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Leadership

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Leadership

God’s Instructions to Church Leaders

2nd John

FUBC 11/16/2008

One great author noted, “The church rises and falls based upon the quality of its leadership”.  There is no way around it!

+       ANOINTED CHURCHES HAVE ANOINTED LEADERS

+       COMPLACENT CHURCHES HAVE COMPLACENT LEADERS

+       UNEDUCATED CHURCHES HAVE UNEDUCATED LEADERS

+       TITHING CHURCHES HAVE TITHING LEADERS

+       SPIRITUAL CHURCHES HAVE SPIRITUAL LEADERS

+       CARING CHURCHES HAVE CARING LEADERS

THESIS:  This sermon is tailored to teach us the qualities, and qualifications of a church leaders even (THE ELDER).

And thought I better tell somebody:  

You don’t have to be called a MISSIONARY in order to help somebody you don’t know.

You don’t have to be called a TRUSTEE to take care of this facility.

You don’t have to be called a CHOIR MEMBER to sing a new song.

You don’t have to be called a PREACHER to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

You don’t have to be called an USHER to welcome somebody.

You don’t have to be IN CHARGE in order to TAKE CHARGE --

Are you a church leader?

SCRIPTURAL OBSERVATIONS

1.   What does the term elder mean? In the Greek – it means “presbuteros”:

-         Someone who has received delegated authority to carry out an assigned responsibility

-         someone who heads up or cares for families

-         someone who leads the attack

-         someone who has been appointed to share the burdens of Pastor Moses (while he leads)

Look at where the word ELDER is located in the text. It is located in the Greeting, which implies to us that leaders ought to be approachable and hospitable (not nasty or hard to get along with).  It implies that people ought to be able to come to YOU and the perceiving of the receiving by you ought to be “approachable and hospitable”!!!  

One of the things that I love about the Word of God is that it not only shows you WHO YOU ARE but WHERE YOU ARE – In a real sense, some of us think we have what it takes it to lead educationally but we don’t have what it takes to be a leader biblically.

Church, what I love about the epistle of Second John is that it is really a POST CARD OF PROMISE.

Oh yes, if Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, First and Second Corinthians, Timothy, and Titus are called letters to the church.

This epistle (Second John) got to be a post card.

One thing I like about post cards – they are short and to the point!

One thing about post cards is that – you cannot write a whole lot but it can still say a whole lot!

In a real sense, the writer of this epistle shares with us a postcard – God’s Note to Church Leaders.  Are you all going to help me preach this?

PASSAGE POINTERS:  (verse 4)

1. COMMENDATION OF THE LEADERS (walking in truth)

Walking denotes steady progress, moving forward, and advancing.  Can you be described as a person who is steadily progressing (not stagnant in your spirituality), moving forward (not frustrated in your faith journey), advancing in life (not declining in your devotions to Deity). 

Are you steadily progressing in your spiritual walk?

In your personal ministry are you moving forward and not frustrated in your faith journey?

Are you advancing even though you have your own agonies, adversities, and agitations?

The word implies that the leader not only walks- but walks in truth!

a)   Truth is personal

b)   Truth is internal

c)   Truth is eternal

Let me show you (2nd John 1) – TRUTH IS PERSONAL – Notice John uses the phrases “in truth” and “the truth” IN TRUTH is not a definite article but THE TRUTH is a definite article. (Any member of a small class of words, that are linked to nouns and that typically have a grammatical function of  identifying the noun as a noun rather than describing it).

John is saying if you are going to be IN TRUTH you have know THE TRUTH

For those of us who read the bible, didn’t Jesus say – (St. John 14:6) I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE.

What is John saying here? – He is letting us know that if leaders are going to carry out their responsibilities (IN TRUTH) – you must have a relationship with Jesus Christ (THE TRUTH)

Not only is TRUTH PERSONAL – TRUTH IS INTERNAL.  Look at your Bible – (2nd John 2) John writes “…the truth which abides IN us (THAT’S INTERNAL)-The truth becomes real in us when Jesus gets in us!

I get nervous when I am around – CHURCH LEADER’S, or Christians in general – who seem to be un-moved, un-grateful, un-happy, un-changed and un-affected when they hear the name of Jesus.

Let me put 25 cents in the parking meter and preach right here! --- Church, when I hear the name of Jesus – I get  an un-derstanding that things going on in my life are still un-der His control and some kind of way He keeps blessing me with un-heard of blessings! That’s why I don’t mind giving Him an un-dignified praise!  TRUTH IS INTERNAL – (What’s in you ought to come out of you!!!)

That’s a good pause for a Pentecostal praise break! The commendation is that God really does have church leaders who are walking in truth! (Everybody in the church is not corrupt, dishonest, shady, or fraudulent).

WALK IN TRUTH ! -- A truth that is:

PERSONAL <I got Jesus>

INTERNAL <I got Jesus in me> (and)

ETERNAL <I am going with Jesus all the way!>

2. ABBREVIATION OF LEADERS “verse 4” (some of your children)

Abbreviation is a reduction in length, shortening of service.

The Word declares that there will be those in the church and in leadership who:

Have ABBREVIATED ALLEGIANCE

Will Render A CONDENSED COMMITMENT

Will Only Give God A TRUNCATED TIME OF SERVICE

 

Vance Havner – noted theologian – says, A FAITH THAT FIZZLES BEFORE THE FINISH WAS FAULTY AT THE FIRST.

Don’t get weary in well doing – you shall reap if you faint not!

In Luke 9:62 Jesus says that a man who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God!

Therefore seeing that we have this ministry, we faint not!

Vance Havner – is right- A FAITH THAT FIZZLES BEFORE THE FINISH WAS FAULTY AT THE FIRST.

I can sum this point up real quick: “As a leader -- Actions Speak Louder Than Words”

•   “Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (First Corinthians 11:1)

•   “Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern…” (Philippians 3:17)

What is that old, worn poem?

“What kind of church would my church be, if everyone was just like me?”

WHAT ARE YOU FEEDING YOUR FAITH WITH?

Illustration:  Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over deserts. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. The hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants.

Vultures live on what was. Hummingbirds live on what is.   Here is the key: Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do.

3. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LEADER (leaders apply the Word)

(…received the commandment from the Father…)

John declares that because the church of Jesus Christ is unfortunately made up of people who will not give their all (ABBREVIATION) – John uses a qualifier before (IMPLEMENTATION) – (2nd Jn. 4) “they received this commandment to walk in the Word from the Father”

Come on – some God sent – others just went!  Did you receive the commandment from the Father?

4. EXHORTATION OF THE LEADER (truth and love), (2nd Jn.5-6)

These two things must be balanced!  {Ephesians 4:15}, doesn’t it say? To speak the truth in love!  What a balancing act! -- Balancing TRUTH and LOVE -- So often we emphasize one, at the expense of the other.

A) We may emphasize truth but at love’s expense!  What we have to say is right (TRUTH), but how we say it is wrong (LOVE) <truth without love>

B) And there are those of us who make the mistake of emphasizing love at the expense of truth. They feel that we should comfort everyone without challenging anyone.  <love without truth>

Look at the admonishment to the church leader -- Balance truth and love!

BREAK IT DOWN PASTOR:  Truth without love is a WALL but Love with truth is a DOORMAT. Come on church! -- Our truth can’t be so narrow that mercy and grace can’t get in -- but at the same time our love can’t be so broad that every sin can get in.

Truth without love leads to legalism -- Love without truth leads to license

Truth without love is strength that cannot lift a person’s burdens!.

Love without truth is weakness that does not challenge a person’s will.  

Truth is eternal             Truth is unmovable     Truth is global      

Love is personal          Love is expendable     Love is local

(God loves the world = TRUTH)    (God loves me = LOVE)                    

Does not First Corinthians 13:6 say “…love rejoices in the truth…” Why? Because without Truth to define love, to interpret love, to protect love, to guide love, to channel love -- love by itself can become a total disaster.

Is that why that love relationship is not working – you want all LOVE but no TRUTH – The truth is if he is not taking care of his kids, what makes you think he is going to take care of and love you!

But then the opposite is true – you want TRUTH but no LOVE – Truth is – they sinned, they failed God, they disappointed your trust in them – Truth without Love says, “Kick them out, sit them down, bring them before the church” but LOVE keeps yelling – Bear ye one another’s burdens, restore gently – remember what God has done for you!

Can I tell you how to how I keep this thing in balance –

GIVE WHAT YOU WANT TO GET!!!

(List “Fruit of the Spirit” love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law).

 THE TRUTH IS YOU RECEIVED IT, GIVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!

God’s blessings are not only meant to flow TO YOU but also to flow THROUGH YOU!!

ILLUSTRATION:  The Earth is made up of land and water.  Water is love…it flows freely…Truth is land…it is unmovable…Both working together keeps the earth in balance!

5. TERMINATION OF LEADERS (v.8 don’t lose what you have received)

I am through today:  The message Bible says it this way:  “Pay attention and make sure you don’t lose what you have received”.

In other words, the writer is saying:

KEEP WORKING FOR GOD BECAUSE GOD IS WORKING FOR YOU!

I am sitting down now:  Not long ago, the mother board on my lap top went bad which caused my computer to lose some things that I thought were safe.

All the hard work I put into it, because of the failure of the part caused a system failure and a hardware crash – all my labor was lost…

Somebody this morning you just got your NEW SOFTWARE INSTALLED…you just got a new UPGRADE IN YOUR SPIRITUAL HARDWARE…and because of a failure…you have lost some momentum with the Master…but in the name of Jesus – You need a SYSTEM RE-BOOT!

Don’t lose your reward!

Don’t lose your full day’s wage!

Remember you’re covered by God’s grace!

Now what is Grace?  Some call it the unmerited favor of God.  And that is correct.

But if I had to give you a definition I would respond by using this acronym G.R.A.C.E:

G= God’s

R= Redemptive

A= Assurance

C= Concerning

E= Everybody

If I could think of 5 things that Grace did for me, I would tell you that:

1.   Grace woke me up this morning

2.   Grace woke me up this morning

3.   Grace woke me up this morning

4.   Grace woke me up this morning

5.   Grace woke me up this morning

Grace gave me the activity of my limbs,

Grace put food on my table,

Grace put money in my pocket,

Grace put shelter over my head,

Grace regulated my mind,

Grace regulated my heartbeat,

Grace watched over my sons,

Grace brought me from a mighty long way,

Grace taught me how to love everybody,

Grace may not move the mountain, but it gives me strength to climb it,

Grace may not calm the storm but it provides shelter in the storm,

Grace may not move the valley, but it walks with me through the valley

Because God’s been good to me, His grace is sufficient for me.

His Grace is my leaning post,

His Grace is my walking stick,

His Grace is a light on my dark path,

His Grace will give me strength for my journey,

His Grace calms my aching soul,

His Grace will give me peace,

His Grace will open doors that have been shut in my face,

His Grace will pick me up when I stumble,

His Grace will mend my broken heart,

His Grace will come to my rescue,

His Grace will make Satan behave,

His Grace will put a smile on my face,

His Grace will put joy down on the inside,

His Grace is like fire shut up in my bones,

His Grace saved a wretch like me,

His Grace is all I need and I don’t need anything else,

His Grace erased my dark and sinful past, present and future.

Preach Calvary:  What did Grace do?

 

 

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