The Proper Role Of Leaders In The Church
"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe-as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building."
"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants" v.5
When Jesus washes the feet of the disciples, "I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master." Jn 13:16
Serving the wishes of God and the needs of people. It is absurd for the Christians to divide into parties, saying they belong to men whom God is sent to serve them.
"through whom you came to believe" v.5
Not causes, but instruments. God is the potter and we are the clay. It would be odd to go into the potter's place of work and admire all his tools and to treat the tools as if they brought for beautiful pottery. To say "Oh what a wonderful potter's wheel, look how smoothly it turns, and push peddle how even is its stroke. What marvelous shaping instruments, no wonder the the bowls and vases come out so superbly. At the while the potter himself stands their wonder if you know the true cause of great pottery.
"as the Lord has assigned to each his task." v.5
A minsters's role in the kingdom is not determined by popularity, which leads to division, but by God's assignment.
"All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines." 1 Co 12:11
GOD IS CENTRAL:
"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow." v.6
Because the churches blessings could not be attributed to its leaders, they had no basis loyalty to any particular leader, and therefore no basis for their divisions. The good they receive through Paul and a Apollos should have made them loyal to God, not to his appointed servants.
SERVANTS DON'T COUN'T:
"So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." v.7
Such is the remarkable effect of true conversion, that only God can bring it about; all honor should go to him and not the instruments. We are heralds, messengers, who are to faithfully give out the message and serve the needs of the people.
"The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose" v.8
Their common interest is the advancement of the spiritual life and vitality of the church. They are cooperating, not competing.
EACH WILL BE REWARDED:
"each will be rewarded according to his own labor." v.8
Not for popularity, nor how they swayed the crowd to follow them.
We will come back and expand on this in a few moments. . .
WE ARE A TEAM:
"For we are God’s fellow workers" v.9
They formed a team, working together in God's service.
Again, not in competition!
YOU ARE GOD'S BUILDING:
"you are God’s field, God’s building" v.9
God's building was the unified church -- one building, one field -- not a fragmented, divided church.
REWARDS BASED UPON
Five criteria for their rewards.
Help you to view leaders properly. "If anyone builds on this foundation" v.12
The ministers rewards will not be based on talents or gifts, nor the outward success of ministers, but their labors.
Rewards proportioned to the amount and energy of individual labor.
"Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you." 1 Th 5:12
WISE MASTER BUILDER:
"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder." v.10
Paul is the model for ministers to follow. NASB "wise master builder." Comes from the word for architect.
"By the grace God has given me" He guards against seeming to be proud, the merit is not his own.
"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me ("By the grace God has given me")." Col 1:28-29
"But each one should be careful how he builds." v.10
J Years ago in Hawaii, houses were build with what was called single wall construction. It was difficult construction because everything showed. If you got a shoddy builder, you could see his hammer marks all over the exposed wood.
"Watch you life and doctrine closely" 1 Tim 4:16
All the trades have building inspectors to make sure that the contractor is building according to code. This codes relate to safety and structural requirements. While the county building inspectors can be disliked by the contractors, in the main, they serve a very important purpose. Spiritually, the Christian himself has to take on the role of building inspector. Paul's famous statement, "examine yourself to see if your are in the faith."
"the fire will test the quality of each man’s work" v.13
"When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty." Mal 1:8
"And you say, ‘What a burden!’ Mal 1:13
"So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." 1 Co 4:1-2
Faithfulness "as the Lord has assigned to each his task." v.5