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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Profile of Leadership

If you were searching for a new pastor or new small group leaders, what leadership profile (modeled by Paul) would you look for? How do you fit that profile? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1616).

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (excerpts) Paul advising Timothy 

I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction....keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

There is no question that Paul might not fare well as a leader in a buttoned-down environment. I can think of some environments in which he would be a very unhappy camper--environments in which it is fancied that conformity is more important than leadership.  Paul's advice to Timothy is very telling about Paul's viewpoint regarding leadership. It is to be solid, yet evangelically proactive. It calls for great patience and keeping one's head, while placing rebuke and correction on a par with encouragement.  Would a search committee examining candidates really favor someone willing to proactively rebuke and correct them--to criticize them and their group?  Let's try it out for size right here and now – "Search committee, I think the furniture in this room stinks; and besides that Mr. Chairman I don't like your tie!"  Maybe this isn't exactly what Paul is talking about, but it does illustrate the point that few people actively seek to be rebuked and corrected.

In this matter I think of the research that has found that it takes at least three positives to overcome one negative. That is, one negative comment is only balanced by at least three or more positive words of encouragement. Taking all of Paul's writings together, my impression is that he more than meets this threshold.

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