Several months ago, I posted some Old Testament verses that challenge me as a Christian leader. Here are other verses from the New Testament that challenge me, especially as I think about standing before God’s people in worship this weekend:
- Matthew 12:36 – “I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak.” Our words matter. In fact, much of our ministry is built upon verbal communication.
- Luke 22:26 – “On the contrary, whoever is greatest among you must become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving.” Few of these ideas fit the world’s picture of a leader.
- Philippians 2:3-4 – “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” It’s tough to win the battle with conceit and jealousy, even as a Christian leader.
- 1 Timothy 3:2-7 – “An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, not addicted to wine, not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy— one who manages his own household competently, having his children under control with all dignity. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a new convert, or he might become conceited and fall into the condemnation of the Devil. Furthermore, he must have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he does not fall into disgrace and the Devil’s trap.” These expectations are high . . . and leaders must review them more often than simply when we’re getting ordained . . ..
- Hebrews 13:17 – “ Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” This responsibility is beyond my comprehension.
- James 3:1 – “Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment . . ..” We need to think and pray about our calling to lead, knowing that God expects more from leaders.
- 1 Peter 5:2-3 – “Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” We are to be examples – examples of Christ, the great Shepherd, that is.
If you’re a Christian leader, use these verses to prepare your heart to lead your congregation this weekend.