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Expectations of Leadership

by Levi Sisemore

Each one of us needs leadership. We need people who will make informed, compassionate, and – oftentimes – hard decisions about all the questions that need deciding. The Bible is a treasure trove of the very best leadership guidance, not only for spiritual matters, but it’s full of general principles and guidelines that every leader would be better for following.

One of the hardest lessons to learn for those who are young in leadership is that most of the time, followers find you rather than you seeking them. How many times have we talked to older siblings or teenagers and reminded them that their little brothers and sisters or the younger crew is watching them, learning from them, and will follow their example. When you set an example – good or bad; intentionally or incidentally – you have the potential for leadership. Yes, even when we don’t ask to be leaders, if people are following us, then we are leaders. At that point it is a test of character whether we will own up to their trust in us by leading them well or if we will despise them, either by ignoring them or by refusing to lead them towards what is best.

The passage on my mind this morning is I Thessalonians 5:12-15, where several points are made, which mark out good leaders and also highlight how followers should respectfully encourage those whom they follow.
Admonish the idle
80% of the work, they say, is done by 20% of the people. Why is everyone else in your organization, church, family, etc., just sitting there while do carry the load? It’s often easier to do the work ourselves that be bothered with others, isn’t it? Yet a good leader doesn’t allow people remain as they are, but will move people toward maturity.

encourage the fainthearted
People are afraid. They’re afraid of change, they’re afraid of not changing; they’re scared of moving left or right, up or down. Fear paralyzes the inner man and keeps us from doing anything, even following our leaders. These leaders should not berate us for our fear, but share their courage with us

help the weak
Strength begets strength. If it has been too long since we moved, acted, followed closely, our ability to do so will have atrophied. Leaders should not shame the weak, nor leave them behind, but work with them on exercising those muscles.

be patient with them all.
Finally, leaders must be patient with all the above. That is a hallmark of a true leader – one who is willing to lovingly bear with his followers.

“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” (I Thess. 5:12-15)


Levi Sisemore is between preaching positions

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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13