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WEEKLY SERMON

LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS IN THE CHURCH

TEXTS:                        1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-31; GALATIANS 5:13; 1 PETER 5:1-11.

OTHER TEXTS FOR READING:         PROVERBS 7:7-10; MATTHEW 18:1-16.

                                                           

 

INTRODUCTION: The Church is the assembly of believers in God through Jesus Christ. The core life of the church is shaped by worship of God and devotion to the apostles’ teaching, the fellowship and the breaking of the bread and to prayer. Acts. 2:42.

 

 

These four are the essential elements of the Church:

 

  • Apostolic doctrine

 

  • Community life

 

  • Sacramental communion (fellowship)

 

  • Common worship

 

 

The privilege to be part of the Church which is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22, 5:23; Colossians 1:18) should not be taken for granted or underestimated. The Church is constituted by individual members who have been baptized by one spirit into one body of Christ and each member has been graciously empowered by the Lord to take the lead in certain ways and at the same time follow those who are leading (Read 1 Corinthians 12:12ff).

 

 

Every member in the Church has dual role of leading and following to play. Each member has been positioned to lead by offering one service or the other (Matthew 20:20-22; Mark 10:35-45; Luke 22:24-27) whereas each member is also expected to submit and follow as others lead.

 

 

Leaders and followers in the Church ought to imbibe the spirit of mutual service and respect as members of the same body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10-11)

 

 

To believe in the Church is to live out the conviction that grace abide in her, teaches and guide her common life, and flows from God to all the faithful. (Ephesians 2:8 & 9; Titus 2).

 

 

STUDY NOTE 1                      

Leaders are chosen to guide, to take custodian of the doctrinal life of the Church (people of God, who of course are followers). The first set of leaders are the twelve disciples of Christ, chosen or called one after the other. (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-19, 2: 13-14; 3:13-19).

 

 

Jesus trained His disciples to take over from Him, leading, grounding the followers in the way of truth.

 

 

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit founded the Church (Acts. 2) Peter, the chief disciple led others who became Apostles. He preached the truth recorded as apostolic sermon and throngs of thousands were baptized. The leaders of the Church, called Apostles used the word “Ekklesia” (1 Thessalonians 1:1) “called of the Lord” to refer to the act of assembling of persons brought together by God’s own calling for the purpose of hearing the gospel and sitting at the table with the living Lord.

 

 

Study the following passages James 2; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Hebrews 10:25; 12:23; Deutoronomy 4:10; Leviticus 8:3.

 

The terms used to describe the Christian community are, the “Church of God” the people of God and Church of Christ-1 Corinthians 1:2, 11:22; Galatians 1:13; Hebrews 11:25; Romans 16:16. Common worship expresses this calling and makes it authentic Psalm 95:1; Hebrews 10:25.

 

 

Leaders are to guide the community of the Lord. The Bible contains several examples of leaders, leaders such as Moses, Joshua, the Judges, the Kings of Israel and Judah, Ezra and Nehemiah were Old Testament leaders. The apostles, elders and deacons were

 

 

leaders raised in the New Testament. Leaders are to guide the people by exercising authority that they received from God.

 

 

Generally, leaders (Elders, Deacon, Priest, Bishop, Society, Presidents, Secretaries, PCC members, Youth leaders etc) should follow Christ’s examples Matthew 10:25; John 13:14-15.

  • Rule out abuse of power (authority). - 1 Peter 5:2-3.

 

  • Serve with humility                              - Deuteronomy 8:2;

                                                                                         James 4:10.

 

  • Show leadership by service           - 1 Kings 12:3-7; Luke 22:27; John 13:5

 

  • Serve with obedience to God’s Will                              - Matthew 26:39.

 

 

It is important to note that the key to true leadership is service Ezra 7:10; Nehemiah 13:25; 1 Timothy 4:6; Matthew 20:26.

 

 

STUDY NOTE 2

 

FOLLOWERS

These are members of the Church of Christ, believers in Jesus Christ who must worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

 

 

The part to play by God’s people includes:

 

  • To give honour to the leaders - Romans 13:1-7.

 

  • To obey Church leaders - 1 Peter 5:5; Titus 1.

 

  • To respect the leaders God has placed over them - 1 Corinthians 16:16.

 

  • To support and give respect to government leaders – Romans 13:5-7.

 

 

STUDY NOTE 3

Read 1 Peter 5:1-11 and note six commands to the elders

 

  • Feed, do not fleece the flock of God.

 

  • Take care of the flock of God.

 

  • Serve God and His flock willingly.

 

  • Serve readily, not for personal gain

 

  • Do not be Lords over God’s heritage

 

  • Be example of the flock of God under you.

 

 

STUDY NOTE 4

 

  • Let the youth submit to the elders and all in authority in the Church (Titus 1).

 

  • All submit to one another in love 1 Peter 5:5; Ephesians 5:21.

 

  • All to be clothed with humility 1 Peter 5:5.

 

  • Humble yourselves before God James 4:10.

 

  • Cast all your cares upon God 1 Peter 5:7.

 

  • Be sober 1 Peter 5:8.

 

  • Be vigilant (Be watchful)                 1 Peter 5:8.

 

  • Resist Satan in the faith 1 Peter 5:9.

 

  • Follow others Titus 1.

 

          -        Willingly

 

          -        Cheerfully

 

          -        Generously

 

 

 

CONCLUSION: Let us conclude this study outline with concern for both the leaders and the followers in the Church as follows:

 

  • We must always consider the hands of God in every area of our lives.

 

  • The hands of God should make us humble and submissive to Him in all that He allows us to encounter in our Christian journey to Heaven.
  • To humble ourselves under the hands of God is the sure way to our deliverance and exaltation, our patience under His chastisements and submission to His pleasure, persistence in prayer and hope in His mercy. All these will allow God’s help to us constantly and even permanently (James 4:7-10).

 

 

Being a Church member is an opportunity to lead and follow by rendering services to God and fellow members.    

 

 

PRAYER: Father, give me the servant spirit to lead and humility of heart to follow in Jesus name. Amen.  

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