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Follow the Leader

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SERMON NOTES – 1 Thess. 2:1-12 ICF Managua, Nicaragua

Follow the Leader

“Your ultimate destination in life depends on who or what you follow”

“Well, I’m not going to follow anybody!” Not a very original statement.

Illus. the end of the Marriage seminar – Leaving a legacy

Illus. it’s a joy to find follow a capable leader. Motorcycle riding with Eric – Didn’t worry about potholes and curves.

Leadership is influence.

Ancient orators came into town in a very different way that Paul, Timothy and Silas did. Flamboyant, bombastic, showy, with great flowery words they entertained the crowds – and then they passed the hat.

Paul has uploaded three pictures of mentorship for us this morning.

If you want to be an example worth following…

1. Be a Baby 2:2-7 (see the NLT traslation)

w.s. vs. 7a What's the difference between epioi and nepioi?

This is not a doctrinal issue – oh the Episcopalians are going to Heaven and the Baptists are not. Illus. easy to confuse – Spanish ‘tierno’

We were like Babies!

Really?? What’s that look like?

The conjunction “but” looks back to what precedes it. So the description comes before the metaphor.

BABIES!?! This is counter-intuitive

  • No deceit guileless
  • No impure motives Babies don’t have hidden agendas
  • No trickery to harm others
  • No flattery for manipulation
  • No pretending to be friends with you to get your $$$ money

Illus. Youtube Video Capital One Bank Jimmy Fallon with baby – Graph to show that everyone wants more money. web link.

Money does weird things to people. Money does weird things to me. It makes my heart beat faster. A stack of $100s. My pupils dilate. Its dirty, it’s monotonous. Just because you win a battle doesn’t mean you’ve won the war.

Vs. 7 We could have come in there like storm troopers. ‘We’re Apostles!”

These guys were the Alpha Team – the A-Team. And he says “we acted like babies.”

They rolled into town as the experts – much like we do.

TS: The second picture of leadership he uploaded for us is…

2. Be a Mother 2:7-10

So what’s being a mother look like?

  • Feeding and caring
  • Sharing
  • Working hard toiling day and night
  • Devout
  • Honest
  • Faultless

Guys, let me know if this is too meaty for you, I can give you a sermon that's just milk.

Illus. My mother when there wasn't enough food – “I’m not hungry”

TS: The final picture of leadership he uploaded for us is found in 11-12

3. Be a Father 2:11-12

The world is a dangerous place, and both the Greeks and the Romans the father normally took charge of the child’s training and education.

“Pastor, teach me love me, scratch me, but don’t correct me.”

Its not popular to hear “You’re doing it wrong”

We all need correction! Francis Chan sermon – “Lukewarm and loving it!”

Illus. On a blog “I recently watched “Lukewarm and Loving It.” I couldn’t believe how severely Chan spoke to his own church! He seemed very unloving and judgmental.”

Prov. 12: 1 To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.

I’m not judging you. You would probably say it about yourself. You would probably say “I don’t like people correcting me.” I got enough God in my life right now. I’ve fixed enough things in my life already. I’ve stopped doing some of the big sins, so I’m probably doing pretty good. Christians are great at looking in the rear-view mirror.

But you know what. We need to be corrected.

Ok, so what’s that look like?

  • Persuading
  • Encouraging
  • Urging kids to live to please God

Non-Christians often dismiss the claims of the Gospel by pointing to the lack of integrity of they see in people who are suppose to be Christians.

True believers need to uphold the integrity of the Gospel by following the example of Paul and the apostles when they visited Thessalonica, as innocent as infants, loving as nursing mothers, and nurturing as fathers.

1 Thess. 2:1-12 teaches us about mentoring influence through 3 pictures:

  • the Candor of a child
    • the Compassion of a mother
      • the Correction of a father

Jesus was like this, and gave us the example of child, mother and father mentoring.

These spiritual mentors Paul, Timothy and Silas were like this.

I have an idea that maybe we should be like this too.


□Spiritual Leadership is God’s idea, and He gave us a model for how to do it.

□Are you running after the people-things-examples you should be following?

□People are looking at you – are you leading them to Christ?

□Are you the baby? mother? father you should be as a spiritual leader?

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