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September 2002 No. 541

THE AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN (ABN 81 498 399 755): The national magazine of the Presbyterian Church of Australia. Editorial committee: Peter Hastie (NSW) Themes Editor; Barney Zwartz (Victoria) Production; Walter Bruining (Victoria) News Editor. Graphic Design: Sandra Joynt for A&J Moody Design. Advertising and subscription inquiries: Walter Bruining, PO Box 375, Kilsyth 3137; Phone: (03) 9723 9684. Subscription: $35.20 a year inc. GST; bulk (etc) $31.90 each inc. GST. Office: PO Box 375, Kilsyth 3137. Phone: (03) 9723 9684. Fax: (03) 9723 9685. Email: austpres@bigpond.com Printed: Newsprinters Pty Ltd, Melbourne Road, Shepparton 3060. Published: Monthly except January by the National Journal Committee of the Presbyterian Church of Australia; Convener Peter Hastie. Opinions expressed are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the PCA, the editor or the committee. Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement. Contributions: Submitted articles are welcome. The deadline is the first of the previous month. Donations are always welcome. Print Post approved 34918100384. www.presbyterian.org.au

AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 3

Your humble servant

Christian leadership must be shaped by Christ, not culture.

How important was the influence of your father and mother on your early faith in Christ?

My father influenced me in many ways (not least in his love of nature and his high standards of service), but, since he was a scientific secularist, he did not influence my faith in Christ. However, my mother��s mother was a German Lutheran so that my mother raised my sisters and me in Lutheran piety, taking us to church, and encouraging us to read the Bible and ��say our prayers�� every day. I continued these practices throughout my early years even though at that time I had not come to know Christ.

You talk about how Christ was knocking loudly on the door of your heart when you were young �" what compelled you to respond?

Of course, the correct theological answer to your question is that Christ��s knocking (drawing attention to his presence outside) was so insistent that it demanded its own response. But from my point of view, I was so aware of my need �"

John Stott talks to Peter Hastie

being alienated from God and defeated by sin �" that it seemed that the most natural thing in the world to do was to open the door and let him in.

And that��s what I did.

How did knowing Christ affect your choice of profession?

While I was still at Rugby School, I used to visit France and Germany during my school vacations so that I could learn French and German. At the time, I thought that I was headed for the Diplomatic or Foreign Service. But after my conversion, two new influences came together. First, I no longer considered a life of diplomatic compromise appealing. I just couldn��t get excited about it. Second, I couldn��t understand how I had reached the age of 17 without having heard the gospel; it affected me so powerfully that I longed to spend my life telling others the good news that I��d come to understand.

But it was still a difficult decision to make up my mind to study theology at Cambridge. There were several obstacles in my way. First, I had to face the challenges of liberal theology. This was a daunting task. Liberal theology was the dominant force at Cambridge at the time. Most of the professors were of that persuasion.

But there was also another difficulty with which I had a fierce struggle. The Second World War had broken out and this complicated my situation immensely. At the time I had a strong belief that it was right for me to complete my studies and be ordained, which meant that I gained exemption from military service. My father, on the other hand, who was a Harley Street medical specialist, had enlisted in the Army Medical Service with the rank of a Major General. He found it almost intolerable that he had a son who was not fighting in the war. As a result, our relationship was extremely strained for several years and took some time to recover.

AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 4

You say that many people are ��hostile to the church, but friendly towards Christ��. What does the world see in Christ that they don��t see reflected in his church?

I think that many see Jesus as an attractive figure whereas they see hypocrisy and inconsistency in the church. For instance, they see Jesus as a champion of the poor and the oppressed, who lived a simple life, fraternised with sinners, and was constantly at loggerheads with the religious leaders of his day. On the other hand, they see the Church as an establishment organisation, protecting its own privileges and making largely hypocritical claims.

You have been critical of the low view of Scripture that some within the church have today. How can we raise our view of Scripture?

I believe that it��s essential that the church should have a high view of both the authority and the relevance of Scripture. It��s a matter of following Jesus. Do we call him Lord? As for authority, we learn it from Jesus. He himself submitted to the authority of the Old Testament in his moral standards, in his understanding of his mission, and in his debates with the Pharisees and Saducees. He also chose, appointed and equipped his apostles to teach in his name, saying ��he who listens to you listens to me��.

As for the relevance of Scripture, it��s up to Christian preachers to demonstrate its relevance by applying its teaching to the realities of the day.

What do you regard as the most important qualities in the life of a Christian leader?

The essential quality of a leader is the ability to command a following. In order to do this, a leader needs a vision of what could be, and the perseverance to pursue it, irrespective of all obstacles.

How important is a devotional life of Scripture-reading, meditation and prayer for effective Christian leadership?

I must say that I have become increasingly concerned about the growing tendency in Christian circles to despise and reject the well-tried practices of daily Bible meditation and prayer. I regret this and declare myself an impenitent believer in the vital importance of these exercises. Jesus himself, quoting Deuteronomy, affirmed that human beings live by the Word of God. So we would be foolish to neglect it. He also taught much about prayer, and engaged regularly in prayer himself. At the same time, while accepting the necessity of Bible reading and prayer, we must also ensure that they are fresh and do not degenerate into a mere ritual. We should vary our practice, and look to the Holy Spirit to breathe life into our discipline.

What has been your own personal practice?

Immediately after my conversion I was introduced to the Scripture Union. I have been a strong SU supporter ever since. But the SU takes us right through

Scripture only once in five years,

Jesus introduced

and I reckon that

into the world a

this is not enough for pas-

new concept of

servant leader-tors and other

leaders.

ship, in contrast

So I am very

to the authori

grateful that Dr

tarian style

Martyn Lloyd-

characteristic

Jones introduced

of the world.

me about 40 years ago to the Bible Reading Calendar produced in 1842 in Dundee, Scotland, by Robert Murray McCheyne. It takes us through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice every year. It��s quite exacting, because it requires reading four chapters a day, but on New Year��s Day we do not begin with Genesis 1-4, but with the four great beginnings of Scripture, namely Genesis 1 (the birth of the universe), Ezra 1 (the rebirth of Israel after Babylonian exile), Matthew 1 (the birth of Christ) and Acts 1-2 (the birth of the Body of Christ). Nothing has helped me more than this to gain an overview of Scripture, as biblical themes appear, disappear and re-appear.

As for prayer, the greatest aid I have found is to turn my biblical meditations into appropriate prayer, responding to God��s Word.

Should Christians follow secular concepts and practices of leadership?

Reading secular books on management and leadership development can certainly be helpful, because clearly some leadership skills are the same in both Christian and non-Christian circles. At the same time, we need to read these books critically, for Jesus introduced into the world a new concept of servant leadership, which he deliberately set in contrast to the authoritarian style characteristic of the world (Mark 10:42, 43). This means that Christians have to be alert and discerning as they engage with many of the modern ideas on leadership and management.

Christian leaders have to work in a community of faith that is constantly disturbed by moral failure, disunity and immaturity. What encouragements do leaders have to persevere?

You are right, of course, to describe the Christian community as often disturbed by moral failure, disunity and immaturity. It��s a very grievous fact. How, then, can Christian leaders persevere in such a situation?

First, whenever seeking to restore an offender, we need to remember our own vulnerability and even frailty. We are all prone to failure ourselves. As Paul warns: ��But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted�� (Gal. 6:1). Second, we are likely to persevere if we respond to each situation with a combination of prophetic witness (refusing to lower our standards or condone sin) and pastoral care (refusing to break bruised reeds or snuff out smouldering wicks). It��s not easy to combine the prophetic and the pastoral, firmness and gentleness, discipline and forgiveness, but we must struggle to do so.

The rise of ��celebrity�� in our world creates special problems for the church

�" for instance, the dangers of cult-followings and factionalism. What strategies should leaders follow to overcome the damage of factionalism?

The Corinthian church was a notable example of a personality cult, that is, of ��factionalism��. Different church members were giving their allegiance to different leaders. ��I belong to Paul; I belong to Apollos; I belong to Cephas�� (1 Cor. 1:12). Paul was absolutely horrified by this. ��What do you think we are?�� he asked incredulously, that you should give such exaggerated deference to us? He did not even ask ��who do you think we are?�� He deliberately used the neuter in place of the masculine, in order to demote himself in their eyes. And throughout his protest he urged that we should learn to boast not in ourselves or in other human beings but in Christ and his cross.

We should do the same, and should ask our friends and/or our church elders to warn us whenever they see signs of vanity or boastfulness in us.

Many of the power struggles that mar business and political organisations also trouble the evangelical church. How does the lust for power manifest itself in Christian circles?

AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 5

��Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.�� These well-known words of Lord Acton in the middle of the 19th century become specially poignant when set in their context. Acton was a Roman Catholic and argued strongly against the attribution of infallibility to the Pope in the First Vatican Council (1870). He saw this as power corrupting the church.

We see the same tendency today in denominational disputes, in leaders jockeying for position, in parachurch organisations dreaming of developing a world empire, and even in preachers, since the elevated pulpit is a dangerous place for any child of Adam to occupy.

How can leaders deal with this, when it is mainly leaders who are inflicted with this disease? Maybe the most effective strategy is for leaders to surround themselves with friends who are not ��yesmen��, let alone toadies who fawn on them, but honest-brokers who know that ��faithful are the wounds of a friend��.

Paul suggests that God chooses very unlikely people to be members of his Church �" people who are often weak and despised. Are the leaders of the church meant to be unimpressive?

What Paul is doing at the end of 1 Corinthians 1 is to give an example of his ��power through weakness�� theme. As the aristocratic lady, the Countess of Huntingdon, friend of Wesley and Whitefield, said, she was grateful for the letter ��m�� in the sentence ��not many�� (1 Cor. 1:26). For Paul didn��t write that ��not any�� powerful people were called, but that ��not many�� were. Some noble, rich and strong people were called, including some in Corinth like Gaius and Erastus, not to mention Paul himself.

But strong people will not be saved by their strength. If they hope to be saved,

There are to be no gurus in the Christian community.

they have to humble themselves and become weak, so that the power of Christ will exalt them.

In today��s world, leaders are meant to be communication-specialists. Is self-confidence in public-speaking a desirable quality in Christian leaders?

Christian leaders certainly need to be able to communicate, and should benefit from all the skills and techniques of communication which are available. But at a deeper level the Holy Spirit is the communication specialist. It is he who illumines the mind, pricks the conscience, fires the heart and moves the will, so as to elicit from the hearers ��the obedience of faith��. ��Nobody can say ��Jesus is Lord�� except through the Holy Spirit�� (1 Cor. 12:3).

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Self-confidence is incompatible with this. Paul��s argument in the Corinthian letters is that God��s power is demonstrated best in human weakness. He came to Corinth, he wrote, in weakness, fear and trembling, and therefore put his trust in the power of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

You have said that Christians, especially leaders, are called to confirm and defend the gospel. But you have also said that those who relish controversy have a form of spiritual sickness. How and when should Christians engage in controversy?

Your question assumes (rightly) that there is a difference between reluctant engagement in controversy and relishing it. When a central issue of the faith is at stake, we must take action. We would be ��hirelings�� rather than true shepherds (John 10), if we didn��t. Such central issues would specially relate to the person and work of Christ, since to deny the divine-human person of Jesus is antichrist (1 Jn 2:18-23) and to deny the gospel of grace is anathema (Gal. 1:6-9). Today these are still living issues, and so are the finality and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, which are increasingly being rejected in pluralistic cultures.

Is it ever right for a leader to think of the church to which they belong as ��my church��? How should Christian leaders think of people whom they are called to lead?

When the Corinthian factions were claiming the patronage of different leaders, their slogans were ��I belong to Paul��, ��I belong to Apollos�� (1 Cor. 1:12). But Paul was outraged by this personality cult. He sought to correct it by reversing the relationships implied. He wrote: ��All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas���� (1 Cor. 3:21).

So if anybody belongs to anybody in the church, it is the leaders who belong to the members, not vice-versa. It is disgraceful that bishops ever encouraged people to address them as ��my Lord Bishop�� and to sign their letters ��your obedient servant��. It would be much more healthy and more scriptural, therefore, if leaders referred not to ��my church�� or ��my people�� but rather to ��the people whom God has called me to serve��.

Should Christian leaders, especially clergy, think of themselves as managers or social workers or psychotherapists or pastor-teachers? In view of the fact that every Christian has a

AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 6

ministry, what role do clergy have?

Yes, you are right in saying that all Christians are called to ministry. Because we are followers of him who said ��I came not to be ministered to, but to minister��, it��s inconceivable that we should spend our lives in any other way than in ministry. But I did not say ��the ministry��. We do a great disservice to the church whenever we use the definite article and refer to the pastorate as ��the ministry��, for then we give the impression that the pastorate is the only ministry there is. But diakonia (ministry) is a generic word; it lacks all specificity until you add an adjective �" pastoral ministry, social ministry, medical ministry, and many more.

To what ministry, then, are pastors called? Their primary calling is to a teaching ministry. This is clear from 1 Timothy 3, where Paul lists 10 conditions of eligibility for the presbyterate. Nine of them are moral and spiritual, eg self-control, hospitality and freedom from covetousness. Only one condition could be described as a ��professional�� qualification. This is didaktikos, having a gift for teaching. If, therefore, presbyters must be gifted to teach, it is evident that their ministry is primarily a teaching ministry.

You recently said that ��there is too much autocracy in the leaders of the Christian community, in defiance of the teaching of Jesus and the apostles, and not enough love and gentleness��. How should leaders deal with these tendencies?

My point was that, unless we are careful, our model of leadership may be shaped more by culture than by Christ. And cultural models, which are often transplanted uncritically into the church, all seem to be authority models. For example, the model of the African tribal chief, or the Latin American male and his ��machismo��, the South Asian guru, or the Confucian teacher are all authority models.

But there are to be no gurus in the Christian community. This is surely what Jesus meant when he told us that we are not to call anybody our Rabbi, master or father (Mt. 23:8-12). That is, we are not to adopt towards anybody in the church, or require anybody to adopt towards us, the dependent relationship of child to parent, servant to master or pupil to guru. He added that outside in the world leaders exercise authority, but ��not so with you�� (Mk 10:42, 43). Discipline may be necessary in the church, but it will need to be exercised collectively as Paul taught (eg 1 Cor. 5:4), and ��gently�� (Gal. 6:1).

You have been instrumental in founding the Langham Trust. How will this trust help develop future leaders for the evangelical church?

Believing that God wants his people to grow up, and that they grow chiefly by the Word of God, the goal of the Langham Partnership is to help raise the standards of biblical preaching. To this end we are developing three ministries. The first is Langham Literature, because you can��t preach if you don��t study, and you can��t study if you don��t have books. Secondly, Langham Scholarships, enabling younger Third World scholars to gain a doctorate and return to their own country to teach in a seminary, because the seminary is the key institution in the church. And finally, Langham Seminars for biblical preaching and teaching.

Our vision statement is ��that every church in the developing world may be served by conscientious pastors, who sincerely believe, diligently study, faithfully expound and relevantly apply the Word of God��.

John Stott is Rector Emeritus of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, and president of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. He is known worldwide as a leading evangelical thinker, writer and Bible teacher.

Peter Hastie is minister of Ashfield Presbyterian Church, Sydney, and AP��s themes editor.

AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 7

Just managing

Christian leaders are stewards �" with a higher model and standard.

ohn Stott states in his book The Preacher��s Portrait that the metaphor of stewardship teaches us that the preacher does not supply his own message; he is supplied with it. Stott reminds us, however, that all Christian people are God��s stewards and that we have been entrusted with certain ��goods��, not for our own benefit, but for the blessing of the entire household of God.

The parables of the talents illustrate the Christian��s responsibility to neither hoard nor waste; rather, we are to consider the gifts or goods God has placed in our hands. We are to improve them by seeking out opportunities. It is this practical Christian work, the work of administration within the church, that this article focuses on.

So, what does it mean to ��manage Christianly��?

Too often the world attempts to claim moral superiority over the church with business fads and protective legislation. In the corporate world ��values-driven leadership�� has now become a tired cliché. Such trends are often perversions of basic Christian principles.

Consider these ��commandments�� and ��golden rule��.

  • Remain directed toward purpose and meaning.
  • Don��t let money, power or status consume you.
  • Speak graciously.
  • Rest and rejuvenate.
  • Respect those with experience and maturity.
  • Practice service, not malice.
  • Show integrity and fidelity.
  • Treat people fairly.
  • Be sincere.
  • Work hard. Or, it pays to be as honest to others as

you would have them be honest to you. Such principles may sound nice but

Wayne Richards

they are a poor shadow of the ultimate business code of ethics which existed as early as the time of Pharaoh Amenhotep II, King of Egypt, around 1450 BC. We know them as the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20). First published on Mount Sinai, when the Lord spoke through his prophet, Moses, they represent a godly and outward-looking set of values rather than an inward, selfish set of ideals.

As Christians we have a better code than the world will ever dream up. The world wants a business value system without God. We must shun that notion in administering the affairs of the church and continually seek God��s leading and help in all that we do. We are to be wary of being unequally yoked with worldly values. For instance, we do not seek mere excellence but the glory of God.

We should be dealing with the trust that God has given us as only stewards in the household of God would do. We have a heavenly accountability �" a higher standard. We are not to emulate the world; instead, we are to consciously follow Christ��s example. As the creator of all human life and enterprise, he has given us a superior business model.

Staying focused and on target is one of the hardest battles we have in living the Christian life. It is no different in business, especially in the business of God��s church. The biggest trap is to try to do all that is good. It cannot be done. We often have to choose between the good and the best. Good strategy includes knowing what you are not going to do, and why. Being able to choose between a series of good alternatives is vital so that we can turn our face and effort toward that which is even better.

The apostle Paul had already pinned this issue down in the early church by AD

60. In Philippians 1:10 his prayer is that his readers ��may be able to discern what is best��. He wants them to make excellent choices that are motivated by love, knowledge and deep insight.

Even though the apostle��s focus is on spiritual matters, the point is well made. It��s relatively easy to avoid wasting time on the less fruitful or wrong things that are obvious. However, to accomplish the best things you have to make some hard choices. Often that means you will have to drop some things which are good. They may not be wrong in themselves but they may frustrate you in reaching your ultimate goal. It is important to learn how to trade-off good things for much better things �" to stay on track. It��s OK to say ��no�� (nicely).

This principle is the foundation of all prioritisation, and it��s the hardest to practise. It��s as true for achieving worthwhile Christian business goals as achieving personal sanctification.

Jesus sets the standard of leadership. ��But I am among you as one who serves�� (Luke 22:27). This transforms the world��s flawed model. Without a motivation to serve (Christ and others), leadership becomes self-serving. The organisation we serve does not belong to us. If we cannot see that our serving and leading is about serving the Lord in the gospel, then we have lost our corporate reason for existence. Paul did not regard handling administrative things as unimportant. He delighted to serve in such things. He says, in writing to the Corinthians, ��we carry the offering, which we administer in order

AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 8

to honour the Lord himself and to show ing others in servanthood. He recom-ference between secular management our eagerness to help. We want to avoid mended a management structure for and wise Christian stewardship �" time-any criticism of the way we administer resolving problems. Moses listened to his less information integrated with timely this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to father-in law and implemented the plan information. do what is right, not only in the eyes of (Ex. 18:13�"27). This event was just two the Lord but also in the eyes of men.�� (2 chapters before receiving the perfect code The courageously wise manager is a Cor. 8:19bff) of ethics for running society (let alone an thoughtful and contemplative man-

Today, the word ��administrator�� sug-organisation). ager. Contemplation seasoned from a pergests a limited approach to stewardship. Moses traded off doing something sonal relationship with God through An administrator might organise and con-good, and which he could do well �" prayer and his written Word will help wise

trol. This is fairly reactive. Is it enough? A namely, making manager would plan as well. This is now judicial decibecoming pro-active. It is like seeking the sions �" in prepaopportunity to make those talents grow. ration for doing

A leader, on the other hand, exercises something the desire to give meaning and direction much more through service. He also adds to all these important: that activities by innovating �" becoming a which was best. change agent for Christ. Action based

Finally, an entrepreneur Christian on knowledge is steward will, in the eyes of the world, bear superior to pro-some personal risk. However, in the eyes crastination, but of the church that risk is really faith exer-action flavoured cised in prayerful trust. It is not acting with wisdom is decision-making.

My personal business mission has been

��To provide meaning in the context of ser-It is important to vice while avoiding the distractions��. In learn how to other words, what is the purposeful (kingtrade off good dom) focus in any endeavour? How things for much ��other-centred�� are things operationally? better things �" to Are things on track for delivering what I

committed to?stay on track. These biblical priorities have helped meIt��s OK to say over the past 10 years in corporate life and��no�� (nicely). in every kind of endeavour. Yet it��s always

a struggle. Foremost among the texts that

have played an influential role in shaping

unsafely, but rather courageously. always better. Proverbs tells us that the my understanding of Christian manage-

basis of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. ment have been these: ��do not be foolish,Christian managers will put the Bible Augustine is helpful in explaining the dif-but understand�� (Eph. 5:17), ��serve

ahead of tradition, faith ahead of ference between wisdom and knowledge. wholeheartedly�� (Eph. 6:7), and ��discern bureaucracy and the Spirit ahead of meet-In commenting on Job��s words, ��The fear what is best�� (Phil. 1:10). They seem to ings. We need fewer office-bearers and of the Lord �" that is wisdom, and to shun sum up the chief requirements of those committee members and more entrepre-evil is understanding�� (28:28), he sees who are required to exercise a faithful neurs for God; those who will thought-piety as different from knowing. stewardship under God. fully plan, lead and control on the basis of Augustine observed: ��In thus distinguish-God��s promises as well as bring about ing, it must be understood that wisdom Wayne Richards is general manager of the change and accept full responsibility. belongs to contemplation, knowledge to Presbyterian Church in NSW. He has a

Jethro (one of the earliest business action.�� Masters degree in Business Administration consultants) gave some perceptive advice A Christian manager seeks not only and has 30 years experience in corporate to his son-in-law. He told Moses how to to act with the available knowledge, but life at general manager and director level. better organise and delegate things; to also finds time to ponder God��s view of He is a member of Revesby Presbyterian think imaginatively and to lead by involv-that action. That is the fundamental dif-Church.

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AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 9

A modest ambition

Women lead more than they know. Make the example godly.

oliticians who lie to Parliament; unfaithful football captains; barristers who rort the tax system �" leadership has got a lot of bad press lately. Debate rages on the relevance of a leader��s private life. Is a person��s private life separate from what he does as a leader? In the community, the jury��s still out.

What about the Christian leader? Are Christians�� private lives separate from what they do as leaders? The Bible��s answer is a resounding no. Passages like 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9 make it clear that a leader��s private life is very relevant. The Christian leads by example. The Christian life cannot be segmented. We must aim for godliness in all areas of our lives.

Godliness isn��t restricted to our role �" as Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, music directors, president of the women��s group or playgroup organisers. It includes what we do at home behind closed doors, how we act at the local shops out of the sight of fellow Christians and what we do at work when we��re around non-Christian people. Leaders need to ��walk the walk�� and not just ��talk the talk��.

But is this just the case with formal positions of leadership? No. All of us

Carmelina Read

��lead�� people in one way or another. Mature Christians set an example for people who have just become Christians. New Christians set an example for their non-Christian family and friends. Older women set an example for younger women (Titus 2).

The Bible records the lives of many women who set examples for us even though they were not in formal positions of leadership. Tabitha was so impressive in her good works and acts of charity that the widows of Joppa wept for her when she died (Acts 9:36-43). Jesus said that the act of the woman who anointed him for his burial would be recounted in memory of her whenever the gospel is proclaimed (Mt. 26:13). Timothy��s faith in Christ was nurtured by the sincere faith of his mother and grandmother (2 Tim. 1:5).

In this article, I��d like to suggest some thoughts on how Christian women can lead by example regardless of whether their leadership is formal or not.

Children: Generally speaking, women are the primary carers of children. That means we��re a huge influence on our children. Our example to them will matter. My little boy Joel giggles with glee when his Daddy pulls out the Eager Beaver Bible every morning after breakfast. He loves me to pray with him at night when I put him to bed and he makes his displeasure known if I try to hurry the bedtime routine! Now it would be easy for me to act as if praying and reading the Bible with them is all I have to do to help my children grow up as Christians. But what about how I live my life? Kids watch us very carefully. They see us at the shops. They watch us relate to other people. They watch our every move.

So what kind of an example are we setting for our children? Do our children ever see us read the Bible by ourselves? Do they see us pray on our own and with our husbands? A few years ago at a beach mission, I sat around with some young adult leaders into the early hours of the morning (now I rarely make it past 10pm!). I asked one of them what was the most influential thing her parents had done for her. She said: ��I saw them regularly read their Bible and pray. They proved to me that God is real and that the Bible truly is God��s word. They weren��t hypocrites encouraging me to do one thing and yet not doing it themselves.��

Wouldn��t it be wonderful if our children

could say the same of us?

Our ��private�� life can��t be separated

from our leadership of children. Leading

AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 10

our children in the ways of the Lord is not just about doing devotions with them or sending them to Sunday school. It��s also about leading by example.

And while we��re on the topic of Sunday school, this challenge also applies to anyone involved in ministry with children. We might prepare the most interactive lessons and run the most Gospel-centred kids�� club. But if our private lives don��t match what we teach, we need to seriously reconsider our leadership. Kids will notice if looking ��hip�� is more important to you than modesty. Teenage girls will notice whether their leaders treat their boyfriends with all purity, as a brother (1 Tim. 5:2). And they��ll follow your lead.

Wives: What we do as married women will provide leadership to other women and children (Titus 2:3-6). Recently, I watched an interview with a politician who had an affair with a married man. She kept insisting that her private life was nobody else��s business. The question I want to ask is, what example has she set for others?

Are we faithful to our husbands? Do we treat them with respect in public and at home? I��m sure we��ve all met the woman who speaks honourably of her husband in public, but rules the roost at home, constantly putting him down. What does your role as a wife model to other women, especially to younger women (Titus 2:3-4)? Do we lead younger women to graciously submit to their husbands as they do to the Lord (Eph. 5:22)? Or do we encourage them to rebel and spurn God��s gift of male headship?

This isn��t to say that we must pretend our marriages are perfect. But the way we speak to our husbands at home will influence others. This is especially important as women who haven��t grown up in godly Christian homes come into our sphere of influence. Will our marriages match God��s

plan for marriage? Will they be different to non-

We can��t buy

Christian mar-

into the secu

riages?

lar lie that

When I

what we do

became a Christian, I spent

in ��private��

a lot of time at the

is irrelevant

home of a family

to our

in my first

leadership.

church. I saw the way the wife related to her husband. She was servant-hearted, she worked hard at not giving him the cold shoulder when he wronged her, she spoke respectfully of him to others, she graciously accepted correction and tried hard to put his needs above her own without resenting it (Phil. 2:1-11). What a breath of fresh air she was to me and so many others. A fine example to follow.

Beauty: Everywhere we turn, it��s there. Television, magazines, movies, department stores all tell us we must be beautiful. And how? Label clothing, shoes, anti-wrinkle creams, botox injections, weight reduction plans �" the list goes on. None of these things are inherently bad. But what priority do they have in our lives? Is outer beauty more important to you than what you��re like on the inside? If it isn��t, then is that the example you set for other people? Do women see you working hard at becoming more godly and growing in inner beauty (1 Tim. 2:9-10 and 1 Pet. 3:16)? Or would people say that how you look is a greater priority to you?

One of the most attractive women I know doesn��t wear expensive clothes. She dresses modestly. You wouldn��t call her trendy. In fact, she often looks the worse for wear because she��s tired from looking after her active children. And yet, so many women, married and single, keep telling me what a beautiful person she is. They tell me how much they respect her and what a great example she sets for them. Wouldn��t it be wonderful if people could say that of us? Of course we��ll fail in all these areas. We��ll need to keep coming back to the God of grace for forgiveness and cleansing from our sin. But the same grace that saves us teaches us to say no to ungodliness and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives (Titus 2:11), lives that will set an example to others. We can��t buy into the secular lie that what we do in ��private�� is irrelevant to our leadership. Christian women should lead by example in all areas of their lives.

Carmelina Read worked as an environmental lawyer, has a degree from Moore Theological College, and is married to Jeff Read, minister of Chatswood Presbyterian Church, Sydney.

AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 11

Word for the wise

Leaders God can use: 20 daily bible studies in Esther

hat we need today more than anything is leadership that has a truly spiritual focus, a style of leadership that is not centred on man and his personal achievements, but on what God requires of us: ��He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.�� (Micah 6:8). Only the Church can provide this sort of leadership.

In the book of Esther (the only book in the whole Bible that makes no explicit mention of God!) we find two characters through whom God rescues his people, and we see the leadership qualities they display. They are Esther and her cousin, Mordecai. We find others like Xerxes and Vashti who are motivated by what ��seems like a good idea at the time�� instead of by solid guiding principles. And then there is Haman, the archetypal modern corporate boss who wants to manipulate every circumstance for his own advantage.

Will you ask God this month to use these readings in Esther to make you into a better leader for him? Who knows but that you have come to [your present] position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14b).

Bruce Christian

THE PASSAGE ESTHER 1:1-11 THE POINT Xerxes�� kingship was certainly impressive! But he was hardly a good role model for leadership. The impression he created was superficial, transitory, and only serving the lusts of the flesh. There are corporate leaders in courts today because of this sort of irresponsible liberality. Xerxes was in trouble.

THE PARTICULARS

  • Xerxes was responsible (under God, without realising it!) for a very extensive and populous realm (his share-holders?).
  • His 6 months Expo was to flaunt his own grandeur.
  • He spared no expense on himself or those he wanted to impress.
  • The excessive consumption of wine resulted in Xerxes treating his wife as goods and chattels instead of giving to her the care and respect which was his duty as her husband and head.

TO PONDER ... AND TO PRAY

  • What aspects of Xerxes�� attitude and lifestyle do you find disturbing? Are there issues in your own personal life, family life, business life or Church life that need to be addressed?
  • What was Xerxes�� most basic problem? Is this what is at the heart of so many problems in Western society and culture today?

THE PASSAGE ESTHER 1:12-22

THE POINT What Vashti did (or rather didn��t do) was quite wrong. Her husband had the God-given right (although I doubt the approval) to make the request he did. An important principle of relationships had to be upheld. But Xerxes was primarily the one at fault. If he was a good and godly leader of his family he would not have tried to parade his wife��s beauty sensually before his intoxicated guests. This was quite wrong. Perhaps the failure of wives today to submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:22-24) is often a direct result of the men��s failure to be godly husbands (Eph. 5:21, 25ff). Let us put the primary blame where it belongs.

THE PARTICULARS

  • Xerxes should not have made the demand of Vashti.
  • God��s principle of headship in the family had to be upheld.
  • God uses even man��s sinful behaviour to fulfil his sovereign purposes in human history (as we will see throughout Esther).

TO PONDER ... AND TO PRAY

  • Would Xerxes get away with his treatment of Vashti in our society today?
  • Has our change in attitude to relationships in the family today been all gain? What difficulties have arisen?
AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 13
AUBURN ESSENDON SOMERVILLE

Cnr Rathmines & Station Sts Cnr Wilson & McPherson Sts. Cnr Jones Rd. & Park Lane.
Hawthorn East 10.00 am. Moonee Ponds 9.30am. & 7.00pm. Rev. Ian Brown (03) 5977 5469.
Rev S P Swinn (03) 9882 5256 Rev. Paul Ridgewell (03) 9370 1281 SOUTH YARRA

BAIRNSDALE FRANKSTON 621 Punt Rd. 10.00 am. & 6.30 pm.

7th Day Adventist Church, 149 Nicholson 30 Radiata St. 10.30am. & 6.00pm.

St. 10.00 am. 1st of Month 5.00pm. Rev David Kumnick (03) 9786 2976. Rev. Stuart Bonnington (03) 9867 4637

S/school 9.00 am. GEELONG WEST (Scots) SORRENTO-RYE
Past. Laurie Leighton (03) 5153 1669 Cnr. Pakington & Waratah Sts. 10.00am. Rye: St David��s, Col��wood & Lyons Sts.9.30am.
BALACLAVA I.M. Dr. Allan Harman (03) 5256 2134. Sorrento: St Andrew��s, Kerferd Rd. 11.00am.
Hotham St. & Denman Ave.10.00am. GLEN WAVERLEY�"KNOXFIELD SUNSHINE
Rev Mike Wharton (03) 9527 3270. Highvale Primary School, McKay Memorial, Anderson Rd. 10.00am. &
BENDIGO (St John��s) Ashton St. Glen Waverley 9.30am. 7.00pm. Rev Cor Vanderhorn (03) 9311 1661

Forest St. 10.30am. Rev. Trevor Cox (03) 9764 9141. SURREY HILLS (St Stephen��s)
Rev Andrew Clarke (03) 5443 6189. HAMILTON
BLACKBURN St Andrew��s, Gray & McIntyre Sts. 10.00am. Canterbury & Warrigal Rds. 10.15am. &

53 Gardenia St. 11.00am. & 5.00pm. (last Sunday of month) 7.00pm. (2nd Sun: Youth Service 7.00pm).
Rev P Locke (03) 9725 6417 Rev Keith Bell (03) 5572 1009 I.M. Rev. Peter N Orchard (03) 9889 6034

BUNDOORA HAWTHORN UPPER YARRA �" WARBURTON

Bundoora Hall, Noorong Ave. 10.00 am 580 Glenferrie Rd. 11.00 am. & 7.00 pm. 3471 Warburton H��way. 10.00am. & 6.00pm. Admin: Mrs M Goodson (03) 9431 1851 Rev Dr Graham Lyman (03) 9819 5347. Mr. Tony Archer (03) 5966 2309.

BURWOOD KANGAROO GROUND WANGARATTA �" REGIONAL
(Chinese Presbyterian Church) 11.00am. 265 Eltham-Yarra Glen Rd. 9.30am. PARISH
Cnr. Greenwood &Tennyson Sts. S. Clerk: Dr R.Baldock. (03) 9437 1265 Wangaratta, 158 Rowan St. Yarrawonga,

Rev Dr John Elnatan (03) 9801 7645. KOREAN 47 Orr St. Myrtleford , 78 Standish St

CAMBERWELL- Trinity 16 Walnut Rd. North Balwyn.
cnr Riversdale & Waterloo Sts. 10.00am. English language service. 11.00 am Rev. Neil Harvey (03) 5721 6444
Rev. Philip Mercer (03) 9882 8102 LEONGATHA WARRNAMBOOL (St John��s)

CAMPERDOWN-TERANG-GARVOC Cnr. Bent & Turner Sts. 10.00am. Warrnambool: Cnr Spence & Manifold Sts.

9.30 am Aug �" Jan. 11am Feb �" July Session Clerk: (03) 5662 4734 10.00am & 7.00 pm. Sunday Night Life 5.30

Terang: 1 Warrnambool Rd. MALVERN South Warrnambool: McDonald St. 9.30
Camperdown: Campbell & Brooke Sts. 161-163 Wattletree Rd. 10.30am. & 5.00 pm. Woodford: Mill St. 11.00 am
Garvoc: 2:30pm. 2nd & 4th Sunday. Rev John S Woodward (03) 9509 7373. Warrnambool Office: (03) 5562 2029

Pastor Bernie Thomas (03)5592 1041 MELBOURNE Rev Chris ten Broeke (03) 5561 5373

CANTERBURY The Scots�� Church, Cnr. Russell & Collins Rev. Philip Burns (03) 5561 7899.

146 Canterbury Rd. 10.30am. & 7 pm. Sts. 11am & 7pm. Wed. 1.00pm.
Rev. Grant Lawry (03) 9836 4601. Rev. Douglas Robertson (03) 9650 9903. WEST FOOTSCRAY
CANTERBURY JAPANESE MELTON 141 Essex St. (Scots) 10.00 am.

146 Canterbury Rd. 10.30 am Mowbray College, Centenary Ave. Session Clerk: Ms J Swift (03) 9687 5701
Rev. Hugh Price (03) 9894 2384 Rev Peter Owen (03) 9747 8195. WILLIAMSTOWN (St Andrew��s)
CAULFIELD-ELWOOD MOE �" YARRAM 87 Cecil St. 10.00am.
Caulfield: Neerim/Bambra Rds. 11.15am. Moe: 34 Fowler St. 10.00am. Rev. Bruce Riding (03) 9397 5338
Elwood: Scott/Tennyson Sts. 9.15am & Yarram: Cnr. Dougherty & Montgomery WOORI YALLOCK

4.00pm. Rev Stephen Tay (03) 9505 3013. Sts. 2.00pm. Rev Jared Hood (03) 5127 1296. Healesville Rd. 9.15am & 5 pm, (7pm DLS)
CHELTENHAM Pioneers�� Presbyterian NOORAT-DARLINGTON
8 Park Rd. Cnr. Charman Rd. 9.30am. Noorat: Cnr Mc Kinnons Bridge & Rev David Brown

Rev. David Palmer (03) 9583 2785 Glenormiston Rds. 10.30 am.
CLIFTON HILL Darlington: Hall St. 8.45 am. (1st & 3rd
Cnr Michael & McKean Sts western australia

Sundays) Rev. Barry Oakes (03) 5592 5220
North Fitzroy. 10.30 am NUMURKAH
Rev Peter Phillips (03) 9481 4642. 58 Saxton St. 11.15am.

CROYDON HILLS Tallygaroopna: Victoria St. 9.30am.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Primary School Cobram: Cnr High and Pine Sts. (Anglican BICTON

57 Plymouth Rd. Croydon. 10.00am. Church) 2.30pm. Harris St. & View Tce. 9.00am & 7.00pm.
Rev. John Diacos (03) 9725 5370 Rev. John Rickard (03) 5862 1621. S.Clerk Mr R Kent (08) 9339 1089
DANDENONG RESERVOIR FREMANTLE (Scots)
51 Potter St. 10.00am. 81 Edwardes St. 10.00 am. & 7.00 pm. Cnr South Tce & Parry St. 10.00 am

Ses. Clerk. (03) 9793 1423 Rev Chris Siriweera (03) 9460 9523 Chinese Worship & Sunday School. 3.00 pm.

DONVALE RINGWOOD-HEATHMONT

Cnr. Springvale & McGowan��s Rds. 8.30am, Cnr. Waterloo St. & Canterbury Rd. Rev James Nocher (08) 9319 2208.

10.30 am & 6.30pm. Rev Gerald Vanderwert Heathmont 10.00am. Enq: (03) 9728 3374 WHITFORDS (St Mark��s)

(03) 9842 9493. (03) 9841 7020 (O) ROCHESTER Anglican School, St Marks Dr Hilarys.
DROMANA �" MORNINGTON Cnr. Victoria St. & Echuca Rd. 11.00am. & 9.00am. Rev Alan Perrie (08) 9447 1074
Dromana: St Andrew��s, Gibson St. 9.00am. 7.30pm. Timmering 9.30 am

Mornington (TheChapel) Cnr Strachans ST KILDA To register your church in this section of the
Rd.& Nepean Hwy. 11.00am. Cnr Alma Rd. & Barkly St. 11.00am & Australian Presbyterian is an easy, low cost
Rev Andrew Venn (03) 5975 9514 7.00pm. Rev Bob Thomas (03) 9537 1642 (O) exercise. Facsimile the AP office on:
DROUIN SALE (03) 9723 9685 or E-mail us at:
Church St. 9am. 10.30am. 7.30pm. 89-93 Dundas Street. 10.30 am. austpres@bigpond.com

Sept-April; 7.00pm. May-Aug. I.M. Rev. P.W. Swinn (03) 5122 3406

Rev. Ken Brown (03) 5625 1126. SHEPPARTON The Annual Fees are: ELTHAM Cnr. Hayes & Leithen Sts. 9.00am. & Congregations under 50 $45.00 plus GST 23 Batman Rd. 10.00 am 7.00pm. Also Stanhope, Kyabram. Congregations 51 -99 $55.00 plus GST Rev. Don Elliott (03) 9439 9720 Rev Kyung Ee (03) 5831 6494. Congregations 100 or more $65.00 plus GST

PCQ rally

About 1200 people attended the

Presbyterian Church of Queensland��s

annual celebration rally on Sunday 23 June. Highlights included the Korean Choir, spectacular in national dress, and HiYa Power. Musicians from the Dalby and Mitchelton churches led the praise. The evening program, led by Rev. Russell van Delden, featured Nathan Stewart and Jasmine Davies (CTA), with a video of street interviews asking what��s wrong with the world, and a message from Luke Tattersall.

A growing concern

The PCQ��s 2002 assembly opened on 24 June with a seminar on The ABC��s of Natural Church Growth. In the evening, the new Moderator, Rt Rev. Ian McIver, was inducted. The annual world evangelisation barbecue on Tuesday night gave commissioners and visitors an opportunity to hear from some of the missionaries.

The assembly resolved to employ a further staff member of the Christian Education Department, and approved funding to extend the ministry of Deaconess Dianne Yates to those in aged care facilities. Mrs Ann Whyte addressed the assembly on the Outback. Provision was made for an ad hoc committee to investigate the relocation of church offices, PresCare and the Reformed College of Ministries with findings to be presented to the 2003 Assembly. Rev. Peter Richardson, lecturer at the Reformed College of Ministries, was voted Moderator Elect.

Milestones in service

Penrith elder John Shaw has celebrated 40 years on the session, having been inducted on 28 August 1962. Now elder emeritus, he is still an active member, reports session clerk A. R. Roberts. Elder

H.K. (Toby) Phillips retired from active session work at the end of April after 37 years of service to the congregation, and is now allocating his time to other areas of service within the church.

Missionary ordained

The Presbytery of Sydney licensed and ordained Mr Bagoes Seta in the Burwood church on 19 July, and commissioned him as an associate missionary with APWM. The Moderator, Rev. Bruce Christian, led the worship, and Rev. Paul Cooper gave the charge. Mr Seta flew to Indonesia the next day to take up his position there. No contact details for him are available yet.

Rev Jim Elliott has been inducted into the Charge of Campbelltown (NSW), and his new details are: 11 Kapala Avenue, Bradbury, NSW, 2560; phone (02) 4625 1037.

Mr Stephen Fletcher was ordained and inducted elder to the Tweed Heads (NSW) session on 10 February.

NSW assembly

The 2002 assembly of the PCNSW elected Rt Rev John Irvin, minister at Cherrybrook, as Moderator, appointed John McClean, minister at Cowra Presbyterian Church lecturer in systematic theology at the Presbyterian Theological Centre from 1 January, and approved increases in stipends and allowances from the same date. Thirteen new ministers inducted or appointed since the last assembly were welcomed.

The assembly encouraged Presbyterian Social Services to complete a comprehensive register of qualified chaplains/pastoral care workers, who represent the Presbyterian Church in NSW, posting it on their web site.

It also instructed the November

AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 21 AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 22 AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 23

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AUSTRALIAN PRESBYTERIAN �� 26

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