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A Model for Leadership

Developing Leadership  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction: Review previous lessons
Earning trust
Taking Initiative
Using good judgment
Being courageous
Taking charge
Devoted to his people
Humility
As we read through the New Testament we must recognize that God has set up leaders in His church - pastors and deacons. The reason that God has established leaders in His church is not because some people are more special than other people (all people are flawed people), but God has established leaders in His church as a means of providing examples for us to follow. This is why the standards for being a pastor or a deacon are fairly strict. It is the role of pastors and deacons to model a faithful Christian life. Pastors and deacons ought to live out what they teach in order to make it clear to the rest of the body of believers what a Christlike life looks like. With that being said, since it is the role of pastors and deacons to model a faithful Christian life it is then the role of the church body to follow that model.
Hosea 4:9 NKJV
And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And reward them for their deeds.
So, let’s take a look at what God expects from pastors and deacons as a beginning point for what God expects from all believers.
Explain the origin of deacons from

Plurality

It is clear from the pattern we see in the New Testament that the church is to be led by a plurality of elders. It is not wise or safe for the church to be run by one man. From the very beginning Jesus established twelve leaders (apostles) and those men were to function as a team working toward a common goal.
When Paul and Barnabas planted churches in Asia Minor Luke records
Acts 14:23 NKJV
So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Paul also instructed Titus
Titus 1:5 NKJV
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—
Paul met with James and the elders of Jerusalem
Acts 21:18 NKJV
On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
Whenever the Bible mentions elders in connection with the church the noun is plural.
Ministry is always described as a team effort. When the apostles set out to take the gospel to the ends of the earth they did so in teams.
Why do you think that this is the case?
Even though ministry is a team effort it is also true that often one singular leader will emerge as more influential within teams.
Why do you think this is the case?
Can you think of any Biblical example of teams in the Bible and how one man emerged as the primary leader?
Is it necessary to enforce equality?
Does a leader still need a support team? Why?
Biblical leadership does not demand absolute equality. There is nothing wrong with a church appointing a senior or lead pastor. In fact, most churches do. However, ministry is never Biblically depicted as a one-man show.
Leadership by plurality does come with strong advantages
Proverbs 11:14 NKJV
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
One man who declares to have absolute power or absolute knowledge or absolute authority is actually the hallmark of many false religions and cults.
So, when the church appointed their first leaders (besides the appointing of the twelve) they chose a team of seven.

Priorities

The personal needs of the church had grown so great that the apostles were forced to leave the ministry of the Word in oder to serve.
Acts 6:2 NKJV
Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
Now, there is nothing wrong with service. In fact, pastors should serve. However, the model we see in is that the needs were so great that the apostles were unable to meet the needs of both the ministry of the Word and the ministry of meeting the needs of the people.
Example: my time as teacher and youth pastor
The apostles knew that it was necessary to delegate the task serving to others who could handle and organize it better than they could.
Leaders know how to delegate.
Leaders who do not delegate usually frustrate those they work with since they tend to micromanage and sometimes even sabotage the effectiveness of what their co-workers were working on.
Moses had to learn delegation
Exodus 18:14 NKJV
So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?”
Exodus 18:17–26 NKJV
So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.” So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves.
We see the same pattern in the New Testament
2 Timothy 2:2 NKJV
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
How do you know what to delegate to others? You must clearly establish your priorities and delegate those things that do not fit into your priorities or gifts.
Acts 6:2–4 NKJV
Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
The priorities of the apostles were prayer, the ministry of the Word, and then servant ministry. Those should be our priorities as well.
Explain the priorities principle of prayer, the Word, and service for every believer

Prayer

All work is worthless without prayer. Let me explain. The purpose of our lives is to help others grow in the likeness of Christ. God call us to many different vocations and gives us all different skills but the ultimate goal is to establish relationships with people in order to lead them to Christ. Our desire then is to see change in the hearts of people.
Question: Is that a job that any of us can do?
Psalm 127:1 NKJV
Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.
We can plant and water but no work can actually be done unless God gives the increase
1 Corinthians 3:6–7 NKJV
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
John 15:5 NKJV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
1 Timothy 2:1 NKJV
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV
pray without ceasing,
1 Peter 4:7 NKJV
But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
Good prayer is hard work. It is hard to stay focused and difficult to intercede for others, but a good leader will not neglect this essential habit.

The Ministry of the Word

Like prayer, the ministry of the Word is hard work. Devoting one’s self to the ministry of the Word takes diligent time in studying God’s Word. The apostles then decided to delegate serving so that they could spend more time dedicated to the ministry of the Word.
For us, we need to keep the priority of the Word in our lives. If we find that we have busied ourselves to the point of neglecting God’s Word then that means that we need to reprioritize in order to make time for what it essential.
Just like we must pray so that God will do a work, we must also be in the Word so that we can give the truth of His Word. It is God’s Words that have the power to change lives and not our own.

Servant Ministry

Notice that the apostles felt that service was an indispensable part of ministry, but they also recognized that they couldn’t do it all. So they selected men to support them and serve with them.

Purity

Notice that the men that were chosen were chosen because of their character qualities and not because of their social stature or business prowess. The church ought not to select leaders the way the world selects leaders. It is better to have a lowly slave who is blameless than to have a business tycoon whose reputation is questionable. A man is qualified to lead God’s people not because of what he does for a living but because of who he is.
Why are the standards so high? What the leaders do the people will do.
Luke 6:40 NKJV
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.
These new leaders were to be men of blameless character
Acts 6:3 NKJV
Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
Due to the wise selection of new leaders in there seems to have been a reinvigoration in the church as its influence expanded.
Acts 6:7 NKJV
Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Talent could not have had this much impact. Leadership is all about character. True leaders are Christlike.
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