Thursday, 9 July 2009

TOAM: Leaders Session 2: Joel Virgo

This talk was outstanding. The best of the conference so far, and one of the most encouraging for me personally at the conference over the last few years.

A really down to earth, dug into reality, rubber hits the road look at what it is like when you are not the lead elder. Bingo!

He made a big joke of using the passage from 1 Samuel 14 about Jonathan and his armour bearer, which has been used twice in recent years from the platform. Kind of proves Phil Whittall's point, but amusing all the same.


  • Plurality of God is expressed as we work in team
  • Ministry grows exponentially in team (Deut 32:30)
  • There is still order in plurality
  • There are distinct roles within plurality (1 Cor 15)
  • Plurality of leadership is a reflection of the trinity
  • There are different roles but equal worth. There is someone with responsibility who leads the team and shapes the team and provides direction, and together we move forward.

We need to elevate the role of the local committed team player.

Amen Joel, Amen, as in walking up onto the platform and giving you a hug for saying who I am matters kind of amen.

Are team leaders always looking for a new Church planter or a new team leader? Who is raising up new team players? Where does scripture say we should only raise up headline leaders? Leadership throughout the body is needed and must never be undervalued.

We have "Lead elders", "Younger leaders", "Evangelists" conferences, is it time for "Team players" weekend?!!!

And then we read from 1 Samuel 14: 1-23


  • You have to be very careful who you commit to, it is not a blind thing
  • Herod said similar to a stripper and John the Baptist lost his life
  • We have to be sure what is on their heart.
  • We need to feel a peace about trusting them
  • Do we take time to consider what is on their heart? Do we listen to their prayers, what they are living for?
  • Not all find their guidance the same way as Jonathan! (v8-10)
  • We need to find our own way of hearing God
  • We should not compare and judge other people’s style of hearing God. From a burning bush to (Moses) to some wet laundry (Gideon) each needs to hear from God.


  • With this guy alongside him Jonathan is covered.
  • Leaders have a vision, they set a trajectory
  • They need people to help work out the implications for all aspects of Church life, to make it happen
  • Without you their vision may not happen
  • There is a complimentarity to it, like Moses & Jethro
  • But in Ex 32 Aaron does not cover Moses back well in his absence, with dreadful results.
  • We can help to cover weaknesses. Not cover up as in sweep under the carpet, we challenge, we rebuke, we admonish but we help through it, help them get over it
  • If you drop the ball it is not “game over”
  • We need to be strong where others are weak
  • We need to be effective where others are ineffective
  • Do we really trust each other? Paul said Timothy was of “proven worth”. In 1 Chron 12 They were asked if they could be trusted? Are we building on real trust.


  • Saul etc joined in
  • Jonathan and His armour bearer did not try to claim the glory for themselves
  • They did not set up the “Jonathan and Armour Bearer Military Academy” and set up a “The way to Victory” programme on God Channel.

In 3 John 9 we meet Diotrephes. The desire to be first caused great difficulty. Maybe we are part of someone else’s story as much as we are writing our own?

In all these things we just need to be satisfied that we know God and are saved by Him. The rest is up to Him. We must not seek it or need it, but seek to serve God and each other as God calls, not seeing hierarchy but seeing unity.

Then we really will know what it is to be “Together on a Mission

Awesome talk Joel, absolutely spot on. My highlight of the conference so far by a long way.

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