Summary: Challenges by Paul to the church
Challenges – Are we ready to step up to Paul’s Challenges?
I. Challenge to Churches (12-13)
a. We are to Respect, Recognize, and Honor our Leaders
1. Senior Pastor
2. Youth Pastor
3. Deacon Leadership
aa. Pray for Them
• Prayerless pews equal power-less pulpits
• Pray for not only them but their families
bb. Work with Them
• God has called them – trust God
cc. Encourage Them
Ill: 5 ways to get rid of your Pastor – Gene Getz
• Sit up front, smile, and say “amen” everytime he says something food. He will preach himself to death.
• Pat him on the back and tell him what good work he is doing in the church and the community. He will work himself to death.
• Increase your offering to the church. He will suffer from shock.
• Tell him you’ve decided to share your faith and win souls for Christ. He will probably suffer a heart attack.
• Get the whole church to band together and pray for him. He will get so efficient that some other church will hear about him and give him a call. That will take him off your hands.
b. We are to Respect, Recognize and Honor our Teachers
1. SS Teachers
2. Wednesday Workers/Leadership
* “Esteem” – huperekperisos – LOVE ABUNDANTLY
aa. Send a card thanking them for their service
bb. Send an e-mail thanking them for their service
c. We are to live in peace with leadership
”I think living in peace with your spiritual leaders means you speak highly of them and refuse to criticize them. I find it rather interesting that very few people will criticize leaders to their face, but they will shred them behind their back. I don’t think that it is because people are intimidated by most leaders, rather they know what they are saying is not honoring to God. Yet in churches throughout America, gossip and slander continue to be the most prevalent sins committed. In fact, more churches have been split by malicious gossip than by all the doctrinal heresies that have ever been invented. Thus, we should take this sin seriously. If you hear another brother or sister ripping on a leader, rebuke that person. Don’t tolerate this sin or you are an accomplice who will be held guilty. If someone is talking about my wife, I’m not going to listen in and remain quiet. I’m not going to worry about hurting that person’s feelings. Instead, I’m going to rebuke that person. Too many Christians are afraid of offending someone so we let a leader be run into the ground. This is sin! Perhaps today you need to make a commitment that you will not criticize a spiritual leader. Or maybe you need to commit to not listening in while others criticize your leaders. If there was more praise coming from God’s people, there would be more power in our ministries. Tragically, many members have never said a kind word to those who are in leadership. Today, commit to a ministry of encouragement.
[We should esteem church leaders. Why? Because this showcases the unity of the church.]
II. Challenge to Church Membership (14-15)
a. We are to “Warn the Unruly”
1. Those who break out of line
2. Love one another as Christ loves us
b. We are to “Comfort the Feeble minded”
1. Those who are discouraged
2. Those who are overwhelmed
3. Those who are struggling
4. Encourage Them!
c. We are to “Support the weak”
1. Those who are exhausted and burned-out
2. WE ARE TO PRAY FOR THEM – THAT’S OUR BEST WEAPON
d. We are to “Be Patient to all men”
Charlie Brown: “I love the world – it’s people that I cannot stand”
1. The wild children in your class or around you may be the next great missionary to a foreign land or the young man who is wild as a buck may be the next Billy Graham. Be patient!
e. We are to “Treat one another as you would want to be treated”
NOTE: Church membership is important! It provides you and I the following:
1. Accountability Partners
2. Accessibility to Spiritual Food (Training/Discipling/Fellowship)
3. Ability to participate in the “Body of Christ”. There’s a reason we are the BODY OF CHRIST!
a. Church hopping will lead an individual to confusion. There are different doctrines taught on every corner. Get involved – join in – and help win others to Christ Jesus. That’s the basis of it all!
b. I believe that if we will follow Paul’s challenge – a unified church – following the Lordship of Jesus Christ – WILL BE THE RESULT
III. Challenge to Christ-followers (16-18)
a. Be joyful – “Rejoice evermore”
1. Chairo = to rejoice, to be glad, to be well, to thrive