Links Daily Devotional

Leading the People of God

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.” (Acts 20:28, NIV)

A few weeks back, I was delighted to see that LPGA veteran Angela Stanford gave a big shoutout to Tour commissioner Mike Whan on Twitter. “Best commish in sports,” she tweeted. “No one can tell me theirs is better.”

Good church leaders love people in a way that gives them the best and keeps them from the worst.If you haven’t had the opportunity to read Commissioner Whan’s story in this year’s Links Players Magazine, we’ve added it to our website. In a matter of paragraphs, you’ll see why this man has garnered such allegiance, and why he is deemed to be a true leader among those who compete under his oversight.

Good leaders are not a given. We’ve all spent time under bad ones (or at least those that aren’t so good), going back to our school days.

When we see good leadership, though, we not only want to follow, but we want to learn. Under an excellent leader, we feel safe, know we are growing in our understanding and our confidence, and consider what our own next level of leadership might be.

This is no less true in the local church, where we should find ourselves connected, whether in the formal services or in committed small group settings.

When Paul spoke to the Ephesians elders of their responsibilities of leadership, he emphasized that they should be taking great care in bringing others along in the faith. This began by watching over themselves.

Great leaders are men and women of excellent character. Their minds dwell on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). These thoughts determine their actions. Moreover, their hearts are right, and thus their speech is too (Luke 6:45). There is an integration of noteworthy strengths within good leaders.

This is not an insular pursuit, however. Leaders must, by definition, lead, which means they are engaged with people. In the church, the established leaders (often call pastors, elders, or overseers) engage with the men and women who walk through the door. Some are firm in the faith, others just seeking. Either way, the nature, actions, and speech of the leaders is both gentle and protective. Paul made sure the Ephesian elders recognized that part of their role was keeping sheep from wolves who would “draw away disciples.” Good church leaders love people in a way that gives them the best and keeps them from the worst.

You may be a church leader in the traditional sense or in the informal sense (as among the participants in a Links Fellowship). In either case, you want to cultivate the characteristics we have examined today. If you are not yet a leader, each day you can be taking a step toward becoming one, sowing the habits that will reap those same excellent character traits that you will need as you lead wherever God places you.

Jeff Hopper
June 15, 2016
Copyright 2016 Links Players International
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