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INTERACTING WITH THE SERMON
SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
In this weekends sermon Rich continued in his series from 1 Peter. He taught about some of the things that make for a good Christian leader. We desire good leadership because we live in a world that is constantly faced with adversity, continuous change and leaders who often lose the faith of their followers. One of the most important gifts that Christians can offer to the world is a healthy functioning church with good leadership. So what are the qualities that make a good pastor? A pastor should have the heart of a shepard, someone who has a sincere intimate and loving concern for God’s people. A pastor should also be a watchman, someone who is concerned about the moral, spiritual and social currents that could sweep the people of Jesus away. Finally, a pastor should be an example to those he or she is overseeing, someone that followers can look to as an example for how to live a life of obedience to the Lord. Christian leaders also should have the right motivations for there position. A Christian leader should never feel compelled to lead others, but they should want to lead others. Pastoring is not a career but a deep calling. And Pastors should not be seeking control but they should be people who are willing to sacrifice and pay the price for leadership.
In 5 minutes or less, briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.
GETTING THE CONVERSATION STARTED
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.
•What were one or two things that resonated with you about this weekends sermon?
•Share about one person in your life who really modeled the Christian life well?
Read 1 Timothy 3: 1-13:
1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
•V. 1 Paul says that to be a Christian leader is a noble task. Do you ever feel like you are underestimating the influence you have as an ambassador of Christ? What can happen when we forget about this “noble task?” What are some ways we can stay focused on this?
•Read through this passage and list all of the qualities that Paul says should be the qualities of a good leader. Which one or two are the most difficult to uphold today and why?
•Do you agree that everyone in Christian leadership should possess these qualities? What do you think would result from a leader who lack’s these qualities? Do you think that Paul sets to high a bar here?
•Think of one leader in your life, past or present who had these qualities and one who did not? What kind of influence did they have on your life? What about them had a positive or negative influence?
•V. 5 Why would good management of family be required for overseers? In his sermon, Rich describes pastors as people who bring there entire lives to bear and can not live compartmentalized lives. How did you react to his statements about this? Do you allow your whole self to be seen by those around you or do you feel your life is compartmentalized?
•Many of us struggle with having lives that are in some way compartmentalized. What are some practical ways we can “de-compartmentalize” our lives?
•V. 7 Paul mentions that it is important for overseers to have a good reputation with outsiders. Why is it important to have a life that is respected not just by Christians, but by those outside the Church? In this series we have been talking about many of the things that make us Resident Aliens (remaining distinct and set apart from many of the forces of our culture). But what is the line between being set apart but still maintaining a good reputation and having a positive influence on the wider culture?
•V. 13 What does Paul say happens to those who serve well? How does this verse relate to the motivations of a leader that Rich talks about in his sermon? Think of some times when you were in leadership. What were your motivations?
•Motivation can be a real balancing act when it comes to positions of leadership. The line between having Godly ambition and worldly ambition is not always so clear to us. How have you been able to continue to seek the favor of the Lord instead of the favor of other people?
Below you’ll see some options for ministry time with your group. We always encourage you to reserve time in your group to pray for one another and wait on the Holy Spirit.
•Pray for those who feel a sense of calling into Christian leadership.
•Pray that the attributes laid out in Rich’s sermon and in 1 Timothy would be strengthened in your church’s pastors and leaders and ask Jesus to protect them from the schemes of the enemy.