I have had notes for quite some time that one day I hoped to publish in some kind of devotional for pastors and church leaders. I have decided not to put it off any longer but to start with Paul's remarks to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:
From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus" (Acts 20:17-21).
What do we learn from these first few verses?
- Paul lived among the people so they could come to observe and know his way of life. He was not aloof but rather accessible to all.
- Paul had to deal with Jewish opponents wherever he went. Yet he remained humble and meek, and not combative. He stayed focused on his purpose for being among the people.
- His teaching and preaching were to equip and edify to the believers, not to perform or broadcast his own ministry.
- His ministry was both large group (public) and small group (house to house). Once again, we see he was accessible to the people. (Perhaps today he would use social media to teach and touch others.)
- His message was clear: repentance and faith.
How do you measure up to this first of Paul's statements in his address? What else do you see in these verses that would be relevant to church leaders? What changes do you need to make based on what you read in this post? Feel free to add your comments to the site where this entry is posted.