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Letters to Leaders – Lessons From Philemon


This is the beginning of a series called “Letters for Leaders.” Not just “Letters to Leaders,” that is, to the people who actually received these documents 2000 years ago; but “Letters for Leaders,” that is, letters with timeless principles inspired by the Holy Ghost that still speak to leaders in every generation.

Your initial impulse might be to say, “Well, I’m not a leader.” However, you would be wrong in the Biblical sense of leadership, because everyone influences someone else, and leadership is influence. You may be a bad influence or a good influence, but you are an influence!

“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me” (I Corinthians 4:15-16).

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Servant Leadership Lesson Two: The People Business

Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

One of the aspects of servant leadership is the matter of ministering to others. In this case ministry does not mean preaching or directing others, but rather helping them. Jesus exemplified this in His large number of healings of individuals and multitudes.

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Discovering Ministry in the Midst of the Stuff

I’m working and writing on the premise that God speaks best through me what He has been speaking in me. God has been prodding me onward and helping me wade through some of the tough stuff in every day ministry.

A missionary associate recently discussed with me an AIMer (short-term missionary) that had arrived on the field. He/she felt bewildered and blameworthy he/she wasn’t doing actual “ministry.” It’s a repetitive regular restlessness among those in kingdom business.

In 1999 I visited one of the executives in his office at World Evangelism Center. I asked if it were possible to do ministry in the midst of his administrative responsibilities. He pointed to a large stack of files and said, “Ministry, every time I want to do ministry, there is all this work staring at me.”

Lest we think this is a phenomenon isolated to World Evangelism Center, or AIMers on the mission field, I wonder how many pastors feel the same way. I recall, after marrying my wife, Linda, receiving a letter from her pastor-Dad. He wondered if he was truly making a difference in the small church he pastored and was close to giving up and throwing in the towel. Thankfully, he faithfully pressed on.

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Gazing Into Heaven – Acts 1:8-11

Leaders are, by definition, special people. They stand out from the others that follow. Spiritual leaders therefore are destined to be extraordinary individuals. And in knowing that, we can see the potential for both blessing and compromise.

The potential blessing is easy to see and understand. As leaders are given more and more to living the God-given vision for church growth, they will receive more and more of God’s infinite grace, the necessary spiritual resources that support the effort of the body in evangelism. The potential compromise is harder to spot, however.

Unfortunately, a real danger lies in being closely associated with the Spirit of God in the performance of God’s will on the earth. The expansion of the Church is priority number one, and leaders should expect to see the divine intervention of God’s mighty hand in their lives and ministries.

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A Man of God, A Man of Integrity

“Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool”. Proverbs 19:1

With out doubt of all the traits needed in the ministry of highest priority is integrity. It was King David in the Old Testament that spoke of the benefits of integrity. (Psalms 26:1-12)

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Developing leaders to facilitate global revival and church growth.