Summary: As we round off with Romans 15 we find six principles of leadership.
Paul the Minister Romans 15:14-33
This last part of Chapter 15 divides into two sections that reveal several aspects of the ministry of Paul.
The title, Paul the minister seems to best describe what these are about.
As we look at this today we will notice 6 principles of Paul that all of us can apply to ourselves.
1. Positive Promoter (Delegator)
2. Priestly Passionate Preacher (Messenger)
3. Pioneer Planter (Church planter)
4. Purposeful Planner
5. Personal Participant Performing the Plan (Servant)
6. Dependant on the Power to Prevent Problems through Prayer
Paul was a Positive Promoter or Delegator: verse 14
Notice that he delegated in a way that elevated!
Look at the positive way he hands over to them this responsibility of instructing each other. I am convinced about your abilities, he says. The church needs leadership that will lay things out plainly and positively assign responsibilities with this kind of encouraging conviction. We need leaders who will say, “You can do it! I’m sure of your abilities!”
Compare that to one that says this: “Well, I don’t know if you can do it or not, in fact, you’ll probably mess up and make us all look bad, but I guess we’ll let you fall on your face and see for yourself how unable you are.”
Which of these inspires confidence and which causes discouragement?
Now, of course, you don’t give out jobs to those you don’t believe are ready. (Paul took 14 chapters to prepare them for this.) But when you do, be a positive promoter!
Good ministry and leadership is positive and inspires the best in others. Delegation that puts all kinds of restraints and checkpoints in the way can not inspire growth or confidence. We must expect from others what we believe God can do in them, and only correct when correction is necessary.
The best training ground for this leadership ability is in the home. Take a long honest look at how you do parenting. How does a mom or dad teach their children to ride a bike, to drive, or to understand math homework or clean a room or do the dishes or handle money? Do we communicate confidence that our children can do it, or do we communicate fear that they will fail and are unable? If you really want to know, ask your children, they are our most honest critics and can be our most important trainers in this area of leadership. We should listen to what they say without putting up a wall of defensiveness.
Anyway, delegation with confidence is a great aspect of ministry and leadership that inspires the best in others. Paul the positive promoter had it.
Next, look at verses 15-19. Here we see the priestly aspect of ministry. Paul was a messenger of God, a preacher with a priestly passion on a mission from God.
Look at how zealous and duty bound to this task he is.
Bold, responsible, Christ centered, energetic, and boundless. There was nothing more central to his life, nothing could distract him from his mission.
Notice too, his clear focus: 17-18 There is the sheer power of his single focus, his limiting himself to glory only in Christ. Instead of being watered down by concerns and worldly pursuits, Paul’s limiting himself and concentration of all his energies into one direction and purpose provides an important key to his effectiveness in Christ.
When a razor is sharp it cuts clean, but when it is dull it tears. This priestly passion for preaching was a sharpening attitude for Paul.
The message of the gospel is so glorious it is worthy of total commitment. May God raise up more saints like Paul who will forgo marriage and worldly pursuits to give their all to the cause of Christ and spreading the gospel. And may we encourage and support such people who would do this.
There are Christian men and women who decide to stay single for a few years to pursue this work. The AIM program in Texas prepares young people in Christ to do just this. Why don’t we encourage some of our youth to give 1 or 2 years of their lives into such a great service in the Kingdom of God? God has great work for all of us to do. But those who are young and unmarried, who are not responsible for a family or tied down by a career job... What greater work can you give yourself to than to serve the King as a messenger like Paul?
3rd: Paul was a Pioneer, planting churches in dark places. 20-22
His heart’s desire was to share the message with those who had never heard. He was a true missionary at heart. Paul would not have been satisfied to be the preacher for the Ephesian church of Christ for 20 years. He did not have that as his calling. Paul was a church planter. His life was given to reaching those who had never heard. Now this calling is not for everybody. In fact, Paul encourages most people to stay put and work together as a congregation. Yet, some are called to this task even today. I’m convinced that God brought a small group together in 1948 to plant this church. If it was not God, who was it? And God still sends people out, sometimes to distant lands, but more often into the home community, to preach and teach His Word.