Servant Leaders – Part 1
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV)
As with Israel in Samuel’s day, the condition of our churches, families, and nation is tremendously influenced by the mind-set of our leaders. This is an inescapable truth. That’s why [the apostle] Paul wrote to Timothy, a pastor, emphasizing what effective leadership should look like. One of his main reminders was to serve with humility the flock God had given Timothy to shepherd.
As leaders, we have as a goal not to have people serve us, but rather to aim at putting their needs first. Pastors and teachers aren’t the VIPs; the folks in the pew are.
Listen to the apostle’s style of leadership: “Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (1 Thessalonians 2:7b-8). Paul goes on to say that he and his fellow ministers worked hard not to be a burden to the people they loved (v. 9). He describes his interactions with them as the way “a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging [them] to live lives worthy of God” (vv. 11-12).
Imagine watching Paul ministering to the people like a mother nursing her baby or a father encouraging and comforting his children. It’s in the same spirit of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.
Contrast those scenes with some of our contemporary religious superstars who demand ridiculous speaking fees and luxurious hotel accommodations. Which do you think better represents Jesus Christ, whom we are called to proclaim?
To be continued…
-Pastor Cymbala (excerpted from Strong through the Storm)
Read 1 Timothy chapter 4.