Review : For the last few weeks we have focused our attention on the cost of discipleship. Suffering, hardship and sacrifice are all marks of following Jesus. Yet in spite of this, the church at Thess. continued to grow and experience great joy knowing that they were honoring Jesus and Paul makes it clear that all these t hings were not in vain but were wise investments in eternity that paid lasting dividends in this world. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
I enjoyed the 5-day clubs this past week - we memorized Bible verses, sang songs and learned about John Patton , a pioneer missionary to the New Hebrides Islands off the coast of Australia. What an amazing story of faith, adventure & sacrifice. If you want to know more just ask one of the summer missionaries but don’t be surprised if they only tells you part of the story then make you come back for the rest. After studying about Patton on line I discovered that his steadfastness & success can be traced back to his home life where he lived with ten brothers & sisters in a 3-room cottage under the love & care of his mother and the faithful leadership of his father. Let him tell you in his own words.
In our small house, “ the closet was our Sanctuary... oftentimes each day... we saw our father retire there and shut the door; we children understood that prayers we being poured out for us... We knew whence came that happy light ,,, dawning on my father’s face - it was a reflection of the Divine presence... My soul would often wander back to these early scenes and hearing still the echoes of my father’s cries to God would hurl back all doubts w/ victorious appeal, “Papa walked w/ God, why not I?” On the day I left home “ Father’s final counsels, tears and heavenly prayers ... are still in my heart as if it had been yesterday... I vowed by the help of God, to live and act so as never to grieve or dishonor such a father and mother as He had given to me.”
The Church is starving for leaders like Patton’s Mom & Dad who instilled lasting loyalty to God in their son.
Intro. - Most people would agree that there is a real dearth of capable, inspiring leaders these days. This is not only true in our nation but also in our homes & churches. The ineptitude of Christian parents & church leaders has led to our young people leaving the Faith in droves looking elsewhere for fulfillment and meaning. Loved Ones, don’t be deceived this is a national epidemic and it can be traced back to poor spiritual leadership. CT latest poll suggests that 3 out of 4 children raised in Christian homes leave the church after they are out of the home (CT; Aug, ‘07)
What can we do about this? How can church leaders be effective spiritually? How can parents have a genuine and lasting impact on the next generation?
The NT tells us to follow our leaders; but how can I be sure that this is a safe thing to do?
Is there a leadership model in the Bible for us to follow? Yes, in our text we have a standard for spiritual leadership by which we can evaluate our lives & the lives of those who lead us.