Rejoice Always 04 - Servant Leadership

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Reading: Philippians 2:19-30
I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. Philippians 2:20 (NIV)

I.   Timothy: The servant Leader

     A.  Serving the Members’ interests (20)

           1.  Not like your Roman leaders!

                 a.  Rome ruled by strength/violence

                 b.  In the Church leaders led by serving

           2.  Tim: genuinely interested in blessing them

                 a.  George Burns: if you can fake sincerity…

                 b.  Tim’s concern was their well-being

                 c.  Paul is confident this will continue

           3.  We all stand under the cross together

                 a.  No one stands higher/lower

                 b.  A good leader helps us stand more firm

     B.  Serving Jesus’ interests (21-22)

           1.  Most folks look out for #1 (21)

                 a.  They look out 4 their interests not Jesus’

                 b.  cf. 1:15;17

                 c.  And you/me? Seek the things of Christ!

           2.  Not Tim (22, cf. 2:4)

                 a.  A high commendation for a young man!

                 b.  How’d you like to be known like this

           3.  Jesus’ interest is in His people

                 a.  The good shepherd lays down his life…

                 b.  His blood is shed for the lowest–highest

     C.  Tested to serve well (22)

           1.  Tim proved himself to them (you know…)

                 a.  Paul isn’t sending them just anybody

                 b.  They knew his exemplary life/ministry

           2.  Tim proved himself with Paul

                 a.  As a son w/ a father – Tim had humility

                 b.  Paul: confident in his abilities/heart

II.  Epaphroditus: The Lay servant

     A.  Sent to serve

           1.  He didn’t go out as a lone ranger

                 a.  Didn’t go out on his own initiative

                 b.  Not to prove his dedication to them

                 c.  Not to make a name for himself

           2.  He was sent on a mission by his church

                 a.  The whole church was behind him

                 b.  He represented their concern

                 c.  Able to give their care/concern too

     B.  Connected to the body

           1.  He longs for all of you (26)

                 a.  He was till a part of them (tho away)

                 b.  He missed them

           2.  He was concerned that they were worried

                 a.  He didn’t want them worried about him

                 b.  Nor feeling bad 4 sending him into risk

     C.  Serving Honorably

           1.  Not just pastors (etc) that deserve honor

                 a.  Yes, honor your preacher/teacher

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. (1Tim 5:17)

                 b.  Appreciate pastor, elders & deacons

           2.  Epaph. accepted risk/hardship to serve

                 a.  Travel then could be very risky

                 b.  A scratch/disease could prove fatal (27)

           3.  Many others accept challenges/difficulties

                 a.  Elders/deacons/leaders obviously

                 b.  Helping others: agonizingly difficult!

                 c.  Be safe, but do what it takes to love

III. Paul: the Empowering leader

     A.  No Hero complex

           1.  Paul doesn’t have a savior complex!

                 a.  He is hoping in the Lord to send Tim

                 b.  His hope isn’t just that he will go (24)

                 c.  Paul can share leadership

           2.  Something selfish about doing it all alone!

                 a.  Jesus is our Savior/Hero

                 b.  God can minister w/o us

                 c.  We are all equal under the cross!

     B.  He Looks For the gifted

           1.  Paul’s pattern

                 a.  He established churches

                 b.  Put left them in good hands

                 c.  Moves on.

           2.  Tim & Ephaph obviously gifted to encourage

                 a.  Paul noticed this in them

                 b.  He sets them loose to go and do this!

           3.  Also Euodia, Syntyche, Clement, etc. (4:2-3)

                 a.  Paul: confident in the Holy Spirit in folks

     C.  He delegates to Bless

           1.  He doesn’t delegate to get out of work

                 a.  He doesn’t just delegate the hard stuff!

                 b.  He doesn’t get people to work for him

           2.  He does this to bless the Philippians (20, 28)

                 a.  His 1st concern is the Phil’s well-being

                 b.  Tim & Epaph can do what he can’t

           3.  He also delegates to bless Tim & Ephaph.

                 a.  He gives away enjoyable ministry!

                 b.  It’s a blessing to serve God/His people!

                 c.  When it’s good, it’s very, very good.

                 d.  When it’s hard, it’s a joy to watch God turn it into our good.

The Bottom Line:

We are called to Serve, and to Honor and Support those who serve us.


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