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Leadership in Context Episode 69 Show Notes

Be Imitators, pt1

Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci

Episode 069

Six times in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul admonishes us to imitate him. We are going to spend the next several weeks looking at many of these exhortations.

In most of these references, we will find the word “therefore.” There was something that happened that Paul was commenting on. He was saying, “Therefore, I want you to handle the situation, handle the opportunity, handle the difficulty like I handled it. Let me be your example.”

1 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

Let’s back up and look at what the “therefore” is referring to.

1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Notice how servantand stewardgo together. When we say that we are servants of Christ, we therefore are stewards of the things God wants to reveal about Himself.

1 Corinthians 4:11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless.

Here is a man who was preaching the gospel and changing the world. He wasn’t going to stop because he wasn’t being compensated. This is a theme of Paul’s life. He is not shy about mentioning that they should be compensated properly, but he acknowledges that they are currently in tough times. That’s a pretty serious challenge. Paul was hungry, thirsty, had tattered clothes, and was homeless. In our world, we have a lot of prosperity, so the concept of this type of sacrifice is lost on us. Yet, most of people in ministry have gone through seasons of testing where they have pressed through the lack in their life, continuing to be stewards of the gospel message that God has given them.

1 Corinthians 4:12 We toil, working with our own hands…

Paul is speaking to the fact that there isn’t enough for the ministry to support them. Remember the parable of the laborers standing on the corner? Jesus kept going to them and telling them that there was work in the vineyard. When He got to the last guy, He asked him why he was still standing there. The laborer responded, “No man has hired me.”

There are many people with a lot of good ideas, creative ways the gospel can be applied to our culture, who have a genuine calling on their life, but they are waiting for someone to hire them, rather than doing what they can do, sacrificing, spreading themselves thin, downsizing their lives…doing whatever it would take to do the thing that God has put on their heart.

We should be as smart as a banker. When someone walks into a bank and asks for a small business loan, the first thing the banker wants to know is if they have any skin in the game. The banker wants to know what they have invested.

I think that is a fair judgement. We should be looking at people who say they are called to the ministry to see what collateral they are putting up. Find out if they are willing to roll up their sleeves and work so that they have the privilege of preaching the gospel. That is someone I want to imitate, someone I want to follow.

1 Corinthians 4:12-13 …when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.

When we are talked bad about, we bless back. We endure. When we are persecuted, treated unfairly, we endure. When we are slandered, we try to reconcile. “We have become as the scum of the world…” Let your testimony be the thing that protects your reputation. Be stewards with the Truth. Don’t value your reputation more than you value your stewardship. Let your testimony be your defense.

1 Corinthians 4:14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

Paul is saying that he isn’t shaming them because they haven’t suffered like he has, but he is admonishing them.

1 Corinthians 4:15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

Therefore, because Paul was their father, not just a teacher, he exhorts them to be imitators of him.

1 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!

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