Friday, August 12, 2016

"The Price of Leadership"

2nd Corinthians 11.28-29 NIV
Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?”

Paul’s “everything else” list of apostolic credentials and sacrificial achievements (verses 22-27) was lengthy and impressive:
  • Hebrew
  • Israelite
  • Descendent of Abraham
  • Servant of Christ
  • Hard labor
  • Frequent imprisonment
  • Beaten times without number
  • Often in danger of death
  • Received the 39 lashes 5 times
  • Beaten with rods 3 times
  • Stoned once
  • Shipwrecked 3 times
  • Spent a night and a day in the open sea
  • Constant travel
  • In danger from rivers
  • In danger from bandits
  • In danger from his own countrymen
  • In danger from Gentiles
  • In danger in the city
  • In danger in the wilderness
  • In danger at sea
  • In danger from false brothers
  • Labored and toiled without sleep
  • Known hunger and thirst
  • Often gone without food
  • Suffered cold and exposure
“Besides” all this, what else is there? What more could a man endure to demonstrate his loyalty to the brethren and love for Christ? There remained one final test of Apostolic commitment surpassing all others in its level of difficulty. It cost Paul dearly, kept him awake at nights, and made him take unnatural risks with his life. It proved the Apostle was supremely qualified to lead disciples at every local church throughout Asia Minor and Palestine.

“Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches”.

The task of shepherding involves more than feeding the flock. A true man of God takes responsibility for the on-going spiritual welfare of his disciples. If a leader does not “face daily [and feel deeply] the pressure of [his] concern” and "inwardly burn" for the people he leads, then he is not the leader Jesus called him to be.

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