Church Leader Devotion 3: The Whole Counsel
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Church Leader Devotion 4: Hard Work

As we continue to examine Paul's remarks to the Ephesian elders, we see that Paul concluded his sermon with these words: Screen Shot 2022-07-30 at 7.32.22 AM

"You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.  In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'" (Acts 20:34-35).

Paul didn't see leadership as a means to profit or gain, but as an expression of service. He worked as a tent maker so he could pay his own expenses (and those of his team) and did so to set an example of hard work that would help the weak. Who were the weak? It was those who would have assumed that Paul was being paid to do what he did and thus was nothing more than a hired worker, thus dismissing him as just another traveling teacher who were common in those days. Paul devised this strategy in direct response to Jesus' words, "it is more blessed to give than receive."

Are you doing what you can to help the weak not take offense at your work and ministry? Are you "working hard," the root word in Greek being kopos, which when translated means "intense labor united with toil and trouble"? Do you see ministry as a means of financial gain or spiritual reward? Ask God to give you a strategy like Paul had that will meet you and your family's needs but will also set a good example that the ministry is not something to be used as a means to personal gain.


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