I am a big fan of leadership being taught God’s way. I really began to understand the value of learning principles of leadership based on the Bible when I studied the Bible study course “Lord give me a heart for You” way back in 2005. I was amazed to see how practical the Word of God is in the area of leadership. I had heard about all the books on leadership and actually read of few of them but I really enjoyed the course because it taught me how to discover the principles for myself, from the Word of God. That is something that few books on Biblical leadership teach. I have been sharing some of those principles in the last few posts. The first post can be read by clicking here. The second here. I reviewed post 1 in post 2 so I will now review post 2 here in post 3. Are you confused yet?
- A good leader’s confidence is in the Lord and he leads the people using God’s wisdom as revealed in His Word.
- He keeps the day of the Lord as his focal point as he walks the path of faith and leads others on it.
- He shows the grace of God to the people by serving them till the end.
I would like to take a closer look at II Corinthians 1:16-24 in this article so that we can pull out even more principles of good, godly leadership.
16 that is, to pass your way into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and by you to be helped on my journey to Judea. 17 Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time? 18 But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no. 19 For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us-by me and Silvanus and Timothy -was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. 20 For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes ; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. 23 But I call God as witness to my soul, that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy ; for in your faith you are standing firm.
I. A good leader has a great vision (16)
As he leads the people, he has a big picture plan in mind. The church in Corinth was just one of the many churches that St. Paul worked with over the duration of his ministry. He invested greatly in them but he always had a bigger picture in mind as he did things. He encouraged them to think big the way that he did. Many times we think in really small portions and we actually believe that God is the same way. Our God is a really Big God and we need to view things as He does. Paul had this large vision back during them time when there was no mass communication like we have today. It was harder to travel great distances yet Paul had the Middle East, Asia Minor, and Europe in mind when he planned his ministry. He wanted to pass that vision along to his disciples. I think back to our church, Good News, when we were fewer than 100 members and just a couple of years old. Our senior pastor, Vasile Filat came to one of the church council meetings and said, “we need to think bigger. There are 33 towns and villages in the county adjacent to where our church is located and 25 of them have no Evangelical presence. Our church is going to try and plant 25 churches in these areas.” My first thought was, no way. But, we serve a Big God and after one year and a half, we have ministry going on in 7 of those towns and villages. The Bible teaches that with God, all things are possible. What kind of vision do you have for your disciples? Is it small like we are or big like God is?
II. A good leader takes his commitments seriously (17-22)
Sometimes leaders get over booked. They say yes to everything and cannot possibly do it all. That is not good. A good leader must maintain his good name by being a man of his word. If he says yes to something, he must do what he says and do it to the best of his ability. If he says no then he must do no. God keeps His Word at all times and His children must be the same way. If you say yes to something and cannot do it then you must find someone else to do it for you. Make sure that it gets done or warn those whom you said yes to and ask for an extension. Communicate if things change so that you will not lose your good name. Paul was being accused of not being a man of his word. The Corinthians were quick to make assumptions about him so he took initiative to write to them and explain. He had told them that he would stop and visit them and he had not yet kept his promise. The Corinthians did not think to ask if he were held up because maybe he got thrown in prison. They were not interested in the why. He heard of the “discussion” and quickly wrote and explained why he had not made it there yet. Are you a person of your word?
III. A good leader seeks to spare the people (23-24)
There is enough pain and sorrow in the world. People do not need a leader adding more sorrow. Paul had good reason to rebuke the Corinthians for their assumptions about him. He could have come in power and authority as an apostle and one who planted the church in Corinth. He did not appeal to that position of authority. Instead, he delayed his coming to the Corinthians so that he could calm down, give them time to see their mistakes, and repent of their attitude and actions. He wanted their reunion to be one of joy instead of sorrow. He was ready to forgive them and offer them the grace of God. What about you, how do you treat the people who follow you? Do you seek to offer joy and grace to them even if they have done you wrong? Paul did not over look their sin. In chapter 2 he explains why he acted the way that he did so that they would understand their mistakes. The good news is that they did understand their mistakes and asked for forgiveness. Paul’s leadership tactics worked “like a charm”. He demonstrated that he was for them and not against them even though they had wrongly accused him based on inaccurate assumptions. Paul was more interested in the relationship than showing how right he was and how wrong they were. He took initiative to spare the people. He did not run away from the problem. He confronted it and resolved. How many churches end up splitting over petty things because assumptions are made, tempers flare, and then there is an explosion? Many times, the pastor will ignore the problem until the explosion takes place or he will confront, not to resolve the problem but to show how wrong one group is and how right he is. Paul did none of these. He was a great leader and did it God’s way which saved the relationship and kept the church in tact.
Do you have a big vision for the people to follow? Are you serious when you give your word to do something or not do something? What do you do with conflict? Do you avoid them all together? Do you use them to show how right you are and how wrong others are or do you use them to reconcile relationships and spare the people more sorrow? May the Lord help us apply His principles as we seek to lead God’s people His way.