Third Sunday of Easter
May 7, 2000
|Acts 3:12-19||Healing in the name of the Lord||63: Blessed Be the Name
337: Only Trust Him
|Psalm 4||Secure in the dwelling of the Lord||126: Sing Praise to God Who Reigns
152: I Sing the Almighty Power of God
513: Soldiers of Christ, Arise
529: How Firm a Foundation
|Luke 24:36b-48||Understanding in the presense of the Lord||525: We'll Understand It Better By and
559: Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation
|1 John 3:1-7||Righteousness in unity with the Lord||467: Trust and Obey
561: Jesus, United by Thy Grace
562: Jesus, Lord, We Look to Thee
This week we are discussing spiritual gifts that enable us to lead others in service to God. Here is some of the introductory text:
We have studied gifts of perception that allow us to know God's will. We have studied gifts of expression and dedication that allow us to share God's will with others in special ways. We have studied gifts of service through which we become participants in carrying out God's will. This week we will study gifts of leadership.
Leaders have appeared in surprising places from the beginning, and they have been surprisingly absent in others. Who would have anticipated that a young shepherd with a sling and a smooth stone could lead an army to route the enemies of God's people? Yet this young man was David, who would become king of Israel. In contrast, the disciples had followed Jesus for three years. They had heard his teachings. They had seen his miracles. Throngs of people had followed and cheered when they came. And yet, when the crowd came to arrest their Lord they scattered. Peter, one of Christ's boldest and most brazen supporters, denied that he even knew him. Where should we look to find gifted leaders?
If we get past the question of where we might find leaders, we have difficulty understanding what it is that makes them leaders. Presidents and Prime Ministers have positions of leadership, but some are ineffective. Mother Theresa had no high office or title, but hundreds of thousands of people followed her. What makes the difference? Is it the message? Is it the way that the message is delivered? Is it just a coincidence of circumstances?
When we begin to identify qualities that "make people leaders," we find that there are different kinds of leaders, too. Some people can lead children while others can only lead adults. Some lead in the church and others lead outside of the church. There are highly structured leaders and others who rely on having greater flexibility. What kind of leader is best? Are different leaders better for different situations?
You can read hundreds of books and attend an endless list of seminars that try to answer these questions. In the end, though, leaders rise up in God's time, and leaders lead with God's gifts. Sometimes God grants gifts that enable a person to lead an entire nation, as when the judges and the kings ruled in Israel. Sometimes God grants gifts to lead the people of many nations toward the path of salvation, as when Paul and Peter and the other Apostles spread the news of the Resurrected Christ and founded churches during the first century. Other times God grants gifts to lead a congregation or a smaller group of people, such as the pastors and other leaders in local churches.
Christ is our greatest example of leadership. With a simple call to follow him he led his disciples. With his teaching and miracles he led throngs of people. Kings and religious leaders recognized that he acted and spoke with authority. Jews and gentiles followed him. He still leads us today. This week we will study the gifts of administration, apostle, encouragement or exhortation, evangelist, leadership, missionary, pastor/shepherd, and teaching. Each involves a different kind of leadership. As with the other gifts we have studied, none is more important than any other. They are all essential to make the body of Christ complete.
I hope you will join us at http://www.HymnSite.com/giftsurvey. May we all be good stewards of the gifts we have received from God.
God bless you--
Lection at HymnSite.com
|Scriptures suggested at this site for use throughout the year are taken directly from The Revised Common Lectionary. Copyright (c) 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P. O. Box 840, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37202-0840, USA. Used with Permission.|
|Materials on Spiritual Gifts Copyright © 2000 by CARadke. All rights reserved. Individual, personal use online is authorized and encouraged. For information about other uses or signing up a group for the course write to GiftSurvey@HymnSite.com.|