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How to Practice Spiritual Leadership In Your Relationship

with

Matt Ayres

Heart of Dating welcomes Matt Ayers to the show! Matt is a close friend to Kait and he helped start Vintage Church in Santa Monica, CA. He’s been married for 6 years to his beautiful wife Stephanie.

Matthew Ayers is a founding member, treasurer and executive board member of Vintage Church in LA. Outside of his involvement at the church, Matthew manages the investments of a handful of very wealthy families at Alex Brown. Matt lives in west Los Angeles with his wife, Stephanie and his two daughters, Riley and Dylan.He is a avid reader, a golfer and loves to travel.

A few years ago Kait heard Matt speak on discipleship at their yearly church retreat, and she was blown away by his input, and convictions. Soon after, Kait tracked him down at a leadership event their church was throwing and asked him follow up questions. Since then Kait has gotten to know both him and his wife, Steph, and have grown to love both of them in how they do marriage and how them mentor and disciple others.

Today Matt and Kait dive into the conversation of discipleship and spiritual leadership, and they talk about how that applies to men specifically in dating relationships. It’s an incredibly rich discussion. They even touch on gender roles and leadership at the end which is dynamite, so you will want to make sure you stay till the end to hear what they discuss!

Why is spiritual leadership important for men?

  • Being a spiritual leader is just to live in a way that exemplifies Christ and you live your life so that people see Jesus-like qualities in the way you live.
  • Discipleship is an intentional act while spiritual leadership is a way of living.
  • We’re always teaching even if we don’t realize it. So we have to be intentional about what we’re teaching.

How can we call up men to become spiritual leaders?

  • You may be the only Bible some people read so you have to act Christ-like.
  • In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul tells us to be more like Christ.
  • Evangelism is also about how you live out your faith!

How do you practical being a spiritual leader in singleness and in dating?

  • Regardless if you’re single or not, being a spiritual leader is about being focused on God.
  • When you’re single you have more time than in any other season to truly focus on God.
  • If you’re single, utilize your time to grow and become more like Jesus.
  • If you’re dating, you want to evaluate and make sure that your separate walks with Christ are compatible as well.
  • Set your standards high and don’t compromise… but also you need to ask yourself, “Are YOU the person THEY are looking for?
  • “A Christian guy or girl is going to fall in love with the Jesus they see in YOU.”
  • Your call is being a spiritual leader regardless if you’re single or not.
  • You can’t put the desire of a relationship first, you have to put God first. Be prepared to be single and fall in love with God first.
  • “God honors your obedience and trust”.

How do you think being a spiritual leader in a dating relationship plays out for men?

  • Remember that dating and marriage are separate things. It’s not your job to change someone or make someone a certain way.
  • When you’re dating, you’re simply getting to know someone to see if they’re someone you’d like to marry. 
  • When dating someone, you want to get to know their faith.

What are some essential steps in our life that we can take to become better spiritual leaders?

  • Look at Jesus’s life and follow steps He took.
  • Know and love Christ. You’re going to be more like Him, the more you know Him and you’ll know yourself better as well.
  • Love God and love others. Discipleship begins with loving others. 
  • Be Humble. Jesus has all authority, yet came as a servant. The key to being a leader is servitude.
  • A marriage is one of the most selfless acts that is sacrificial so we need to practice what Jesus models in John 13. Jesus leads through serving others.

Why do you think having a “Board of Advisors” is important?

  • Having a “Board of Advisors” is simply having people you respect that you can call on for godly counsel and accountability.
  • Having a “Board of Advisors” is crucial for being a spiritual leader.
  • Having mentors help you take care of yourself, and “If you’re not filling yourself up, you’re not going to be able to give to anyone else”.
  • Dating is an evaluation and you want to evaluate fairly. Having a board who is not emotionally involved helps with that. 

How can women in a relationship have a voice as well?

  • It’s the same instruction for women as it is for men. We are called to love Jesus, love others, and disciple others.
  • As far as co-leading, Scripture does give us specific gender roles, however these scriptures have oftentimes been taken out of context.
  • Submission is not a negative term. Jesus himself submitted himself to God the father. God has redefined what authority is.
  • Both men and women are equally important in the relationship.
  • The way you lead is by serving, so to co-lead, you serve one another. 

What’s your final nugget of dating advice?

  • Focus on God, glorify Him, and that is your goal.
  • This life is not about you, it’s about Him. 
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