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Authentic Leadership

Great leaders do not grow on trees nor are they a dime a dozen. In the purist sense, true leaders are actually a rarity even though much is written on the subject. God through his Son Jesus Christ has blessed man with the potential to be the best of the best through the utilization of holy spirit. One such man was the Apostle Paul and in Acts 14:8-17 there is  great record of how he reached out:

8 In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly (atenizo – see link) at him, saw (oida) that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. 11When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” NIV 2011

It just doesn’t get any better or simpler than that! And that’s just a drop in the bucket of all Paul did and accomplished!


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The apostle Paul is a great example of one of the greatest leaders of human history. (Read Ephesians if  you doubt this) In the course of his life he became more and more committed to God’s infinite grace. He understood the way, Jesus Christ, and as a result grew to be one of the great influences in Christianity. He was a leader in the true sense of the Word (no pun intended).

His leadership qualities of continuing to ‘press toward the mark’ drove his growth. The mark was the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:10-14 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

A lot of books have been written on leadership in the hopes of isolating a set pattern to identify with. ‘Leader’ does not mean the same as a manager.  A manager maintains and directs the status quo. ‘Leader’ does not mean the same as head ‘honcho’ or ‘super brain’ or ‘front man’. Leadership is not positional.   A leader is not necessarily a great salesman.  Salesmanship sells the moment, leadership instills enduring growth in others (Read Ephesians again!). A true leader is hardly aware of the tag ‘leader’ in his life, he is way to busy going somewhere.  He is not a leader for the sake of being a leader.

In the Old Testament, Israel was always looking for a King. Lots of problems resulted. It was not God’s heart to set up a monarchy. Theocracy (God’s in charge) was His first choice! Paul was not a king.  What position did he hold? At the end of his life he had absolutely no title! He loved the Lord Jesus Christ and he only wanted people to ‘follow his ways that be in Christ’ and Christ was the way to God. Up until he hit to the road to Damascus he was quite recognized as a  man of importance. That day changed his life. His path was altered to a point of setting in his heart the seed of true leadership, the heart of a man born again of God’s spirit!

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