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The Gift of Leadership
1 Timothy 4:11-16
August 30, 2001
Introduction: Someone has said that 1 Timothy describes the ideal church that every preacher would love to serve. 2 Timothy describes the ideal minister that every church would love to have. 1 Timothy 3:15 presents the theme of the letter: "I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth." Chapter 4 divides into three sections: verses 1-5 explain why leadership is so critical in the church then or now—false teaching and false living abounds; verses 6-10 outline what a good leader does—the leader keeps the main thing the main thing; verses 11-16 detail how a leader of excellence goes about doing this. In the midst of all of this, the chapter confronts the question of how a gifted young person handles the responsibility of leadership when called to minister amidst older folk.
To get at our theme I want to identify four common but false notions (or Ministry Myths) about leadership that often accompanies the topic of "the gifts of the Holy Spirit."
Ministry Myth #1—If the Spirit provides ministry gifts to all believers (which I believe Scripture teaches), then leadership is not important. If we are all gifted, it is sometimes inferred, then we are all leaders! Any distinction between leaders and followers evaporates.
Nothing about the work of the Holy Spirit or his gifts makes leadership unnecessary. Our entire chapter presents a case for leadership. Verses 1-5 explain why leaders are so critical. The faith is not an every man for himself, designer religion in which everyone gets to pick and choose what to believe and teach or obey. False teachers and false doctrine exist. Someone must teach the truth, expose the lie, and show by example how faith and life go together. That is in part the task of leadership.
There are three primary words often translated ...
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