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Godly Leaders (30)
Christopher B. Harbin
1 Thessalonians 2:1-20
We are surrounded by leaders and would-be leaders. Many hold fast to such a title, promoting themselves. Others are pressed into leadership, kicking and screaming. Some want to lead with an iron fist. Others model how we should live. Some lead as facilitators, some as managers, some as coaches, and others as friends. There are many styles and classes of leadership, but there are only a few of the same that match up with the demands of the gospel upon the life, character, and interactions of a leader among the church. Instead of looking to the models of the world around us for leadership and what it means to be an effective leader, we need to be looking to what the Bible has to say. Are our leaders those who model and teach what we find in the life and example of Christ and the early Church?
Paul had been to Thessaloniki and worked there directly as a leader. He was not the kind of leader our world generally prizes. He did not build himself up. He did not use leadership to advance his own comfort and personal benefit. He did not present false information, manipulate people's emotions, or act out of selfish ambition to advance his position. Rather contrary to the standards of the secular world, Paul served in humility with a willingness to suffer to uphold the truth of his message, working to advance the benefit of others, rather than his own.
In more than one town along his missionary journeys, Paul was imprisoned, beaten, or otherwise run out of town in violent response to his teaching. He upset the apple cart for the power brokers of the day in too many ways. He did not follow the rules for getting along with the powerful. Instead, he placed himself in submission to God, and God alone. It was a recipe for disaster in so many ways. It was a recipe to advance his own suffering, rather than his comfort.
Having worked in the sales industry for some time, I am well awa ...
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