The Heart of a Spiritual Leader
1 Thessalonians 2:3-15
What makes a leader a good leader?. And as we’ve studied in the past, integrity, vision, humility, courage, and focus are qualities of a good leader. But what makes a good leader to become even a better leader is the heart. The heart highlights all the good qualities of a leader. What our church need at this time, is to have more leaders, with the mentioned qualities PLUS a big heart for God and His people. We shall see this kind of heart in Paul.
1. A big heart for God and others.
· Jesus opened Paul’s heart for Him.
“Go for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Acts 9:15-16
· The Spirit prepared Paul’s heart for service.
“15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.” Galatians 1:15-17.
“5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you.” 1 Thessalonians 2:5-7.
· He had no hidden impure or greedy motive in his ministry.
· He did not use his leadership position to seek personal glory and gain favourable influence over his people.
· Paul served to glorify God.
2. A soft heart that cares in a tough world.
“7 Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you… 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9;11-12.
· Paul used the metaphor of a nursing mother to illustrate how he nurtured them with the Word of God.
· Like a mother, Paul made sacrifices for the sake of the church.
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
· Paul used the metaphor of an encouraging father to illustrate his unwavering support for the church’s growth and strength.
3. A heart that protects the weak.
“13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
· Knowing the Word is our best protection against erroneous living.
· The Bible helps us to discern right from wrong and directs us to the right path.
· The practice of righteousness strengthens our faith.
Proverbs 16:23, “The heart of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.”
Questions to ponder:
· Would you commit to pray for more leaders like Paul?
· How would you respond to God if He calls you to Christian service?
What practical ways can you contribute to support our church?