Summary: This sermon stresses the importance of and the characteristics of spiritual leadership so that we will mature and not be described as Ephesians 4:14 & 15.
Who’s Leading You?
September 8, 2002
A bumper sticker reads: “Don’t follow me. I’m lost too.”
Motion does not always mean purpose.
Be very careful if you follow the crowd, for they may not know where they are going.
B. Ephesians 4:14-15 (NIV), Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
1. That is a very apt description of our society today.
2. Our society certainly knows how to follow the crowd.
3. We learn it from childhood when we use the peer pressure phrase, “Everybody’s doin’ it.”
4. And it seems that most in our society never quit following the crowd even when they become adults.
5. Often our leaders don’t even know any better: they don’t know how to determine the right course for themselves, so they take polls to see whether the winds of popular opinion are blowing on a particular day and simply give the people what they want.
6. The problem is that predicting the direction of the popular opinion is just as difficult as predicting the winds of weather.
7. Paul could certainly be describing our society when he says they are “infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”
8. So how is the Christian to respond to this?
9. What do we do to prevent ourselves from be tossed back and forth by the waves and being blown here and there by every wind of teaching?
10. Well, one of the ways is to get some godly leadership in our lives.
An ancient Persian proverb offers the following excellent advice on leaders.
He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool—shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not is a child—teach him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows is asleep—wake him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows is wise—follow him.
D. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV), Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
1. Paul knew what it took to be a Godly leader.
2. Paul encouraged others to follow him as he followed Christ.
3. Paul called people to follow him as he followed Christ and that is Godly leadership and all of us need people like that in our lives.
4. Today in Acts 20 we’re going to look at Paul’s departing words to the Elders at Ephesus.
5. Paul knew that he would never see the Ephesians again and so he traveled near Ephesus and sent for the Ephesian Elders to come and meet him at Miletus.
6. There, Paul gave an emotional farewell address to the Ephesians.
7. In Paul’s farewell address to the Elders in Ephesus we find ten characteristics of a Godly leader…
I. Godly leaders are transparent.
Acts 20:18 (NIV), When they arrived, he said to them: "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.
A. Paul tells the elders at Ephesus that they know how he lived.
1. When the Ephesian elders got to Paul, he told them that they knew how he had lived the whole time he was in Ephesus, which was about three years.
2. Paul did not hide himself in some ivory-towered monastery and then show up on Sunday mornings to preach and teach them.
3. Paul lived amongst the Ephesians and they knew all about how he lived.
4. Paul did not hide his private life from them.
5. Paul’s public life was in his private life and his private life was his public life.
6. Paul’s religious life was his private life and his private life was his religious life.
7. Paul did not compartmentalize his life into different sections; Paul’s life was Christ’s life; 24/7.
8. The Ephesians knew how Paul lived; he was transparent with them.
9. Paul had nothing to hide from anyone at any time.
B. This is a mark of a godly leader.
1. Godly leaders do not hide out in ivory towers.
1. Godly leaders do not hide out from people so that they don’t see their private life.
2. Godly leaders are like Paul; they are transparent with people.
3. Godly leaders allow people to see into their private life.
4. Godly leaders let people know that they live what they believe.