DISCIPLE MAKING LEADERSHIP - LIFE LESSONS
Last words speak volumes and I think this one is of critical importance for Disciple-making Leadership.
One of my favorite speeches by the Apostle Paul is his "farewell" to the Ephesians elders in Acts 20.
Last words speak volumes and I think this one is of critical importance for Disciple-making Leadership. Why? Well, elders are tasked with overseeing the flock which includes teaching and shepherding and discipling. Although we may not hold the position of elder in a church, the charge to them here is applicable to anyone discipling others.
I do not have time to break the entire conversation apart but let's look at one verse - Acts 20:28. Paul says, "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with his own blood." The end is settled - we have our relationship reconciled ONLY through the blood of Jesus - so let's start in the middle.
Again, the audience is elders who have a specific flock; however, if you are engaged in Disciple-making Leadership, then you have a little group for which to care. In my own life, I am not a pastor or elder or deacon; yet, I do have a small group - they happen to be teenagers - at our church that is my little flock. That makes sense, right? So, let's bring clarity to the beginning of the verse.
Paul's charge is to "pay careful attention to yourselves." If you spend some time studying the Greek term here, this is a bold warning for us. Paul is saying that you should study diligently, set your course, and then stick with it. What this means is simple - the lessons you teach must match the life that you live. If your walk does not match your talk, then those you disciple will be confused.
Robert Murray McCheyne said it succinctly when he made this observation: "My people's greatest need is my personal holiness." Let that sink in for you as a disciple-making leader. Your people need your time, attention, teaching, AND (most importantly) example.
If this topic is one you want to dig deeper within, I suggest you get a copy of Charles Spurgeon's Lectures to my Students. Read it slowly and consider its thoughts deeply.
Let's go back to our definition of DmL -
"individually and intentionally imparting the truth of God for the glory of God. The end result is that another person has grown in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, whereby, they begin to impart the truth of God for the glory of God." This task is impossible unless your words and deeds match, which is why Paul's farewell to these leaders is critical for us today.
What lessons do others learn by looking at your life?
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