Vision for the World
Love. Love is a word that we use each and every day. We say it to our spouse, our children, we say it about things we enjoy, and in reference to our favorite food. But how does love affect our daily lives when it comes to leadership?
Oftentimes, we think that leadership is getting others to do what we want done, because they want to do it. While that is true of leadership, it is a result, but not the means.
As I search the scriptures, I look at a great example of leadership that was built solely on love in the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. Look at some examples of Paul’s leadership that was a direct result of his LOVE for people:
Paul often refers to Timothy as his dearly beloved son in the faith. In Phil. 2:19-22, Paul says I am sending Timothy to you so I will be comforted to know your state, speaking of the church in Philippi. He goes on to say, there is no man that is as “like-minded” as I am as Timothy, and I know that he will care for you the way that I care for you! Timothy was so much like Paul, that Paul himself couldn’t tell the difference. How does that happen? One word, LOVE! Paul loved Timothy, spent time with Timothy, and was a father to Timothy.
Later in the chapter of Philippians 2:25-30, Paul then goes on to speak of Epaphroditus. He calls him his brother, his companion, and his fellowsoldier. It is very clear just how much Paul loves Epaphroditus. One of the many characteristics that leaders desire in people they leads is that of Loyalty. Look at the level of loyalty and dedication Epaphroditus has to Paul. He nearly dies taking supplies, money, and necessities to the Apostle Paul who is imprisoned. That sort of loyalty, the sort that brings men from across the globe to be at your side, the sort of loyalty that death does not hinder them from being with you, THAT sort of loyalty results from LOVE!
3) The Corinthian Church
Now we find this contention and arguing somewhat silly, and it most certainly is. But I present you this question; who is arguing over being a part of your camp? If we think about what is going on here and ask ourselves what would cause folks to argue over who lead them to the Lord, baptized them, and trained them; well the only answer that makes sense is LOVE. There is no doubt in my mind that these folks loved their preachers! Some claimed Paul, some Apollos, and some Cephas, and some Christ.
Certainly the love that Paul had for his people, and the world was unmatched by anyone except Christ Himself. I am reminded of what Paul said in Romans 9 and verse 3 “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:” Did you catch what he says here? Paul says, if it were possible, I would take Hell if only my people would be saved! What love!
When it comes to leading, training, and discipling; let us never forget that the maturity of the believer is a direct result of the love that we display. Men will move from another state, spend countless hours, finances, and risk even their own lives for those they love. Will you be the leader that loves? Will you not focus all your energy on the end result, but instead learn to love people? You will be amazed at what will naturally begin to manifest in the lives of others simply because you love and care for them.
Yes, we want people to serve because they love Christ. Yes, we want leaders who will train other leaders. Yes, we want to reproduce disciples of Christ, a thousand times YES! But I leave you with this to chew on;
1 Cor. 13:1-3
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
Vision for the World