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Summary: In the message we will see several characteristics of a great leader. (1 Thessalonians pt-2)

"FOLLOW THE LEADER"

I THESSALONIANS 2:1-12

THOMAS MONAGHAN IS FOUNDER , PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF DOMINO’S PIZZA, INC. FROM 1970 - 1985, DOMINO’S GREW FROM A SMALL DEBT RIDDEN CHAIN TO THE SECOND LARGEST PIZZA COMPANY IN AMERICA, WITH SALES OVER A BILLION DOLLARS.

WHEN ASKED TO ACCOUNT FOR THE PHENOMENAL GROWTH OF THE COMPANY, MONAGHAN EXPLAINED, "I PROGRAMMED EVERYTHING FOR GROWTH." (AND HOW DID HE PLAN FOR GROWTH?) "EVERYDAY WE DEVELOP PEOPLE -- THE KEY TO GROWTH IS DEVELOPING PEOPLE. NOT SPECIAL CHEESE, NOT TASTY CRUST, NOT FAST DELIVERY, BUT PEOPLE! PEOPLE ARE THE KEY TO ALL EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP..."

HARRY TRUMAN ONCE COMMENTED ON THE IMPORTANCE OF POLLS TO LEADERSHIP, WITH THE FOLLOWING INSIGHT, "I WONDER HOW FAR MOSES WOULD HAVE GONE IF HE’D TAKEN A POLL IN EGYPT? WHAT WOULD JESUS CHRIST HAVE PREACHED IF HE TAKEN A POLL IN ISRAEL? WHERE WOULD THE REFORMATION HAVE GONE IF MARTIN LUTHER HAD TAKEN A POLL? IT ISN’T THE POLLS OR PUBLIC OPINION OF THE MOMENT THAT COUNTS. IT IS RIGHT AND WRONG AND LEADERSHIP -- MEN WITH FORTITUDE, HONESTY, AND A BELIEF IN THE RIGHT -- THAT MAKES EPOCHS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD..."

GENERAL EISENHOWER WOULD DEMONSTRATE THE ART OF LEADERSHIP WITH A PIECE OF SIMPLE STRING.. HE’D PUT IT ON THE TABLE AND SAY: "PULL IT AND IT WILL FOLLOW WHEREVER YOU WISH. PUSH IT AND IT WILL GO NOWHERE AT ALL. IT’S JUST THAT WAY WHEN IT COMES TO LEADING PEOPLE. THEY NEED TO FOLLOW A PERSON WHO IS LEADING BY EXAMPLE..."

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we are going to talk about leadership today.... My message is entitled “follow the leader.” The church in Thessalonica, as we said last week, was a model church -- Paul said that their faith, was a faith worth, talking about, he said that these Christians had it together.

And if we want a faith worth talking about, we need to follow their example.

The work they did in the church, was produced by faith in Christ...not by guilt or duty... they had ministries not jobs in the church...

And their labor, the struggle and effort, that they exerted for the work of the kingdom, was prompted by a love for Jesus and a love for others.

Their endurance, their stick-to-it-ness -- there willingness to endure pain for kingdom work, their ability to tread water just a little longer was inspired by their hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. They knew that someday they would have the life they always dreamed of.

And they were imitators of Jesus....They did what Jesus would do.

And they had turned from idols (from all God substitutes) in their lives, to serve the living and true God.

And finally, the Thessalonians were not, waiting their ship to come in, or for prince or princess charming to ride in on a white horses and carry them off into the sunset to live happily ever after -- NO, THEY WERE WAITING for Jesus Christ to come and take them home.... THEY WERE WAITING TO LIVE IN A BETTER PLACE, They were waiting to be where they belong.

Yes, the Christians in Thessalonica were and still are, a model for all believers...for us/me/you...

Question But how did they get that way? What was it that led to them having this kind of faith?

One important key was leadership... Paul, Silas and Timothy provided invaluable leadership for the church in Thessalonica. Theirs was a leadership worth following -- a leadership, that

made things happen, a leadership that changed and motivated people.

Our task, our mission this morning, is to discover the characteristics of Paul’s leadership; to see what it was, that made Paul’s leadership click and achieve such great results...

BUT Before we begin, let’s note something about the background of this letter. As we said last week, Paul’s visit to Thessalonica was a short one - His quick success angered a lot of people, people who then hired a mob that forced Paul and his friends to flee the city, under the cover of darkness...

Now, these very same people who hired the mob tired to take advantage of Paul’s sudden disappearance, by discrediting Paul, in an effort to undermine his authority and his gospel.

They launched an all out malicious smear campaign. As you read our text and the rest of chapters 2 and 3, and hear Paul’s defense of his ministry -- it is pretty easy to reconstruct the slander of his critics....

“He ran away, he took off,” they sneered. “Why do you think he left so quick? If he really cared about you - then he would have stayed, or at least said good bye instead of sneaking out in the middle of the night. I bet you haven’t even heard from him since he left town. I can’t believe you let this smooth talking guy - catch you hook line and sinker. We’ve seen his type before - just another phoney teacher - who rides in one day, throws out a few fancy words that con the naive, and then leaves the next day...”

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