North Augusta, South Carolina
From the Pastor’s Desk …..September 2015
It is with great joy we pause at a time when we are celebrating 31 years as pastor of this great body of God's disciples, to pen words relative to the roles of God's Leaders.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us that "We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Hear me when I say that God can use people with or without the natural ability and proper background as we think they should have. God often chooses those to do His work who does not possess the leadership skill or background to do his work because He shapes and mold them as He deems necessary.
It was for this cause Apostle Paul recorded I Corinthians 1:26-27, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."
Hear me when I say that not many of us were wise by human standards; not many of us were influential. No! Not many of us were of a noble birth. Nor were the disciples who were chosen by Jesus who executed the roles of God's leaders in the first church. The disciples were fishermen and tax-collectors by trade. They were not highly educated, nor men from influential families. Some did have strong driven personalities, but others did not.
Listen to me! God does not call the equipped; He equips the called! It is for this cause Apostle Paul records in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Yes! God prepares those He calls.
Now! Having shared this, let us take a close look at the roles of God's leaders. Before, we can venture into the roles of God's leaders; let me first make it clear that the roles of God leaders are many. However, for this documentary, we are going to point out three roles of God's leaders that stand out more profoundly.
First and foremost, if we are going to be successful in our roles as God's leaders, we must have an Intimacy with Jesus Christ.
Role #1 is an Intimacy with Jesus Christ. Hear men when I say that every Christian leader, whether a pastor, minister, teacher, evangelist, apostle or layperson, must develop a strong and intimate relationship with God. Yes! We must develop this intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through daily prayer and constant Bible study.
In the study of Mark 1:35, we see that Jesus, not only resolved to a solitary place of prayer and meditation early in the morning, he also, according to Mark 6:35, called His disciples to draw away from the pressing crowds to meditate and reflect as well.
We too, as Christian leaders, must pull away from the woes and foes of this life to pray, meditate and reflect on the goodness of God if we’re to execute the roles of God's leaders in power. When we take liberty to pull away from the woes and foes of this life to pray, meditate and reflect on the goodness of God, I believe we make the appropriate connection with our Father for Him to lead and guide us in the way He will have us to go in leading and guiding the people He gave us to oversee.
Now! This brings us to the second role of God's leaders. Role #2 in God's Leaders is Spirit-Driven and Passionate. In studying Mark 1:35-39 and Luke 4:43; 5:32, we noticed that Jesus not only prayed in a solitary place and ushered His disciples from the pressuring crowds. He lived his life and did everything with a clear sense of purpose. Jesus was preoccupied with the purpose with which his Father had sent him into the world. That, of course, was his passion.
Hear men when I say Jesus' vision was sharp, His goal was clear and His objective was direct. He never allowed anything to distract him from his role as God's leader. No! Not even Satan the devil. Study Matthew chapter 4 for an account of what transpired when he was tempted by Satan and how He remained focus to His role.
In Luke 12:13-14; 13:31-3, Jesus was very clear in communicating the purpose with which He chose his disciples. In Matthew 4:18-19; 28:16-20 Mark 1:16-17; 3:13-14, and Acts 1:7-8, Jesus reiterated his purpose even before he ascended into heaven after his resurrection.
Now, watch this! In reading the above passages of scripture you will note that when the disciples received the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised, they began their ministry and followed Jesus example of being Spirit-driven and Passionate. They did not allow anything, including the good things in the ministry to distract them their roles of God's leader.
Apostle Paul demonstrated for us in the writings of 1 Corinthians 9:15-27; Galatians 2:1-10; Philippians 3:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:10-11; 4:1-8, that the key ingredient to successful Christian leadership is to remain focused, to be driven by a clear sense of purpose, to pursue goals with perseverance, and to finish the race. Winners never quit and quitters never win!
As saints of God on a mission for God, we must execute our roles as God's leaders by and through becoming Spirit-Driven and Passionate. Yes! We must be spirit led and love what we do, in the name of Jesus.
This brings us to the last, but not least, of the roles of God's leaders. Role #3 of God's leaders is to become a Servant leader. A Servant leader is one who fully understands that he is to serve and not be served. Jesus said in Mark 10:45, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Jesus further stated in Matthew 20:26-28 "Yet it shall be not so among you but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desire to be first among you, let him be your servant, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
As servants of God, we must not be tempted by Satan, the devil, to think that as God's leaders we are not to get our hands dirty. Nor should we develop the mindset that certain tasks, certain assignments or to mingle and co-mingle with certain people are beneath us. Furthermore, we as saints executing the roles of God's leaders, we should not esteem one race of people or the religion or belief of another above or beneath any others. We are all entitled by God to our belief. However, we must bear in mind that our thoughts and beliefs do bear consequences -good or bad. Amen!
As I close this documentary, I must say that a true servant of God executing the roles of God's leaders will know their strengths and weaknesses. In so doing, they will surround themselves with those who have complementary abilities and can offset their weaknesses.
I encourage each of you to join me as we celebrate 31 years as pastor of this great body of Jesus Christ, here at First Providence to continue to execute your role as God's leader by and through establishing and maintaining Intimacy with Jesus Christ; developing and maintaining a Spirit-Driven and Passionate relationship with fellow disciples and becoming the Servant leader to all. It's in your hands - To God be the glory!
Rev. Dr. Alexander Pope, Jr.
Sermon Topic for September 2015
The Role of God's Leaders
To be closer to God, be closer to people
First Providence Baptist Church
315 Barton Road
North Augusta, SC 29841
Phone: (803) 279-8836
Fax: (803) 441-8666