“He proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ – with all boldness and openness, without any hindrance.” Acts 28:31
Christian leaders further God’s Kingdom. Jesus Christ was our supreme example as our Lord and Savior, and the Apostle Paul was also an example to us as he exemplified Christ. Listen to Paul concerning this in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”
Paul proclaimed the Kingdom of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout his missionary journeys “with all boldness and openness, without any hindrance.” And as followers of Christ, we also are to share the same gospel to further God’s Kingdom. It is what we are called and commanded to do as Christians, and especially as Christian leaders.
I recently finished reading Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique challenges of Pastoral Ministry by Paul Tripp. As I read his book, I was convicted by many of Tripp’s observations – one primarily. Tripp says that many times pastors, teachers, and ministry leaders get sidetracked furthering their own kingdom instead of God’s Kingdom. Here is the crux of the matter, as Tripp observes the war of ministry:
You are called to be a public and influential ambassador of a glorious King, but you must resist the desire to be a king. You are called to trumpet God’s glory, but you must never take that glory for yourself. You are called to a position of leadership, influence, and prominence, but in that position you are called to “humble yourself under the mighty hand of God” (1 Peter 5:6). Perhaps there is nothing more important in ministry than knowing your place…It is so easy to confuse your kingdom with the Lord’s. It is so easy to tell yourself that you are fighting for the gospel when what you’re really fighting for is your place…Here is the bottom line: wherever you are in ministry, whatever your position is…your ministry will never be about you because it is about (Jesus Christ). God will not abandon his kingdom for yours. He will not offer up his throne to you. He will not give to you the glory that is his due. His kingdom and his glory are the hope of your ministry and the church.
This is the war of ministry that Tripp is describing that so often attacks Christian leadership. If the outside war of persecution, trials, and hostility were not enough, Tripp reminds us that it is the internal war of pride, ambition, and self-glory, that often derails ministry and authentic Christian leadership.
Christian leaders are called by God as servants to prepare and move people in a God-given direction for Christ and His purposes to God’s glory. Our purposes and our glory will never further the Kingdom of God.
May God bless you with His grace, love and truth!