The Joy of Serving as a Church Leader
Philippians 4:9 "The things which ye both learned and received and heard and saw in me, these things do: and the God of peace shall be with you. "
The most joyous times in the Christian life come from watching others meet Christ and make him their lives. Not part of their lives . . . but making Him their lives. The joy comes from watching others walk down the same path to Jesus that I took.
So much misery comes from sin and from ignorance. When we see lives that are ruled by Satan, it tears our hearts out. We watch a teen unwed pregnant mom light up her cigarette, drink from her bottle in the brown paper wrapper, and take the Lord's name in vain because the air temperature is a bit warm for her liking . . . and we say, "I have to tell you about Jesus . . . "
Perhaps the most tangible expression of the joy of which I speak reveals itself in the use of the word "mission." I used to think of "mission" in terms of what someone else was going to receive from me. "Mission" was the money or medical supplies or teaching that someone else in a foreign land was going to get. And then I started doing mission work at the local jail.
I can tell you today that "mission" work is only partly about what other people receive from me. "Mission work" is about me fulfilling what I was put on this earth to do. Sublime happiness comes from accomplishing what God put me here for. God put me here to teach and to lead other souls to Him through Christ His Son. My hearers may or may not respond to my message. Either way, I have the joy of having fulfilled the mission and purpose for which I was put upon this earth.
The church buildings, the ministries, vans, classroom supplies, and trappings and trimmings of modern-day church operations--they all come down to getting to see myself and others bowing the knee to Jesus Christ, who takes away our sins.
The biggest joys come not from the colonel's viewpoint but the private's. However, if I had to point to some joys that might be a bit more specific to the elder's viewpoint, they would include:
And finally, seeing the realization of what Paul was talking about in Philippians 4: 9, above.
Books that have been useful in preparing these lessons include:
Anderson, L. (1993). They smell like sheep. West Monroe, Louisiana: Howard Publishing.
Gangel, K. O. (1984). So you want to be a leader! Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications.
Grimsley, R. W. (1964). The Church and its elders. Abilene, Texas: Quality Printing Company.
Lewis, J. P. (1985). Leadership questions confronting the church. Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate.
Lewis, J. P. (2008). The question of instrumental music in worship. Searcy, AR: Truth for Today World Mission School.
Sanders, J. O. (1989). Spiritual leadership. Chicago, Ill: Moody Press.
Strauch, A. (1991). A study guide to biblical eldership: An urgent call to restore Biblical church leadership. Littleton, CO: Lewis and Roth Publishers.
White, J., & Blue, K. (1985). Church discipline that heals: Putting costly love into action. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press.
Yeakley, F. R. jr. (1980). Church leadership and organization. Arvada, CO: Christian Communications.
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