My husband and I (as long time believers) spent time in a church in our home town. They attracted us because of the attention and care we got as visitors. The amazing welcome made us think we could really work for God there. We have a huge heart for people and the welcome was, to put it mildly– breathtaking. We received an honored seat, a gift, and a quick introduction to some of the leadership. People from all over the church, from the nursery, to the auditorium, even in the restrooms were amazingly kind and inviting. We decided to start attending regularly and see where we could help them in the ministry of reconciliation. After about 3 weeks of meeting everyone (with that same attitude of kindness) we grew excited! My husband went to some prayer meetings and I began attending the women’s Bible study everything was great. Except… suddenly the care and interest from these warm-hearted people, switched off. After the first meet and greet hooked us in–we were almost totally ignored. The pastor and his wife never took time to talk or even got to know our names–and even on occasion avoided us. (The church was not that big) We were eager to get in, and roll our sleeves up. The cold shoulder grew colder from there, and soon I began wondering why we started going there at all. After six months of beatings with fire and brimstone from the pulpit–frankly, I was done. The pastor was showing us his motives. His priorities. He wanted people filling his seats and paying for the mortgage on his new building.
Now, I am not trying to belittle his leadership style because I’m not an expert at it. But I sure know when it’s bad. Don’t you? I attended church after church after that, trying to find a crowd of believers who didn’t act this way. NONE were any different. What does that tell me? They are working too hard to impress and wow people. But they don’t know how to receive real results into people’s lives. The leadership of a church is supposed to know how to operate the power of God, but when they don’t, it’s all for show.
Here is a different style of leadership. Caring about the people you have, like Paul did.
We have made it to the 8th verse of 1 Thess. 2 and so far we’ve seen that Paul went through the fire just to get the Word to them. Then he pops off with this verse.
1 Thessalonians 2:8; So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
Paul bled God’s love for these people. He bundled everything in his personality, his life, and his work together and worked with them. He rolled up his sleeves and dove into the fray with the life-defining power of God and love of God.
1 Thess. 2:9; For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
Wow, right. Labour? Travail? These words are making me sweat. How do you get that committed to people who will reject you, turn from God, and eventually fizzle out in their walk? The answer is; you don’t commit yourself to them. You commit yourself to God. Leave the prideful ideologies off when you study the Word. The labour and travail come because you realize what God is has to go through just so someone will believe him. But when they turn, when they change their hearts and see God’s work, then it’s all worth it. People change at pace of an inch worm. But when they change, it is as miraculous as watching a butterfly take its first flight.
God bless you today!
Would you like to know how to get your prayers answered? Click on this link for a free podcast teaching I recorded with Beth Jones called “Getting Your Prayers Answered.”
- Is Your Work in Vain? (supportinggodlywomen.wordpress.com)
- Was Apostle Paul the First Franchiser? (supportinggodlywomen.wordpress.com)
- 3 Steps to Leadership and a Question for You (supportinggodlywomen.wordpress.com)
- 3 Charactoristics of a Committed Leader (supportinggodlywomen.wordpress.com)
- 1st Thessalonians Here We Come (supportinggodlywomen.wordpress.com)
- Have you been on Our Journey through Ephesians? (supportinggodlywomen.wordpress.com)