Tuesday, April 12, 2016

6 marks of godly Leadership

Read Acts 20.

Paul was a man on mission.  His focus majored on fulfilling God's purpose for his life.  The personal cost was of no consideration to him.  "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." (v.24)

One of hallmarks of Paul's ministry was not only marked by this dogged determination as to what he did but how he served.  In preparing the Ephesian leaders for his departure, he recounted for them some important leadership keys from his own example.  No less than six of these appear in verses 17-24.

1. Character.
Here the great Apostle Paul did not "lord it over" others with his authority.  Though he certainly could have been, he was not bossy.  He served with "all humility", even providing for himself financially as need be (18:3).

2. Compassion.
He desired that others would come to know Christ and to be saved from an eternity of punishment.  This was not just sound doctrine for him.  He genuinely cared for people to the point of weeping over their spiritual needs.

3. Conflict.
Everywhere he went there was opposition, rejection, and worse.  First of all, sharing the Gospel is spiritual war.  The devil will do whatever he can to discourage, stop, and get rid of the messenger.  Time and again, there were crowds demonically fueled with hatred and murder for no reason other than Paul had helped people and preached a message of forgiveness.  Through it all, he remained unwavering in his personal faith and world mission.

4. Content.
Paul never changed his message no matter what.  He only looked for ways to deliver it.  He taught in synagogues, spoke in public forums such as Mars Hill, and in private homes.  Regardless of the context, he always spoke of "repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

5. Community.
In every place, Paul left behind a committed group of baptized believers; a local church.  These folks came from all walks of life.  The Gospel breaks down each culture's barriers to bring together as one the rich and poor, the Jew and the Greek, the male and the female, the young and the old.

6. Constrained.
He was bound by the Holy Spirit to keep on serving Jesus.  He could do nothing else.  God called him in Acts 9.  His marching orders in 9:15 were clear-"...to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel."  Knowing that there is great reward for those who faithfully serve the Lord, Paul wrote, "...as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death."

That is godly leadership!

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