Christians are quite serious in believing that when they gather together for worship and work, God is present and sovereign, really present and absolutely sovereign.
God creates and guides, God saves and heals, God corrects and blesses, God calls and judges. With such comprehensive and personal leadership from God, what is the place of HUMAN leadership?
It has been said that leaders are born. Others say leaders are shaped by their environment. According to Paul to Timothy, leaders are CALLED and EQUIPPED by God. Leaders, called out by God, are designed to humbly mentor called by God apprentices. As leaders we are to purposely and intentionally look for these “called out” people of God. When God asks us to step up to be a mentor OR to be mentored, we need to listen and act accordingly. God will equip us to equip others. It is not a matter of addition but of multiplication.
Quite obviously, leadership has to be second place. It must not elbow its way to the front, it must not bossily take over. Ego-centered, ego-prominent, leadership betrays the Master. The best leadership in spiritual communities formed in the name of Jesus, the Messiah, is inconspicuous, not calling attention to itself but not sacrificing anything in the way of conviction and firmness either.
In Paul’s letters to two young associates–Timothy in Ephesus and Titus in Crete–we see Paul encouraging and guiding the development of just such leadership. What he had learned so thoroughly himself, he was now passing on and showing them, in turn, how to develop a similar leadership in local congregations. This is essential reading because ill-directed and badly formed spiritual leadership causes much damage in souls. Paul in both his life and his letters shows us how to do it right.
1 and 2 Timothy and Titus are rich in wisdom, insight and understanding that we all cry out for as God-led leaders and mentors. It is a seminary class for leaders who train leaders who train leaders. Leaders are learners. Leaders are called by God to join Him in His work. When people say a humbled, “God, I don’t know what I’m doing” yes to God, then God begins equipping them with all He knows we will need for the journey. He does it every time. He has and is still doing this in me.
CALLED TO LEAD? HERE ARE THE PRINCIPLES:
1 Timothy 1
PAUL IS CALLED
“This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope.”
PAUL MENTORS TIMOTHY
“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.”
“We know that the law is good when used correctly.”
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ.”
ALL GLORY TO GOD
“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.”
“Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear.”
1 Timothy 2
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
“…pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”
“Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”
KNOW YOUR MESSAGE
“This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For,
There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.”
“This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth.
1 Timothy 3
LOOK FOR OTHER LEADERS
“This is a trustworthy saying: ‘If someone aspires to be a church leader,[a] he desires an honorable position.’ So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach.”
“integrity…respected…tells the Truth…faithful to family…humble…committed to the faith in Jesus.”
This is “…how people must conduct themselves in the household of God.”
1 Timothy 4
KNOW YOUR ENEMY
“Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.”
“…train yourself to be godly.”
“…our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.”
LIVE THE FAITH
“Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity…focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.”
“Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.”
1 Timothy 5
HOW TO TREAT OTHERS
“Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.”
“Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her.”
SHOW NO FAVORITISM
“I solemnly command you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and the highest angels to obey these instructions without taking sides or showing favoritism to anyone.”
“Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.”
1 Timothy 6
“Teach these things, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them…”
“These teachings promote a godly life. Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding.”
AVOID THE ARROGANT
“Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.”
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.”
BE THE MAN or WOMAN OF GOD
“But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.”
“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.”
USE WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO GOOD FOR GOD’S GLORY
“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable.”
“Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.”
“Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.”
STAY AWAY FROM ARGUING
“Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness.”
2 Timothy 1
OUR FAITH IS LEAD BY JESUS POWER IN US!
“I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.”
“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
“…never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.”
“Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.”
2 Timothy 2
LEADERS TRAIN LEADERS WHO TRAIN LEADERS…
“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”
ALWAYS PREACH JESUS!
“Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach.”
“I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.”
“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”
“God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,”and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.”
“If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”
“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”
“A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.”
ONLY GOD CHANGES HEARTS
“Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.”
2 Timothy 3
AVOID THESE PEOPLE…
“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money.”
“They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.”
“They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.”
“They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”
“They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires.”
“But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are…”
“…everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.
“But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught.”
“You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.”
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
Who do you trust to mentor/lead you?
What characteristics do you look for in a mentor?
What characteristics must we have to mentor someone else in the faith?
Do you believe leaders are learners?
From whom would you rather learn; one who continues to learn or one who thinks they know it all?
2 Timothy 4
“Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.”
Paul to Titus
CHOOSE THE CALLED OF GOD
“A church leader is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money.”
“Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.”
“Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live.”
Promote Right Teaching
“As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.”
“Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good.”
Do What Is Good
“Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.”
So there we have it! Leadership 101 is given by Paul to the church leaders of God’s people. God’s church is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ who died for our sin, went to hell and back again to defeat death forever. He rose to life and is now preparing a place for us to live with Him forever!
Jesus…our Savior and Lord. Jesus our Hope and Future!
Preach Jesus! Become like Jesus on the journey to Jesus!
Thank you, Lord for lessons we are still learning on the road to our final destination with you.
In Jesus Name, Amen