ODJ: leading example

April 9, 2015 

READ: 1 Timothy 3:1-13 

If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honourable position (v.1).

The pastor of a megachurch quit providing content through social media—declaring his return to his original calling of pastoring his local church. He felt that the distraction of his popular online communications were detracting from His primary calling. Pastors and all of us struggle at times with our priorities.

The Scriptures reveal the importance of testing the teaching and priorities of those who shepherd us within the church (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Timothy was a young man working with the church in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3) where the ageing apostle Paul hoped to join him (3:14-15). In the meantime, Paul urged Timothy to set an example of consistent faith and good conscience as he carefully lived out His calling in Christ (4:12-16).

Paul also wrote with instructions on church leadership and organisation to help the body of Christ reflect God’s heart (2:1-15, 3:1-13). God, by the work of the Holy Spirit, can help leaders—and all of us—pursue lives of integrity and faithfulness. The list of attributes written in this passage may seem difficult for any of us to live out, but by the Spirit’s leading we can begin to imitate our Good Shepherd who leads us so well. He led with humility and grace, saying to us, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

If you’re a church leader, may God give you all you need to serve Him wholeheartedly and effectively. If you’re not in leadership, may you gently and lovingly encourage those who are. And may we all reveal God’s love and grace by our example and our priorities.

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day-plan: 2 Samuel 15:1-37

Read Titus 1:5-9 for more on what a leader in the church should look like. 
How can you carefully consider what’s being taught in your church without being overly critical? What kind of example are you providing for the less spiritually mature believers in your life?