22 Mar HELPING EACH OTHER IN PERSONAL GROWTH AS ELDERS AND EVANGELISTS
One of the most helpful and inspiring things elders and evangelists can do for each other is help one another to grow spiritually. As mature leaders, we need awareness and guidance in any areas where we are falling short of being like Christ in our lives and leadership. We need help with our weaknesses, trials, and temptations. As we help each other grow, it will inspire and set a great example for our church members to imitate in their own lives.
God calls us as disciples of Christ to be aware of our “old self” so we can put it off, and to put on the “new self” that He has graciously given us.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
As leaders, let’s be open with each other about our “old self” and humbly get and give the help we need to overcome it as we serve God and his church. We are called to help one another along in this process of spiritual growth:
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
I have seen many leaders stumble and fall because they were not honest about their weaknesses and temptations—over time, hidden sin grew in their hearts and took them out of leadership. Don’t let that happen to you! Let’s sharpen one another by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and spurring one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).
We may think that our churches want us to be “perfect” as leaders; however, they already know we are not perfect! Churches don’t want perfect leaders—they want humble, growing leaders. What a powerful example it is for our churches when they know we aware of our weaknesses and challenges, and that we depend on our fellow leaders and the power of God to help us grow.
What are some of the areas we may need to work on?
In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26,27)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (Ephesians 4:31)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29, 30)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as in Christ God forgave you…. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 4:32, 5:1-2)
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:28-29)
Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)
As we embrace help from our fellow leaders in these areas, confessing and overcoming our weaknesses, it will increase our effectiveness as both individual leaders and as a leadership team!
Paul wrote to Timothy, “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:15-16). As we grow, and help our fellow leaders to grow, our churches will see our progress and be inspired. Not only will we assure our own personal growth, but our example will also lead many others in the church to greater growth and maturity!
*Check out our YouTube channel for a discussion on this topic: https://youtu.be/Nq2QzwQKDqA