TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Intermediate Edition

I.  General

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Chapter 30  Part I

General

Good leadership is one of the most important prerequisites for a healthy church. For a church to function effectively it is critical that leaders know and do what is required of them. It is also important for church members to know what they should expect of leaders – and how they can support their leaders.

Note that a number of verses in this chapter speak of Paul and other NT leaders in their work overseeing a number of churches, or of leaders of the nation of Israel. Such verses are generally readily applicable to leaders of local churches today, and to their relationship with church members.

Required Characteristics

Godliness

For the overseer must be blameless as one entrusted with God’s work, not arrogant, not prone to anger, not a drunkard, not violent, not greedy for gain. 8Instead he must be hospitable, devoted to what is good, sensible, upright, devout, and self-controlled.   Titus 1:7-8  NET

Wisdom

[Moses, to the Israelites:] Select wise and practical men, those known among your tribes, whom I may appoint as your leaders.   Deuteronomy 1:13  NET

Strength and courage

[God, to Joshua:] Be strong and courageous, because you’ll be leading this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors.   Joshua 1:6  ISV

Deep love for church members

[Paul, to church members:] Because of our love for you we were ready to share with you not only the Good News from God but even our own lives. You were so dear to us!   1 Thessalonians 2:8  GNT

Managing the Church

As a leader, provide good leadership

Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching.   1 Timothy 5:17  NET

Be gentle and sparing in the use of authority

[Paul, to church members:] Instead, we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother tenderly caring for her own children.   1 Thessalonians 2:7b  ISV

[Paul, to church members:] For this reason, although in the Messiah I have complete freedom to order you to do what is proper, 9I prefer to make my appeal on the basis of love.   Philemon 1:8-9a  ISV

Be an example for others to follow

[Paul, to church members:] For you know yourselves how you must imitate us, because we did not behave without discipline among you, 8and we did not eat anyone’s food without paying. Instead, in toil and drudgery we worked night and day in order not to burden any of you. 9It was not because we do not have that right, but to give ourselves as an example for you to imitate.   2 Thessalonians 3:7-9  NET

Caring for Church Members

See also:

Be a shepherd taking care of God’s flock

[Paul, to leaders:] Pay attention to yourselves and to the entire flock over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to be shepherds of God’s church, which he acquired with his own blood.   Acts 20:28  GW

Pray for church members

[Paul, to church members:] We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives.   Colossians 1:9  CEV

Strengthen members in the faith

[Paul, to church members:] We are speaking in Christ before God, and everything we do, dear friends, is to build you up.   2 Corinthians 12:19b  NET

Work hard at helping church members

[Paul, speaking to Colossian church members about Epaphras:] For I can testify that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis.   Colossians 4:13  NET

Confront church members over sin

[God, to Ezekiel:] Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her abominable practices …   Ezekiel 16:2  NET

Church Members’ Duties to Leaders

Love your leaders

[Paul, to the Corinthian believers:] You are so rich in all you have: in faith, speech, and knowledge, in your eagerness to help and in your love for us.   2 Corinthians 8:7a  GNT

Obey your leaders

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.   Hebrews 13:17  ESV

Give your leaders material support

Now the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the one who teaches it.   Galatians 6:6  NET

Pray for persecuted Christians