I really admire Andy Stanley. I like how he can speak clearly, directly and passionately. I also like that he’s a PK (pastor’s kid) and has turned out pretty well so it gives me hope for my kids. Not that I want my kids to pastor a 20,000 person church, but I want them to love God and be used by him.
Anyhow, Andy was the first to speak, as has been the custom since I’ve been going, and he really set the stage for the rest of the conference. He talked about how we only have Moral Authority when our “creed” and “deed” are in alignment, when we live out what we believe, or put yet another way, when what we say is modeled by what we do. The world might call it “influence,” but at the end of the day, influence is something you have AFTER you develop moral authority (integrity, trustworthiness, dependability, etc)
He really brought things down to a practical level where I think every pastor, every minister, every lay person, every leader has to deal with answering the question of whether or not they have any moral authority. Basically he asked us to examine three areas – 1) have we forgiven people and released any grudges or bitterness we may be holding on to; 2) when it comes to being successful at work or ministry and being successful at home, have we traded in a role anyone could play (work) at the expense of a role nobody else can do (husband/father); 3) have we got our financial house in order by at the minimum giving 10%, saving 10% and living off the other 80%? Get just those three areas right and you’ll be demonstrating and exercising moral authority.
The one that hit closest to home was family. If my kids or my wife feel neglected, they are. Whether I agree or not. I read somewhere that Andy doesn’t work past 4:30PM. He just doesn’t. I’ve heard my kids complain at times because they think I’m gone too much. My wife wants just a piece of me when she deserves to be able to have all of me.
So Discovery – I’m re-doubling my efforts to be all about my family first – and you second. It’s not that I don’t love you or don’t care, but anybody who loves the Lord could lead this church. Only I can lead my family, and I intend to be more intentional about that. What area do you need to work on in shoring up your moral authority?