Summary: When God builds a church, it will have leaders who are the type of men God would approve of. This is a revamp of a sermon from 3 years ago.
• SLIDE #1
The trouble with being a leader today is that you can’t be sure whether people are following you or chasing you. http://www.christianglobe.com/Illustrations/theDetails.asp?whichOne=l&whichFile=leadership
As we continue with our “When God Builds a Church” series, we are going to take a look at the first of two sermons on leadership in God’s Church.
The issue of leadership is a very important principle to understand. Great things do not happen without great leaders. I believe any organization will only rise as high is it is led.
A church can have a lot of good things going for it, but if it has poor leadership, the church will not go far or be effective in it’s’ ministry.
Because the bulk of the ministry in a typical church depends on volunteers, leadership may be even more important in the church than your typical organization.
In the first of this two part message, I want us to focus on the qualities of God’s church should posses.
Leadership is influence. A leader is able to influence people to do things they did not think they could do.
British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery is credited with the following statement concerning leadership: Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.
These next two messages are important for our church to grasp. We need to understand what kind of men God wants leading His church and secondly, one day, we will need a new generation of leaders.
I hope these next two messages will give all of us some things to work on in our lives so that we will be ready to answer the call when it comes.
The text we will focus on today is 1 timothy 3:1-7.
Let us start off by looking at the desire of a leader.
I. THE DESIRE OF A LEADER (1 TIM 3:1)
Look at verse 1 with me.
1 Timothy 3:1 (NASB) It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.
In verse 1 we are told that if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.
The word “overseer” the KJV translates “bishop”, NIV translates it “elder.” The function of the office is emphasized by this word. To oversee the work of the church. Next week we will look at what that encompasses.
There is another word used to describe the office which we translate “elder”.
Without going into a long discussion on church government, the New Testament churches were led by a plurality of elders.
Paul tells us one of the first qualities of a leader is a willingness and a desire to lead.
The word “aspire” means to stretch out the hands after. This is not an issue of selfish motivation. It is a desire to lead. In the early church, leaders were targets of persecution.
If you could hurt the leaders, you could hurt the organization.
Being an Elder will require a great deal of sacrifice of time. It is a good thing to grow up wanting to be an elder in the church.
The last thing a church wants to do is beg a person to be a leader. For a person to reluctantly accept a position of leadership would be bad for both the church and the person accepting the position.
Young men, now is the time to start looking at the qualities of a leader so you can begin preparing yourself now. Wives, now is the time to encourage your husbands to be working on these qualities.
Next let us look at the character of a leader.
As we turn to the character of a leader, realize these character traits are something we should all be working on. In the leader, they should be evident!
II. THE CHARACTER OF A LEADER (1 TIM 3:2-3)
Bob Russell states the following concerning leadership: Leadership begins with who we are, not what we do. A lack of integrity among leaders quenches the flow of the Holy Spirit and removes God’s hand of blessing from the church.
Let us look at 1 Timothy 3:2-3.
1 Timothy 3:2 - 3 (NASB) 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.