of others first to be responsible with my life. 
  • I think a big practical is to ask advice. I ask myself how much advice about my life am I seeking?
  • Sometimes we are good to ask advice about a certain area / role in our lives but how about all roles that I fulfill?
  • Which room in my house is burning and needs attention? It does not help sticking out heads in the sand ignoring it, it will not go away. We normally think people are quite stupid if they do so.
  • How can I take responsibility and build relationships with the leaders that lead me? Do I innitiate to spend time?
  • Is there things that I have to talk to the leaders about, about our relationship?
  • Maybe there is a past hurt you haven’t dealt with?
  • Make sure you can fully trust your leaders and have a good attitude about it, if not get open and talk and study it out in the Bible and share your thoughts and feelings. 
  • Remember if you want to be a good leader, it starts with being a good follower!

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