Shepherding the Church Toward Jesus

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Exclusive Gospel Leader Seminar

GL Seminar

Gospel Leader Webinar

Four-part Monthly Zoominar on Saturday Mornings 9 AM - NOON. (Sept 26, Oct 17, Nov 14, Dec 12)

through Zoom

Led by Pastor Scott Thomas


Gospel Leader: Shepherding the Church Toward Jesus is a four-part seminar to train those who aspire to be a leader at any level, to lead with the gospel—the central message and means for leadership in the church.

Leadership in recent years has relegated to marketing, multiplication, and media instead of ministry. It’s time to lead toward a different goal, that is, the original goal: Jesus, our Good Shepherd. Leaders are servants of Christ and His church, and our primary calling is to lead them to the Head of the church.

Gospel Leader will explore leadership primarily through the gospel but secondarily through the lens of emotional intelligence (EQ). Gospel Leader demonstrates how EQ competencies are consistent with gospel principles and practices. 

Sat., Sept 26 - Session #1: SELF-AWARENESS

1: WATCH: Gospel Leaders Pay Careful Attention to their Soul’s Health

Leaders in Christian ministry have the honor to watch over others’ lives and watch their own lives. Christian leaders care for the flock of God best when they demonstrate both spiritual maturity and emotional intelligence. A leader’s IQ is essential, but EQ is arguably more critical for effective leadership.

Watch with the gospel burning in your heart. Start learning the competencies for emotional maturity. This is how we shepherd the church of God.


For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned (Romans 12:3).

Self-Awareness – I recognize and understand my emotions, moods, and motives. I know how they affect others around me. I know my limitations and can assess my strengths with accuracy. I am aware of my emotions and self-confidence and can have a sense of humor about myself and my circumstances. I display competencies like emotional self-awareness, accurate self-assessment, and self-esteem.

2: DIE: Gospel Leaders Sacrifice to Make a Difference

Leaders display the gospel by sacrificing their lives for the good of others. By dying to self, you love others as Jesus loved you. Nothing short of this desire is acceptable for a gospel leader.

Giving Christ your whole self is not a sacrifice because He transforms you into a new person who makes a difference for eternity.

3: WALK: Gospel Leaders Embrace their Father’s Love

Your life, as a leader, affects many others--positively or negatively. Your walk with the Father sets the musical score for how you relate to others. You are loved dearly by the Father. And you can love others when their actions don’t warrant love.

Leaders are encouraging fathers and nurturing mothers to others in your oversight. The emotion of excessive love starts with God the Father and extends through Christ to us and then on to those we are leading.

4: PLAN: Gospel Leaders Design their Lives with Purpose

To be an effective and productive leader, you need to plan your life according to God’s design. You must be emotionally mature enough to recognize your abilities and inabilities. Then you can trust others to work toward a common goal in a complementary manner. You understand your accomplishments don’t define you. God defines you through the work of Christ.

So, purposely design your life with God’s wisdom and pursue it with passion. We all have excuses for why we can’t do something. Excuses are easy. Leadership of self is difficult. 

Sat., Oct 17 - Session #2: SELF-MANAGEMENT

Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Self-Management – I can control or temper my emotions and act with transparency and integrity. I can think before acting and can disrupt negative impulses or moods. I am flexible, adaptable, and can manage multiple tasks without getting rattled. I strive for personal improvement, and I take the initiative to achieve goals. I can remain hopeful and optimistic, even amid setbacks and changes. I regularly display competencies like emotional self-control, transparency, adaptability, achievement, initiative, and optimism.

5: STAND: Gospel Leaders Pursue Integrity Always

Your integrity as a leader is your most important quality. Integrity is uprightness before God and humankind. You are only five minutes away from a moral catastrophe. The power of Christ, not your will-power, is your only defense.

Gospel Leaders exercise self-management by acting in transparency and taking the initiative for personal integrity. Take a stand against compromise and isolation from those who know you best. 

6: LEARN: Gospel Leaders Explore New Ideas

How you learn from experiences plays a crucial role in your leadership influence. Not every endeavor needs to be successful if you learn something from experience. Your leadership agility in times of crisis and transition measures your leadership skills. Leadership agility may be the master competency necessary for sustained success in today’s uncertain future.

Jesus is not calling you to play it safe. He didn’t back down to the religious leaders, and He called His disciples to start a revolution. To be a disciple of Jesus means you must learn about Him and His mission for the church to the world.

7: REST: Gospel Leaders Commit to Sabbath

God is the author and Creator of rest. Leaders who consistently rest from their labors open a door for greater fellowship with God, leading to personal holiness. You need a weekly day to rest, renew, and reflect on God’s grace and goodness. You have to guard this with dogged determination.

By your actions, you will decide to be a restless leader or a rested leader. Just as God designed you to work six days, He created you to rest one day. Your rested soul is a gift to those you lead. 

Sat., Nov 14 - Session #3: RELATIONAL AWARENESS

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14).

Relational Awareness – I lead with empathy by reading the subtle emotional signals of others. I try to listen carefully to their needs, both spoken and unspoken. I am aware of the interplay of others in the organization and how they affect the outcomes. I serve for the good of others through hard work and sacrifice, and I inspire others to do likewise.

8: LOVE: Gospel Leaders Love the Church

Your love for the church is a seemingly obvious quality as a church leader. That love begins in your heart as a theological understanding. Christ loves the church because she is His Bride--in all her unloveliness. You can love her too.

A relationally-aware leader will focus on the needs of the congregants. You aren’t the centerpiece of ministry. Jesus, the Bridegroom, wants His Bride, the church, to unite with Him as one. Your role is to enable that oneness, even if you get overlooked. If you love Jesus, loving His Bride is a decision you make in your mind that will grow, over time, in your heart.

9: SERVE: Gospel Leaders Lead with Humility

Your pride, as a leader, is the vilest of all sins. Pride is pro-Devil, while humility is pro-Jesus. You are the common container for an uncommon treasure of the gospel.

If you are a self-aware leader, you will recognize when you want the credit for something. We are all guilty. But Jesus made himself nothing and took on the form of a servant and humbled Himself. We are pointing others toward Jesus. You lead best by serving first.

10: SPEAK: Gospel Leaders Communicate with Graceful Candor

Any emotionally immature leader can be forceful and manipulative. God calls church leaders to be both gentle and firm. These are not antithetical concepts. Jesus spoke out against hypocrisy, but He did not crush the oppressed. You can simultaneously be full of conviction and compassion.

You will communicate regularly with the congregants. You will need to pay attention to how you say something as much as what you say. You can learn to speak with graceful honesty, and it will make church ministry much more joyous. 

Sat., Dec 12 - Session #4: RELATIONAL MANAGEMENT

I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Relational Management – I can communicate clearly and convincingly to inspire, influence, and coach others toward the task. I can spearhead a change in the organization. I can convince others to work together as a team and to solve relational conflicts among one another. I can retain talent in tenuous circumstances. I regularly demonstrate competencies of inspirational leadership, influence, developing others, being a change catalyst, conflict management, and teamwork and collaboration.

11: GUIDE: Gospel Leaders Relate as Family

The church has wrongly adopted the Western world’s business principles as the “best practices” for its function. I believe this is a fundamental mistake with dire consequences. Church leadership is not business leadership principles spiritualized with a sprinkling of Bible verses, but rather, Christ-centered family leadership. As one leads the home, so one leads the church.

You are a familial leader. Relational management is crucial in the home and the church. Humility, gentleness, patience, love, unity, and peace need to dominate your church business meetings, staff meetings, counseling sessions, financial reviews, etc. In other words, like a loving, functional family.

12: COACH: Gospel Leaders Develop Other Leaders

Faithful Christians will make disciples, but gospel leaders focus on making other leaders. A person doesn't learn to lead by attending a class or reading a book on leadership. A person learns to lead best when he or she begins to lead others and receives helpful, honest coaching. Healthy leaders always intentionally develop other leaders.

When you have EQ, you are not afraid to develop others to do the ministry’s work to build up the body of Christ to full maturity so that the organization experiences health. When you strengthen others, they fortify the organization with an unstoppable force.

13: YOKE: Gospel Leaders Grow Meaningful Friendships

God does not expect leaders to journey alone.  You need friendships--deep, meaningful friendships. If you fail to unite with believers, you are vulnerable to an all-out demonic siege. You cannot fight the good fight alone for prolonged periods. You need faithful bringers of the gospel in your life. Jesus wants Christians to completely give themselves to one another in community, just as the Father, Son, and Spirit enjoy real community.

Gospel friendship displays Jesus’ love for us and our validity as His friend. When we love one another with brotherly affection, we commit to caring for others, being cared for by others, fighting for others, and being fought for by others. We must take this divine gospel friendship oath seriously, initiating a real community with those whom God entrusts to us as companions and standing by their sides to fight for God’s glory.