Today as we gather to worship and fellowship, let’s pause to thank God for the dear men and women who serve in roles of pastoral leadership. They care for our souls, provide counsel, minister to our children and seek to embody christian maturity. They enrich our lives in many ways.
Scripture emphasizes the important influence of the role of leaders in the Church by maintaining high standards for those in leadership. Paul describes the qualities desired for church leaders in 1 Timothy 3. “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:1-7).
Leaders who impact lives for eternity understand what it means to live on mission with Jesus. Stephen was such a leader. His love for Christ was deep, his knowledge of God’s truth was wide, and his responsiveness to the Holy Spirit earned him a reputation among his peers of being a cut above. Stephen also reminds us that our finest moment of Kingdom service may be our last … but its worth it! Stephen’s legacy isn’t measured by his life accomplishments. His impact can only truly be appreciated when you realize the defining influence he had on a young zealous Jewish man who witnessed and approved of Stephen’s execution.
Jesus was the ultimate Servant Leader. He was devoted to His Heavenly Father, focused on His redemptive mission, and a servant to those He sought to influence. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” We are to align ourselves with Jesus’ devotion to the Father, His focus on His mission, and His humble service toward those he sought to lead.
My Leader Life blogs will seek to address the core areas of a Servant Leader’s Life – Spiritual vitality, prayer, marriage, and servant leader skills. I invite you to join me on the journey of growth and development in a Servant Leader’s Life. -TDW