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  • Writer's pictureWes Van Fleet

Equipping Leaders at Kaleo

Kaleo Church,

    By nature I am a people pleaser and believe I am self-sufficient. One of the ways this has manifested itself in my role as one of your pastors is saying yes to too much. I say yes to too much because I love Jesus and love His people. But I also say yes to too much because I often forget Jesus is building His church and I think I can do it better. After my sabbatical a couple years ago, I came back with a shared vision with the other leaders to spend more time equipping the Missional Community and DNA leaders to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians. 4:11-12). Well, I found myself back in my normal habits of saying yes to every meeting, every request, and not doing what should be my primary role at Kaleo Church. 

    When we hired Josh Moffit recently, one of the main goals was to free me up to get back to my role. Over the years I have poured a lot of time into equipping Missional Community leaders ready to start leading, but have done a poor job of continual equipping and support. With God providing Josh Moffit to love and serve Kaleo, this allows me the time to move forward and be purposeful with leadership development and discipleship.

     What to expect: We highly value shepherding at Kaleo Church. Honestly, that is why I have said yes to too much over the years. But our Missional Community model of church is driven by the conviction that each community has pastor-like under-shepherds that will love and lead each community. As I spend more time with these guys, and with the DNA leaders as well, it will mean me saying no to some counseling. For example, if you are not in my Missional Community and request counseling, most times I will agree to meet with you and your Missional Community leader. After that meeting, I will give you and your Missional Community leader some steps forward in the counseling and discipleship process. If I say no to you, it isn't a lack of love but a bigger and broader view of Christ and his church. It is a view that really takes into consideration that people in the church are gifted to do the work of the ministry (1 Cor. 12:12-25). The goal of all of this is to have healthier and more equipped leaders that can shepherd and serve the church in Missional Communities and in DNA groups. 

    This is exciting and hard for me. It's exciting because these are areas I am passionate about and thrive in. It is hard though because saying no makes me feel bad. It exposes that I believe I am able to more by my own strength than by the strength of the Lord. In the Kaleo Bible Reading (KBR) on July 31, we were in 2 Corinthians 3. In that passage, the Lord freed me to not grasp to control or function in my own strength. Paul writes, "Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Cor. 3:5-6). I am a pastor because the all-sufficient God of creation has called me to be. He calls me to not be pleased or find my sufficiency in the applause of man but in Him who provides it all.

    The passage ends with one of my favorite theological truths in Scripture: "But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, behold the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:16-18). This passage is so rich with Old Testament imagery, but what encouraged me is that one of the Spirit of God's ministries in the church is to turn the eyes of His people to the glory of Christ. And when we behold His glory, the Spirit changes us to be more like Jesus. This is freedom. This is the remedy for people-pleasing and self-sufficiency. And this is the role of every minister of the new covenant. We are a people that are actively being changed by the united work of the Trinity. As the local body of Christ at Kaleo, we get the incredible privilege of pointing one another to the glory of Christ, by the Spirit of God! Amazing! - Pastor Wes Van Fleet

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