1 Thess 5:12-13 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
The next step in growing a healthy church is strong leadership. I am not talking about the personality of the leader but a leader who does three things
- Works Hard: The word labor means to work to the point of exhaustion. It is no secret that ministry is hard work and many ministers toil for hours upon hours each week. The question isn’t how many hours you are putting in but what you are doing with those hours? 1 cor 3:13 says that our work become known when we stand before the lord. Hard work doing the right things produces results. Work hard at what you do.
- Leads Well: Paul uses the term “over you in the Lord.” This has the meaning of leading or directing a group of people. As leaders our task is to take the group of people we are over somewhere. In the church that somewhere is discipleship and sanctification. That is called mission. The mission never changes. How we go about (vision) that changes all the time. As a leader do you know your mission? What is the vision that God is laying upon your heart to accomplish that mission? Seek Him out and then lead your people there.
- Teaches Truth: The final role of the leader in the church is to teach the truth. Paul uses the word admonish which means to come alongside and instruct. We might look at admonish as a negative word but it is not. This is where the truth comes in. When we instruct in the truth it contrasts the lifestyle many people are living. They may feel admonished but it is the truth that is doing it, not us. As leaders in the church we teach the truth of scriptures. We lay it out for our people so that the Holy Spirit can convict and change hearts. Don’t shy away from the truth or be afraid how people might respond. If we don’t teach the truth it doesn’t matter how hard we work or how well we lead it will lead to nowhere.
When a church is led by leaders who work hard, lead well, and teach the truth the church will grow. It may not be evident in the numbers but it will be in the hearts and lives of the people you lead.