On February 9, 2017, Pastor Moses talked about leadership through the character of Paul (Acts 20:17-38). The first step of Christ-honoring leadership is vulnerability. Vulnerability is needed not only for leadership, but also for repentance. Paul was a pioneer missionary. He was the first to go and spread the gospel and build up churches in many areas he visited. He lived out his teaching and sacrificed as a leader. Paul was given forty lashes minus one five times, beaten with rods three times, and stoned with rocks one time. He acknowledges his weakness by talking about his own tears a lot in Acts 20:17-38. Humility is not thinking little of ourselves, but it is not thinking of ourselves at all.
Christianity is the only religion in the world where friendship is as eternal as God himself. God is in an eternal friendship with himself as the Trinity. Any ministry or church’s goal should be to restore the broken relationship of God with humanity. Community is never the goal; community is the byproduct of restoring humanity’s broken friendship to God. Paul focused on preaching the whole counsel of God. When we focus on our common outward love, we are drawn to work together and community happens. We should keep preaching the gospel to those inside and outside the ministry.
We have to be vulnerable. Pastor Moses asked, “What friendship grows if two people only put on masks?” Friendships grow deeper only when we are vulnerable. Pastor Moses told us a story about a parent who brought a child to her room and hit her twice. But when he came out of the room, his eyes were bloodshot red because he had been crying. He was crying because it hurt him to have to put his daughter in pain to teach her. It should pain us to bring correction to people because they are in pain.
Paul identified himself as weak to love the weak. Courage used to mean, “speaking one’s heart.” Courage is not something you either have or don’t have. It is like swimming, and can be cultivated by practice. Courage develops by being vulnerable. We need the courage to love others whether or not they will love us back. Another aspect of humility is finding our value in Christ; we are broken and weak, but strong in Christ. Your testimony of brokenness brings people to Christ. Others follow when you are vulnerable.