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A Leadership Style That Works...Guaranteed

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Text:  1 Thess. 2:1-12


        In this section of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonicans, Paul is transparent about his past relationship with them.  It’s really an exposure of the leadership he exerted among them.  Paul becomes a model of a leader whom God used to capture the hearts of a group of people after ministering to them for about one month.  His leadership left them unified, enthusiastic, and prepared to carry on in his absence.  Read Text!

        If there’s one ingredient that is essential to the success of a church, it’s leadership.  A good definition of leadership is inspiring influence.  Those who are most successful in leading others are those who are able to light a spark that prompts others toward cooperation, hard work, and personal sacrifice.

        Though there may be one definition of leadership, we should never assume there is only one style of leadership.  Some leaders are hard-charging, with a strong charisma who move people by an outward influence.  Others lead in a quiet fashion, never raising their voices.  Both styles can be effective and inspiring.  There are effective leaders with all kinds of temperaments.  But there is one key ingredient that they cannot be absent of:  they must have the ability to get along with people.  No other factor makes as great a difference as this one.

1.      What did Paul mean when he said his coming to them was not in vain (2:1)?

2.      Paul mentions in verse 2 his mistreatment in Philippi.  Let’s look at that in Acts 16:12, 22-24     Having just gone through some mistreatment, what was Paul’s attitude when he arrived in Thessalonica?     What lesson is there in this for us?  ____________________________________________________________________

3.      Would you say difficult past experiences make a better or a worse leader?  Explain.

4.      In verses 3-6 Paul mentions four negative things every leader should omit in his leadership.  From verse 3, what is the first negative trait leaders must avoid?     How can leaders be deceptive?     What does deception do to those following such leaders?

5.      In short, what is the second negative thing to omit as a leader in verse 4?     What happens when leaders try to make everyone happy at any cost?     If not this, what should leaders keep in mind?    

6.      If a leader is seeking to please Christ in all things, are there possible occasions when he will not please people?  Explain.     If a leaders pleases Christ, can we be assured that he will be doing what is best for those under his responsibility?  Explain.

7.      The third negative thing leaders must avoid is greed (2:5).  How do you define greed?     How is greed like an insatiable drive?     How can we combat greed?

8.      The fourth negative thing leaders must omit is authoritarianism (2:6).  Did Paul ever pull rank on someone and demand obedience due to his position of apostleship?     What does the Bible call it when a leader intimidates by use of their position?  1 Pet. 5:1-3

9.      In verse 7-11 Paul shifts gears and mentions four positive things leaders should include.  The first one  is sensitivity to needs (2:7).  What qualities about a mother are fitting for a godly leader?

10.  The second positive quality is affection for people (2:8a).  What’s in store for a church where there is a leader who can’t get along with people?     Why is it abusive for leaders to treat people as a means to an end?     Give some suggestions of how leaders can show their love in practical and appropriate ways.

11.  Quality number three is authentic living (2:8b-10).  What is the difference in the ears of the listener when someone shares just the Gospel; and when someone shares the Gospel and their life?     What breaks down when we share the Gospel along with our lives?     What could you suggest to someone who has struggled with being transparent and authentic?

12.  The final quality for leaders is to be enthusiastic in affirmation (2:11).  What characteristics of fathers are good for leaders also?     Why do some leaders become oppressive and degrading?

13.  Paul states in verse 12 his overall objective among them.  What is it?     Godly leaders lead for the benefit others will gain, not self-gain.  What would you suggest for a leader to keep his motives pure in this area?


        If we are serious about having a lasting impact on others, then we need to develop and maintain three qualities we uncovered in our text:

1.      We must develop a deep, abiding inner security.  This will keep us from focusing our attention on pleasing people rather than God.

2.      We must make a persistent commitment to excellence.  No matter what happens, regardless of anyone else’s expectations, we need to make a point to always do our best.

3.      We must make a deliberate step of faith in God.  You don’t stumble into a wholehearted commitment to God; you must willfully decide that you will give Christ the position that He deserves in your life...#1 over all things and all people.

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