Charge for the Christian Leader
Holy Spirit, You bring life. I need renewal. I need freshening up. Enliven my parched spirit as I seek to walk in Your ways.
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Consider: Paul's leadership strategy to Timothy is simple: flee (11a), follow (11b), and fight (12). That is, flee the lure of wealth, follow after righteous living, and fight for the true faith. Good advice for any Christian, not just leaders.
Paul charges Timothy to practice leadership within the parameters of the Gospel. Today society tends to list factors and principles of leadership. This is not the way the Apostle Paul expresses his rationale. Here are some of Paul's views as to how leadership principles can be expressed.
Virtues are higher than skills (11). The Gospel provides the virtues to pursue in life: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. It is revealing that the list does not include such factors as success, power, large congregations, the cult of personality, and name recognition. These may all be good, as long as they are the consequence of virtues.
Discernment is more important than efficiency or success (11). The expression "man of God" describes a person developing a character under God's principles. In order to "flee from" and "seek righteousness," a leader must be skillful in discerning one thing from another. Many times the choices are between two or more acceptable things, yet the Gospel gives a different perspective.
The Gospel gives us a purpose to live for (12). Once a person has stepped onto the path of following Jesus, progress along that path is not automatic. The progress needs a clear focal point in the future, a "call" to "eternal life" (12). This reason to live for is not private or hidden, but rather it becomes open for all to know (12). Much of this "confession in the presence of many witnesses" is silent, perceived by others through actions rather than words.
The centrality of Jesus Christ (13-16) is pivotal. He gives life to everything (13). Jesus as Lord of everything is the ultimate aim in life (14). Also, Jesus is the ruler of all (15,16a) and he is the reason for all worship in life (16b).
Look back five years and then forward another five. Where have you come from? Where are you going?
Lord, Ithink of leadership in my own world. With the Holy Spirit's help, I aspire to embrace Paul's directions to Timothy. And to You Lord--You alone--be all the glory.