Welcome to this week’s edition of the unSeminary podcast. We’re talking with Ken Costa, the founder of God At Work and author of four books including his latest, Joseph of Arimathea. He is with us today to talk about listening and leading in this season.
- Stop and listen. // Right now we’re dealing with a lot of pivotal events in history and the church isn’t insulated from what’s going on in the world. 1 Chronicles 12:32 says that the men of Issachar understood the times and knew what to do. Consider very carefully that we’re drawn together as a mixture of reason and revelation. It’s not enough to be a sociologist, guess the social trends and try to get ahead of them. There is a revelation from God in what is happening and He is trying to grab our attention. We must stop and listen.
- Look outside your lens. // Decisions have to be made in the knowledge that we don’t have enough facts by ourselves. We need to pull together the insights that we can from the world around us with analytical tools while also pursuing God for discernment. Draw together a small group of people who would represent those two areas of reason and revelation and listen to what they’re saying. Discernment needs to happen in the context of community.
- Using discernment in leadership. // Discernment is a gift of the Spirit and is about asking the right questions. It’s also a process rather than something instantaneous that we can Google to find answers. Keep a posture of listening by submitting to God, reading Scripture, and trying to recognize God’s voice. Look forward in faith as you make forward projections.
- Walk by faith. // Be careful about trying to lay down the next three-year plan for your church and rushing back to the old days. Instead keep short term plans and constantly evaluate them against real time changes. Ask where is the Spirit of God moving? Where is it changing? Be ready to change with it. Flexibility is paramount in adapting to today’s world. Wise pastors will be living in contracting horizons in which they know what they’re doing for a short period of time (ex. a three-month plan instead of a three-year plan).
- Ordinary matters. // Ken’s book Joseph of Arimathea: The Extraordinary Calling Ordinary People reminds us that ordinary matters and that small acts of faithfulness can lead to astounding influence and impact. Joseph was a secret disciple who didn’t express his faith until he was forced to. He didn’t know how the story was going to end, and yet he was faithful in his calling to bury Christ. Like Joseph, leaders and pastors are experiencing a “silent Saturday” time during the pandemic, but it will give way to a resurrection celebration.
You can learn more about Ken and his book at www.kencosta.com.
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