Saturday, June 23, 2012

Characteristic of Christian Leadership

As I was reading the New Testament the other day, I came upon these verses: 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

I got to thinking about our role as faithful men in the church. Certainly we want to be actively involved in the ministry whether we are in pastoral ministry or as laymen doing what we can for the cause of Christ.

In this passage I noticed three things that Paul and his companions did as they ministered in the church in Thessalonica. First, he exhorted them. To exhort means to urge someone strongly and earnestly to do something. I think we are probably afraid of this kind of approach because it seems like it is too strong. What we need to realize is that every Christian is to exhort others in the faith and so as those who are leaders, we should be able to set the example. Living the Christian life is difficult and sometimes people get sluggish and we need to actively exhort others to move forward.

Second, he comforted. The word 'comfort' here means more of an admonishing and putting forward an incentive to accomplish something. So we too should admonish and push a little bit to help others grow in their walk with Christ.

And finally he uses the word 'charged' which also can mean 'implored'. This is a stronger word that almost sounds like begging someone to do something.

As we can see from these three words, the life of a Christian man within the church is not to be passive. We are to be actively involved in other people's lives exhorting, comforting and charging them. But what is the goal?  The goal as verse 12 states is that people would walk worthy of God. Our manner of life should be one that is credible and is becoming of God. In other words, it should be a godly life. God wants all of us to be growing so that we can be more and more godly in our walk and character. As Christian men, we should be actively helping and encouraging others in their progress toward that goal as well.

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