Summary: As the family of God, our hearts and lives must support and love and help and hold up our spiritual leaders.
1. The Bible has a lot to say about what it takes to be that spiritual man, that spiritual woman that will be used of God to be leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ.
a. As a church, we’ve studied many of these passages like Exodus 18 & the books of 1-2 Timothy & Titus.
b. The ingredients are essential & not debatable.
NOTE: So what is it that God looks for when He chooses a leader?
Does He used the same criteria that man often uses?
• Is it charisma? Can he hold & influence an audience?
• Is it style? Does he “LOOK LIKE” a leader?
• Is it his voice? Does he “SOUND LIKE” a leader?
• Is it humor? Can he keep them entertained?
WELL FIRST AND FOREMOST God looks to the heart of a man and a woman to serve in His Church.
• His character. Her love for God’s people.
• Let’s look at 1 Timothy 3:1ff
APP: I’m convinced that whether you’re looking for a pastor to fill the pulpit or just a leader to lead in the church…
• I think we make a mistake choosing those with CHARISMA but lack the depth of Christ-like character.
• Too many have been chosen for their STYLE even when they had no spiritual substance in their lives.
• I think the church may enjoy the HUMOR of the man and not really care whether there is any holiness flowing in his life.
GUYS… why is this so important? Why should we care?
• There’re a lot of fakes & phonies in the Christian world.
• There’s a lot of personalities, promotion, & gimmicks designed to rule over you and short change your spiritual life.
• Christian celebrities & so-called spiritual superstars.
• But where are the men & women of sacrifice & service.
• We don’t hear much about them… sort of ignored these days.
NOW when you find these men and women serving in your church, in this church, how are they to be treated?
• What is to be our response to them?
I’ll admit to you this morning, this message makes me a little uncomfortable because it can so easily be misinterpreted.
• It may even sound a little self-serving, but believe me it’s not.
• As learn this morning HOW TO TREAT SPIRITUAL LEADERS, it’s as much for me as it is for you.
• As the family of God, our hearts and lives must support and love and help and hold up our spiritual leaders.
Hebrews 13.16-17 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
• And this message is an essential ingredient in your spiritual growth, especially among the family here at Calvary Chapel!
You’ll recall Moses with Aaron and Hur at his side.
• The battle against the Amalekites was intense & fierce.
• The war was interesting because as Moses was able to raise up his hands, Israel prevailed & won.
• But when his arms were weak and down, they lost.
• Let’s look at Exodus 17:8ff
• That’s our role with leaders in the church: we’re here to lift up their arms, support them, and hold them up in the ministry.
• Not to the point of idol worship or blindly following them no matter what they do or what they teach. No way!
• But certainly in response to they’re great love and sacrifice for the sake of the Body of Christ we are to esteem them highly!
I. (5:12-13) Esteem Them Highly
1. (12) Recognize those who labor among you.
a. We beg you guys, urge you strongly… recognize those who are laboring among you and esteem them highly in love!
NOTE: Historically the church has wavered between 2 extremes with its leadership…
• On one side the church has elevated leaders almost to the point of worshipping them and making them untouchable saints.
• Jesus tells the church in Ephesus, Revelation 2, that He commends them for hating the doctrine of the Nicolatins.
NOW: There is a lot of debate over what that doctrine was but if we break down the word it literally means, “to conquer the laity”
• This has led many believe this was the first division between the priesthood & the people.
• The setting up of a leadership to lord over the people.
• God hates any system that puts people closer to God than others!
THE OTHER EXTREME is equally dangerous and that is when people don’t respect, or honor, or even listen to the leadership!