Read 1 Timothy 5:1-6:2
If man see women as fellow members in God’s family, they will protect them and help them grow spiritually.
The church has always had limited resources and it always had to balance financial responsibility with generosity. It only makes sense for members to work as hard as they can and to be as independent as possible, so they can adequately care for themselves and for less fortunate members. When church members are both responsible and generous, everyone’s needs will be met.
The church should support those who have no families and should also help the elderly, young, disabled, ill, or poverty-stricken with their emotional and spiritual needs. Often families who are caring for their own helpless members have heavy burdens. They may need extra money, a listening ear, a helping hand, or a word of encouragement. Interestingly, those who are helped often turn around and help others, turning the church into more of a caring community. Don’t wait for people to ask. Take the initiative and look for ways to serve them.
Almost everyone has relatives, family of some kind. Family relationships are so important in God’s eyes. Are you doing your part to meet the needs of those included in your family circle?
Three out of four wives today eventually are widowed, and many of the older women in our churches have lost their husbands. Does your church provide an avenue of service for these women? Could you help match their gifts and abilities with your church’s needs? Often their maturity and wisdom can be of great service in the church.
“Washing the feet of the saints” means to help and serve other believes with humility, following the example of Jesus who washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper (John 13:1-17).
Faithful church leaders should be supported and appreciated. Too often they are targets for criticism because the congregations has, unrealistic expectation. How do you treat your church leaders? Do you enjoy finding fault, or do you show your appreciation? Do they receive enough financial support to allow them to live without worry and to provide for the needs of their families?
Preaching and teaching are closely related. Preaching is proclaiming the Word of God and confronting listeners with the truth in Scriptures. Teaching is explaining the truth in Scripture helping learners understand difficult passages and helping them apply God’s Word to daily life. Paul says that these elders are worthy of double honor. Unfortunately, however, we often take them to granted by not providing adequately for their needs or by subjecting them to heavy criticism. Think of how you can honor your preachers and teachers.
Church leaders are not exempt from sin, faults, and mistakes. But they are often criticized for the wrong reasons-minor imperfections, failure to meet someone expectations, personality clashes. Sometimes church leaders should be confronted about their behavior, and sometimes they should be rebuked. But all rebuking must be done fairly and lovingly, and for the purpose of restoration.
We must be constantly on guard against favoritism, against giving preferential treatment to some and ignoring others. We live in a society that plays favorites. It’s easy to give special treatment to those who are gifted, intelligent, rich, or beautiful without realizing what we are doing. Make sure you honor people for who they are in Christ, not for who they are in this world.
Paul says that a church should never be hasty about choosing its leaders, especially the pastor, because we may overlook major problems or sins. It is a serious responsibility to choose church leaders. They must have strong faith and be morally upright, having the qualities described in 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9. Not everyone who wants to be a church leader is eligible. Be certain of an applicants qualifications before asking him or her to take a leadership position.
Choose church leaders carefully because sometimes their sins are not obvious and it takes time for them to be revealed. Church leaders should live lives that are above reproach.
How would you evaluate what your church is doing for those in need? Who besides widows, are people in your church that need some help the church can provide? What is your church doing about it?
Of the various instructions in chapter 5, which one has your name on it? Why?
Servant Ministry-In the Name of Jesus
The second temptation to which Jesus was exposed was precisely the temptation to do something spectacular “Throw yourself from the parapet of the temple and let the angels catch you and carry you in their arms.” But Jesus refused to be a stunt man. He did not come to prove himself. He had something worthwhile to say. “Don’t put the Lord your God to the test,” he said.
If we have anything at all to show, it is something we have to do solo. Ideally, we should have been able to do it all and do it successfully. We must avoid being well, we need to become a team player.
But when Jesus speaks about shepherding, he does not want us to think about a brave lonely shepherd who takes care of a large flock of obedient sheep. In many ways, he made it clear that it is a team effort.
First of all, Jesus sent the twelve out in pairs, (Mark 6:7). We are called to proclaim the Gospel together: “If two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I am their among them” (Matt. 18:19-20). It is hard to be truly faithful to Jesus when you are alone, it is Jesus who heals; Jesus who speaks words of truth; Jesus who is Lord. It is easier for people to recognize Jesus’ work when we are in a team. We should not only live together as a team but also minister as a team.
he wants us to care for people as valuable brothers and sisters who are known, who are forgiven, who love. All of this involves the team. How can we lay down our life for someone, if we do not have a relationship. Laying down your life means making your own faith, hope and joy available to others, as ways to get in touch with the Lord.
It is a servant-leader position in which the leader is a vulnerable servant who needs the people as much as they need him or her. How can people truly care for their leader, and keep them faithful to their sacred task when they do not know them and so cannot deeply love them.
Leaders are accountable to them and need their affection and support. Much Quality of Life is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationship, and have opted for power and control instead. Jesus asks servant-leaders to be led to unknown, undesirable, and painful places. It is downward mobility ending on the cross. It is a leadership in which power is constantly abandoned in favor of love. This refers to people who are deeply in love with Jesus that they are ready to follow Him wherever He guides them, always trusting that with him they will find true leadership.
Christian leaders have the arduous task of responding to personal struggles, family conflicts with an articulate faith in Cod’s real presence. A Christian leader is called to help people to hear Jesus’ voice and so be comforted and consoled.
he asks us to move from a concern for relevance to a life of prayer, from worries about popularity, instead we critically discern where God is leading us and our people. A image of the praying leader, the vulnerable leader and the trusting leader.
What are the most important sources of authority in your congregation?
How many of those are dependent on the gifts of the minister and which ones are dependent on God?
The key to becoming servant/leader is to: “Generate the faith required.” An important test for this is: are they seekers. Also If a prophet speaks and is not heard, the prophet’s vision may wither away.
Prophet, seeker, and leader are inextricably linked. The prophet brings vision and penetrating insight. The seeker brings openness, aggressive searching and good critical judgment. The leader adds the art of persuasion backed by persistence, determination, and the courage to trust God.
One must want to be a servant over being a leader. Being the leader doesn’t make you one, because leaders don’t automatically get the respect and acceptance of their group members; so in order to earn the leadership of their group and have a positive influence on the group members, leaders must learn some specific skills and methods.
Obviously, you can’t be a leader without followers. How does a leader acquire followers? The answer to this basic question emerges clearly when we understand the needs all human beings possess and how they struggle to satisfy these needs.
“To survive, ever person is engaged in a continuous struggle to satisfy needs
“Some means is required to satisfy a need (tools, food, money, physical strength, knowledge, etc.).
“most needs of individuals are satisfied in relationships with people or groups, so people and groups become the means we rely on most heavily for the satisfaction of our needs. (We do not grow our own food, etc.).
“People actively seek out those relationships in which the other person is seen ass having the means for satisfying their needs.
“People join groups, then, because they hope that membership will offer them the means for satisfying their needs. Conversely, they leave groups when they no longer get their needs satisfied.
“Group members accept influence and direction of a leader only if they regard him or her as a person through whose means they will get their needs satisfied. people follow (and permit their activities to be directed by) a leader whom they believe will get them what they need or want.” (Leader Effectiveness Training-Dr. Thomas Gordon).
This course will identify and provide training on the critical attitudes, skills, methods, and procedures required. The ideal group would marshal the creative resources of every member.
Why Build a Team
- ” Individual members of an organization will be more identified with the goals of the organization and concerned about it’s success if they participate in making decisions about those goals and how to reach them.
- “Being a member of a team gives group members a feeling of greater control over their lives; it frees them from the fear of the leader’s arbitrary use of power.
- “When group members participate in solving the group’s problems, they learn a great deal about the technical complexities of whatever the group’s task is; they learn from each other, as well as from the leader.
- “participation on a team provides opportunities for the members to satisfy many of their higher level needs for self-esteem, acceptance, and self actualization.
- “A team helps break down status differentials between the members and the leader, which fosters more open communication between members and leaders.
- “A team becomes the principal vehicle enabling the leader to exemplify the kinds of leadership behavior he or she wants the group members to learn and use in relationships. In this way effective leadership moves down through the organization.
- “Higher-quality decisions often result from bringing into play the combined resources of the group.
“…effective leaders must behave in such a way that they come to be perceived almost as another group member; at the same time they must help all group members feel as free as the leader to make contributions and perform needed functions in the group.” (Leader Effectiveness Training-Dr. Thomas Gordon).
An effective servant-leader, then does not need to solve all the problems, but to see to it that they get solved.
Success in God’s kingdom is not measured by the same standards the world uses.. During the early years of the American Revolution, George Washington lost most battles he fought. But, considering the rag-tag group of untrained, ill-equipped soldiers he was leading, it was a major victory simply keeping his troops from starving or freezing to death. Sometimes a tactical retreat can be a success. God gauges success in terms of faithfulness and obedience, not in terms of dollars or status. The definitive measure of leader’s success is whether they moved their people from where they were to where God wanted them to be. This may be reflected in numbers, or even in financial growth, but it is always seen in the spiritual growth of the followers.
Make me a believer, Lord. Show me the multitude of miracles you have created and are creating. Let me understand creation the way you intended it. Amen.