17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.
- Paul is a confident leader. He tells others to follow him (imitate him). He’s telling them that if they want to be like Christ, then do what he (Paul) does.
-- This begs the question: If you told people to follow you, would they get to Jesus or something else?
- Unfortunately, there are people in the church that call themselves leaders, but their actions don’t match what they’re saying.
- Paul was unarguably a great leader and man of Christ. But what about his past? His past was horrible. It was riddled with bad stuff, stuff that was specifically directed at persecuting Christ.
- So what made him a good leader? What was different about Paul? Paul was different because his past propelled him forward. It didn’t hold him down or back.
- Paul was very honest about his past, he hid nothing. This drew people to him because they knew he was genuine and they could relate to him (and vice versa).
- What does that mean for leaders in the church today? It means we need HOT leaders!
-- Leaders that are Honest – Open – Transparent.
-- The truth is, whatever you are hiding, your followers can handle it. They are not fragile and they won’t be surprised at you past.
- How can we, in good conscious, pick up the Bible and find weakness in any of those leaders, but not see ours?
- Leadership is a calling!
-- If you are not called to it, it will kill you.
-- If you are called to it, it will kill you (it will kill who you thought you were).
- Being a leader in the church means you have to be an ally of the cross. Paul was an ally of the cross regardless of his past. Paul allowed the cross to transform his life.
- Part of having a transformed life does NOT mean omitting that you have wounds.
- When your followers see that God used you in spite of your wounds that gives them hope that He can use them.
- It’s an upside down kingdom. People don’t want to follow someone that they think can’t relate to them. Your followers want to know you’re wounded too, so they know you can relate to them.
Pastor Ross led a great discussion. There is absolutely nothing I could even feebly attempt to add. I’ll leave it with this, God became a man and suffered and was wounded. He didn’t need to go through everything He did. He’s God, He could have done it anyway He wanted to. But He chose that way. He did it so we could know that He could relate to us. He did it out in the open, for all to see, so we could know that He understands what we go through. He did it so we would know that our King can relate to us and us to Him. What makes any church leader today different?