Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. – James 3:1
If you blog, use social media, preach, or organize a ministry, you are a leader. A leader bears the burden of James 3:1. I agree with Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, summed up at the end as, “Then, depending on Divine grace, let us take heed to bless and curse not; and let us aim to be consistent in our words and actions.” As a leader, our actions are under the magnifying glass.
If you do anything to excess, like drinking, your actions do not honor a holy God. You are saying God embraces sin. Scripture shows us the opposite in the woman whom Jesus saved from stoning (John 7). He said, “Go and sin no more.” Also, if you read about Ananias and Sapphira, lying to Peter caused them to die.
Got Questions said it best:
God’s reasons for bringing about the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira involve His abhorrence of sin, the hypocrisy of the couple, and the lesson for the rest of the church, both then and now. It can be easy today to gloss over the holiness of God, to forget that He is righteous and pure and that He hates sin wholeheartedly. This particular sin of hypocrisy in the church was dealt with swiftly and decisively.
Three Ways to Inspire
- Encouragement: A man who drops by the office on occasion is such a ray of light for ministry leaders. His words are like sunshine on a cloudy day. I read in Mark 10 how Jesus both affirmed and yet pointed out a man’s lack by starting out his criticism with, “Jesus looked at him and loved him… (Mark 10:21).” Word Weavers is a Christian writers group. They start out with the sandwich method when critiquing a manuscript. Start with the good on top and bottom, then give them the meat in the middle. Affirm and keep accountability as a leader. If you avoid accountability, allow sin into your leadership, it will fail. Some are good at encouragement. Some of us are still working on it. Encouragers are special–those with that gift.
- Serve: All of us can serve in some way. Something as simple as donating your time to doing yard work for the disabled or the elderly to jumping in wherever God is leading you to help are blessings to the 20% who are left in the church doing all the work. If you are being called to serve outside the church, this is honorable to God, too. The point is to not serve out of duty or personal gain, but try to serve with a whole heart that loves God, but to also remember that serving our family is good, too. We shouldn’t neglect them.
- Creative Ministries: Someone told me about a pub church that someone began. It isn’t about drinking to excess, but operates the same way as coffee shops do; it’s the everyone knows you by name, classy place where people talk and the Gospel is shared. These are leaders to emulate–those who had the courage to propose such a ministry to a congregation in which half were against alcohol. Coffee shops in churches or outside of churches are showing success, too. It’s not about the alcohol. It’s not about the coffee. It’s about the conversation and the relationship. God is a creative God. He made us in His image. This means creativity is in our DNA. Let’s use that creativity for good, dream big, and find a way to use what God has given you to glorify His name.
Be leaders people wish to imitate, but don’t do it to please people, but lead to please God.