Summary: 2nd in the series "Left Behind: 1 & 2 Thessalonians" A look at our role as spiritual leaders in the lives of others/evangelism.
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..."
Perhaps the best known author on the topic of leadership is John Maxwell. His key phrase is: Leadership is influence.
How does that apply to you? All of you are leaders. All of you influence people, and ultimately all of us have been commanded by Christ to be leaders—We must make disciples of people everywhere we go—in other words we should be leading people to Jesus.
So what makes a spiritual leader? Well I think we get some good insight into that in our passage today where Paul talks about his relationship to the congregation of this church that he founded.
I’d like to explore this with you today to identify some of the key traits of spiritual leaders. First I notice that Paul is quick to insist that He came with…
3For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you
6We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. 7As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us
General H. Norman Schwarzkopt said in a Speech to the Corps of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy “I’ve met a lot of leaders in the Army who were very competent -- but they didn’t have character. And for every job they did well, they sought reward in the form of promotions, in the form of awards and decorations, in the form of getting ahead at the expense of someone else.”
The General concluded that this was not the way of leadership, that among genuine leaders character counts. People recognize if your motives aren’t pure. people don’t want to follow someone who seems to be checking a block. Even if it’s a good block. “OK I’ve done my good deed today by inviting you to church.”
Spiritual leaders are marked by Pure motives. Secondly they have a…
. 4On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.
As a train was about to leave a large railroad station, the conductor began to take tickets. Looking at the ticket of the first passenger he remarked, "Friend, I think you’re on the wrong train!" "But," replied the man, "the ticket agent told me this was my train." After a little discussion, the conductor decided to check with the ticket agent. Before long, it became clear that the conductor was on the wrong train! When the leader is lost, how can the followers be going on the right track?
If we are going to influence others, we need to be on the right track. we need to have put our trust in Jesus and we need to be allowing Him to be the conductor of our lives.
If we are serving in a role of leadership in His church, it needs to be with the same assurance Paul had of his calling.
And each of us because of the great commission can say with confidence “we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel.” You have been entrusted with the Gospel.
9-10 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
General Eisenhower liked to use this illustration—Pulling verses Pushing a string.
To lead we must be going. The Army constantly reinforces this concept of leadership—“LEAD BY EXAMPLE” It’s the only way you can lead.
Jesus said “Follow Me.” Spiritual leadership means being able to say as paul did, “Follow me as I follow Christ”
11-13 a For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.