Guarding The Gospel

Leadership

1 Timothy 3: 1-7


Introduction: President Dwight D Eisenhower said: 

                      “the supreme quality for leadership is 

                    integrity. Without it no real success is possible.”  

 

John C. Maxwell wrote: “A leader is one who knows the 

                          way, goes the way and who shows the way.” 

 

Or this: “leadership is the combination between strategy and 

               character. If you have to be without one of them, be 

               without strategy” General Norman Schwarzkopf.  

 

What was the common thread in all three quotes? 

It’s what the Bible teaches about the qualities – 

the indispensable qualities – of true leadership. 

                    What you are deep inside is more important in 

                     leadership than what you say on the outside. 

 

The Spiritual Gift of leadership is meant to equip the person 

who is called to supervise God’s family. 1Here is a 

trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer  

                                desires a noble task. 

 

There is that word “overseer” and it’s tied to that other word 

“noble.”  So get this: Communication skills matter a whole 

                                   lot in a Christian Leader. 

                                  Ability to see vision matters a whole lot 

                                   in a Christian Leader. 

                                   Getting people to do things matters a 

                                   whole lot in a Christian Leader, 

but in the long run, none of that matters 

as much as internal ethics in a Christian Leader.  

 

If you are hoping for a sermon full of natty little pointers on 

leadership skills – you are going to be disappointed.  

                  This is a message is more about being an upright 

                   leader than just being a right leader. 

 

A. The Gift of Leadership and the Holy Spirit fruit

     of Self Control

1. self-controlled – the word is right there in our text this 

    morning. There is a powerful concept in Proverbs 16:32

    we read: “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with 

     self-control than one who takes a city.” 

 

To lead an army to conquer a walled city in those days was a 

great feat of leadership, but the verse says : Better is one with 

self-control than one who takes a city.” 

                  Self-controlled leaders are…

 

2. temperate, that word means moderate, reasonable and  

sensible. So if it means that,   I’m not surprised to see that 

the example chosen reads: 3 not given to drunkenness, and 

                                              not a lover of money. 

Here is some Andrew Paton advice for all spiritual leaders:  

Beware the 3 D’s  

Watch out not to run after any of the 3 D’s – 

the Dollies (if you are a man) or 

the Don Juans (if you are a lady) 

      the Drinks and the Dollars.  

 

Shudder – the 3 Ds  temperate, not given to drunkenness, 

                                and not a lover of money. 

 

And while we are at it lets talk about how a bad temper 

doesn’t belong in a leader: not violent but gentle, 

                                           not quarrelsome. 

 

Illustration: I came from a rough neighborhood. Soon after I 

became a Christian my father wanted to see what this church 

thing was all about. He arrived at church and made a few 

unacceptable remarks.  The pastor then lost his temper and 

challenged my father to a fist fight outside. He was stripping 

off his jacket when others at church restrained him. 

I never forgot that scene.  

 

The spiritual leader must have the Holy Spirit’s fruit 

                           of self-control – and not just at church…

 

B. The Gift of Leadership and

     the Family fruit of Harmony

1. In an age when most of the church leaders were men 

     Paul wrote this advice: The leader must be -

2. husband of but one wife,  

Boy has that qualification caused problems over the years. 

 

Problem # 1 Spiritual leaders must be married!  

                    How do you know?  husband of but one wife, 

 

Problem # 2 Spiritual Leaders cannot be divorced and 

remarried: How do you know?      husband of but one wife,  

 

Problem # 3 Spiritual Leaders must be masculine . 

                        How do you know? husband of but one wife,   

 

So that cuts out all leaders who have lost a spouse. 

    Nobody who remarried should apply. 

If God gave you the gift of celibacy, He also cut you out of 

       leadership – tough luck! 

 

BUT wait… what if this was just a word against polygamy.   

                What if the intention here was to return the leader 

                 to the original marital state of Adam and Eve? 

 

2. Look at how the verse continues: 

4He must manage his own family well and 

       see that his children obey him, and 

                he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 

5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, 

                                 how can he take care of God's church?)  

 

Allow me very briefly to unpack that verse 

4 He must manage his own family well (not dictate to like a  

              tyrant, not neglect like work and hobbies come first)

 

 manage his own family well and see that his children obey 

him, (to me “children” are all those in your home who are 13 

          years of age and younger.  Once they are teens they 

          are young adults and a whole new set of behaviors 

          come into play. No more controlling, no more 

                                    exasperating, but also no more taking 

                                     responsibility)

 

He must see that his children obey him

 and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 

(Fear alone won’t cut it.)

do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 

(you can demand respect – 

                   but earning it takes it to a far deeper level.)

 

C. The Gift of Leadership and Personal Character

1. Let’s be clear – the gift of leadership when combined with 

    self-control within the bounds of a healthy family life will 

    produce a good character,  

 

We are expecting leaders that are above reproach. 

When we don’t have to keep pointing out recurring faults in 

you it will be a sign that you are gaining a sound character. 

 

I don’t often quote Rush Limbaugh because he has some 

problems in this area – yet he wisely said: 

                         “character matters – 

                           because leadership descends from character.

 

7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, 

  so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.  

                               Maybe some other time we can discuss 

                               the various traps the devil sets – 

 

but today we affirm that the gift of leadership is only 

dangerous when it’s in the heart of someone of dubious 

character. So our last point has to be:

 

D. The Gift of Leadership and Spiritual Maturity

1. It takes a while to grow into a trusted Christian leader.  

           In fact the person who has been very bad at following

           should never be trusted with leadership. 

 

Our scripture says: a Leader must not be a recent convert.

In another place the Bible says: 

     Don’t be hasty in the laying on of hands. 

         (that was the early church’s way of appointing leaders.) 

 

2. Two more things are required of the spiritually mature:  Hospitable, and  

                   able to teach 

 

Conclusion:  The first thing the gift of leadership does is 

                       refine the leader. 

 

One wrote: “Leadership isn’t a position or a title, 

                     its action and example.” 

Leadership action usually entails making difficult decisions 

                                                 that carry large consequences, 

 

but as Roy Disney said: 

“When your values are clear to you, 

          making decisions are easier.” 

 

That’s why this teaching today on the gift of leadership was very light on how to lead 

but strong on who to be WHEN you lead.