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Leadership with a Limp

• Greg Boyd

A “bottom feeder” is a type of fish that eats just about anything it finds at the bottom of a body of water. Greg uses this term to represent a way of living where a person attempts to get life from things outside of themselves. Even church leaders can fall into a religious type of “bottom feeding” where they get life from the people they serve. In Luke 6:39-42, Jesus talks about just this type of thing when he speaks about the blindness and hypocrisy of some of the religious leaders. Greg describes an alternative to “bottom feeding”–“leading with a limp”, where we humbly take our own weaknesses into account as we lead others.

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God created human beings to live an abundant, royal life in this world through reflecting God’s love. Unfortunately, a number of us live well below this high calling for our lives because we are so accustomed to doing so. Instead of living like spiritually empowered kings and queens that spread God’s Kingdom in the world, we spend much of our lives being a “bottom feeder.” A “bottom feeder” is a type of fish that is a term that can represent a way of living where a person is always trying to get value and life from things outside of themselves. Unfortunately, even some leaders of Christ’s body can fall into a religious type of bottom feeding where they actually take life from the people they serve rather than empowering those people to be ministers in their own right. In Luke 6:39-42, Jesus talks about just this type of thing when he speaks about the blindness and hypocrisy of some of the religious leaders. In order to lead without bottom feeding, we must take steps to “lead with a limp”, where we honestly, humbly take our own weaknesses into account as we patiently, prayerfully lead others.

There are 3 primary commitments that Christians can make to prevent themselves from “bottom feeding” and encourage living well and leading with a healthy limp.

1) Get life from Christ alone.

The only true source for all of our needs is the Lord Jesus. Through the Spirit of Christ, we are able to fill the empty spiritual voids that make us so prone to getting life from the things of this world.

2) Be real.

Being phony does not help anyone lead more effectively in the long run. As we get very real with our strengths and weaknesses, we will discover that it’s okay to be messy and that the Holy Spirit is working in the mess of our lives.

3) Be humble.

We must look at our own sinful separation from God as being as serious as it truly is. When we do this, we simply don’t have time to judge other people for their sin. We spend our energy taking all of our cares before God and this places us in a prime position to be humble to God and others.

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Topics: Humility, Identity in Christ, Leadership

Sermon Series: The Beautiful Mess


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 6:39-42

    He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? Students are not above their teacher, but all who are fully trained will be like their teacher.

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say, 'Friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person's eye.

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