The following post is by Pastor Ethan Hansen, one of our Main Session speakers for our 2017 Annual Conference, registration and more information for the conference can be found here.
Characteristics Of A Strong Spiritual Leader
In Judges 14:15 the lords of the Philistines said to Delilah, “Entice your husband….” The word entice means “to find a weakness.” The Philistines sent Delilah on a search and destroy mission against Samson. Samson was a one man wrecking machine! He was the strongest person who ever lived. Satan, through Delilah, searched for a chink in Samson’s armor. She found it and the rest is history. Samson ended up blind, weak, enslaved and mocked.
Satan’s goal is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He is relentless in his quest to destroy your life. Satan hates your ministry. He hates the Word of God being taught. He is vehemently opposed to the Lord Jesus being exalted. Paul, in 2 Timothy chapter 2, paints a portrait of a strong spiritual leader. In this chapter God brings together the characteristics of a person “who is strong in the grace of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:1). 2 Timothy 2 reveals seven characteristics that must be built into your life.
We have the greatest Leader- the Lord Jesus (2 Timothy 2:8). We have the greatest weapon- God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:9). We are guaranteed success (2 Timothy 2:10). We have the greatest reward (2 Timothy 2:11-13). We should be the most motivated of all people.
The seven characteristics spelled out in chapter 2 are very important. Later, in chapter 3 Paul warns about difficult, perilous times coming. In chapter 4 is God’s job description for spiritual leaders. Paul says, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom, preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:1-2). We are called to teach the Bible. The Bible is supernatural seed. It is very, very powerful. The teaching of chapter 2 provides a platform, a framework, to teach the Scriptures.
The apostle Paul was very strong. 2 Timothy is his last words. Last words are lasting words. The spiritual torch is being passed from Paul, the aged apostle, to Timothy. These characteristics must be built into our lives. Ministry today is not easy. It is difficult and the times will become even more difficult. We must be strong! We are part of a long line of godly men who have taught the Bible. We must build these same characteristics into our lives. They were good for the apostle Paul. They were good for Timothy. They are good for you and me today!