Steve Timmis preaching Acts 20:17-38 on leadership/eldership/oversight/pastoral ministry (Download the MP3)
6 features of Paul’s leadership:
1. Consistency (v. 18) – He wasn’t hot and cold or ruled by his emotion. He was with them the whole time characterized by these other things.
2. suffering (v. 19) – despite trials Paul displayed this consistent style of leadership
3. comprehensive (v. 20) – in its scope and in its depth. He seized every opportunity and focused on their needs. It was about them, not him. He gave himself tirelessly in serving them.
4. gospel (vv. 21, 24) – Paul had one message, the gospel of the grace of God.
5. Responsible (v. 24) – he wanted to complete the task the Lord gave him.
6. Biblical – (vv. 25, 27) – he taught the Scriptures, Christ, and God’s plan and purposes.
5 features of local church leadership:
1. Watchful of themselves and the flock (v. 28) – they have to pastor one another and themselves individually.
2. Responsible (v. 28) – they are responsible as overseers, pastors, elders.
3. Vulnerability (v. 30) – savage wolves will come in. Every church is a target of false teaching and false teachers.
4. Dependent (v. 32) – on God and the word of his grace.
5. Industry (vv. 33-35) – Paul worked to supply needs (his own and others). Work hard. Expend yourselves. Make sure you’re a net giver, not a net receiver.
1. Challenge to all (including leaders): indifference and skepticism of leadership should not be characteristic of Christians. They should respect leadership, because leadership is ordained by God. We must respond well to the leaders God has raised up. If you have problems with leadership generally or your leaders in particular you have to ask if the problem is them or if it is you. Is it their failure to live up to this model? Then you must talk to them about it. Encourage them by loving them enough to challenge them and hold them to the word of God. What you can’t do is talk about them to others. You can’t undermine them or grow resentful toward them. That just isn’t an option. Love them enough to come and tell them. Christians should be hallmarked by a godly submissiveness.
2. Challenge to leaders: live up to this standard. You’ll feel a sense of inadequacy. If you do, then it’s the gospel sharing the bad news so that you can be served by the good news. Make sure that no one has any legitimate reason to call you to account unaccountable.
Blessed is the church that has a godly leadership. Blessed is the church where the congregation honors that leadership. Make it a delight to your leaders to lead you. Leaders, make it a delight for your people to follow you.