This is the final post in a series from Acts 20. In the previous two posts we have talked about how Paul was meeting with the leaders of the house church movement in Ephesus. These people were very dear to Paul as he invested heavily in them. Paul knows that trouble awaits him and that he may never see these leaders again. Thus he is teaching them some critical principles for a time of leadership where they will be without him.
This week we will look at Acts 20:25-35. Twice in this passage Paul declares, “I know . . . therefore.” He speaks of two things he knows and consequentially he exhorts them in two ways. First, he says that he knows that he will not see them again-and the first admonition is to pay close attention to themselves and the church which they lead. He reminds them that these gathered believers are precious to God because He purchased them with the blood of Christ. The 2nd thing that Paul knows is that there will be people that will rise up from among them that will try and deceive them and draw them away from Christ. The 2nd admonition from Paul was to be alert-protect those God had entrusted to them. Paul closes with some thoughts concerning his own diligence in working hard so as to not be a burden to anyone. He also does this as an example for them-that they might work hard so as to give and provide for other’s needs.
What are the principles that can be applied from these closing instructions as we carry out the task of Christ-centered leadership?
1. As a Christ-centered leader you must pay attention to yourself and those you lead-to care for them-because they have great value to God.
2. As a Christ-centered leader you must be on the alert for false teachers from without and from within-to protect the flock-commending them to the Word of the gospel.
There are also some summary principles from the whole of Acts 20:17-38. Here a few thoughts as to what those would be:
1. What leaders ultimately value shows up in their leadership actions.
2. What leaders ultimately value shows up in their followers.
3. Leading out of calling, stewardship, and eternal values will provide the faith and courage necessary to endure hardship.
4. The grace of the gospel is what we need to lead for Christ.
5. The grace of the gospel is what our followers need to live for Christ.
What we do as leaders matters.