Summary: Spiritual Gifts Series - 12 of 13.
THE GIFT OF LEADERSHIP
INTRO: Recently, a corporate executive announced the establishment of an annual "Better Leadership Award." The first person to be honored was Christopher Columbus, posthumously. The reason he was so named was that he started out not knowing where he was going, when he arrived he didn’t know where he was, and upon returning he didn’t know where he had been! We hope that our church leaders know a little more about their jobs that this.
I. A GOOD DEFINITION.
The Greek word (ðñoúóôÜìåvoò) proistamenos translated leadership is a word picture showing one who is standing in front of the others. The word is used eight times in the New Testament and strangely enough the context is always that of caring for and serving others! The translations of the word (ðñoúóôçìé) proistame (the root word) include: be a leader, have authority over, manage; care for, give help; engage in, practice. Biblical leadership is not seen in exercising authority or rank but in lowly service. Biblical leaders do not lead with a megaphone but they get in the game themselves and get their hands dirty.
When we come to the gift of leadership, many who do not understand the context of New Testament leadership quickly jump up and say, "Well, you’ve finally gotten to my gift!" Leadership sounds glamorous until you really experience it.
II. A GOOD EXAMPLE.
Jesus was the greatest leader of all time. Here are three areas where He showed Himself a leader:
1. He could meet the great needs of His followers.
2. He could show others how to get their priorities straight.
3. He could lead others to an authentic life-style.
His cause was the kingdom of heaven. He led people to be something great.
III. GOOD USE OF THE GIFT.
What are the characteristics of good, Christian leaders?
1. They are obedient to the Word of God.
2. They are sold out to the kingdom of heaven.
3. They don’t consider the latest Gallup Polls when they set their priorities.
a. It is Jesus first.
b. Leaders are alive to the needs of others.
4. They have a servant spirit.
a. Like their Lord, they come not to be served but to serve.
b. The first deacons were chosen because of their willingness to serve tables!
5. They must be able to keep their cool and to infect others with their coolness.
CONC: Read Acts 16 and see what kind of infectious leadership Paul and Silas showed in the Philippian jail. Leaders never give up! Watch Paul in Acts 27 when the ship is sinking and all are giving up. His cry is, "Cheer up. Stay here. God is in control!"