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Summary: A look at the neccesity of having Christ-centered leaders who lead by example.


(Based on Bob Russel’s When God Builds a Church)

TEXT: 1 PETER 5:1-4


INTRODUCTION: A. Tom Landry was head coach for the Dallas Cowboys for almost 30 years. The

USA TODAY headline that announced his death in the year 2000 read: “Landry’s

Death Leaves Texas-Size Legacy.”

The Cowboy’s personnel director said, “He was a man of substance who knew

what his priorities were in life.” Landry told people: “Football is down the list with

me. My religion comes first. My wife comes second. Then football.”

Tom Landry was tremendously successful as the Cowboys head coach. One

commentator said, “Landry’s legacy is far more than that as the NFL’s third-

winningest coach. It is more than two Super Bowl triumphs. We remember him for

what he stood for as a person. Decency. Dignity. Honesty. Loyalty. Go ahead – try

to find a Tom Landry in the NFL these days.”

Landry was once asked how he dealt with setbacks. He answered, “I suffer after

losses, but fortunately do recover quickly. My relationship with Christ gives me a

source of power I would not have otherwise.”

Tom Landry provided the significant leadership he did through strength of

character and faith with his priorities intact. He knew that football was just a game

and that integrity mattered on the field and off. As former Cowboy Drew Pierson

said, “Landry was a teacher. He taught a lot more than football.”

B. Over the last several years, I have spent a considerable amount of time studying

churches that are growing.

1. Some experience a big boom and then a big bust.

2. The ones that have grown and keep growing are the ones I’ve continued to study.

3. The guidelines you’ve heard me speaking about are the principles that are

consistent in every congregation that is growing spiritually and physically

--Amazingly, all these guidelines are the same ones that are given to us in the New

Testament and implemented in the 1st Century church.

4. This morning’s guideline concerning Christ-centered leadership is the guideline that

makes all the others work.

a. You can implement every other guideline except this one and the guidelines will

ultimately fail

b. Studying congregations the way I do, I see a desperate need for good leadership

in most churches.

c. In fact, one of the Christian publishing houses recently concluded that the

greatest need in Christian churches in America is the need for leadership.

5. Too often we look for gimmicks, programs, and ideas that will make our church

grow, while God is looking for consecration and genuine commitment among the

church’s leaders.

C. Our text this morning speaks only about elders.

1. However, as I read the New Testament and its God-given plan for the church, the

same general principles apply to leaders all around.

2. Whether you know it or not, YOU are a leader

a. Someone is watching you and learning from you.

b. It could be a child, a grandchild, a co-worker, a neighbor, or anyone else

--Your life is leading someone in a direction whether good or bad

C. Bill Hybels makes a very important observation:

When God wanted His people delivered from an oppressive Pharaoh, He used a

leader named Moses. When He needed Jerusalem’s wall rebuilt, He used a leader

named Nehemiah. When He wanted His people to experience a golden era, He used a

leader named David. When He wanted to build a temple, He used a leader named

Solomon. When He needed a statesman-prophet, He used a leader named Isaiah. And

when He needed a fearless church planter, He used a leader named Paul.

Throughout history, whenever God has needed someone to initiate, organize, and

carry out an important project, He has called upon leaders. And since His priority

from Pentecost to today has been to build a redemptive community that would flourish

in the midst of a resistant culture, it makes sense that He would turn to leaders again.

After all, who’s going to cast the vision of or creatively imagine the future for a

biblically functioning community? Who’s going to uphold the value of prayer, make

sure the sacraments are honored, and insist that spiritual gifts are in use throughout the

church” Who’s going to coordinate ministries, establish small-group structure, lift

high the importance of worship, and inspire the church to reach out to spiritually lost


D. To be a great church, we have to have Christ-centered leadership.

1. We have to develop leaders that will guide this congregation for a long time.

2. We need leaders who are sold-out for the cause of Christ

3. We need leaders who are deeply respected by all who know them

4. We need leaders who are committed to making this congregation a church built on

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Larry Campbell

commented on Sep 26, 2015

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