Our world has become pretty impersonal and in particular in the bigger cities. The sense of community, as I knew it as a boy, has been lost. Community brings with it familiarity and a sense of belonging. Community harnesses resources where its residents rally together for a cause. I have been blessed by living in a number of communities over the years. I learned the value and strength of working together and have enjoyed the sense of camaraderie as we achieved numerous outcomes. Yes, we had leaders, as it was their task to lead us and empower us to carry out the responsibilities entrusted to us with ease.
It is sad to witness a group of people who are leaderless. Churches are often like this when no one steps up to the mark to lead even when it is under the leadership of our Lord. It is also sad when we see a leader lead in such a way as to be dictatorial and lord it over the people entrusted to him or her. It is equally sad when we see competition amongst leaders where one tries to generate a following of people.
Leaders have been appointed in the church for a purpose and this is what Paul reminds us of in this part of his letter that we are considering today. He reminds us that there are a team of leaders (or more correctly servants) to serve the local church family, with each one having a certain responsibility for the growth of others. It is a team effort! The leader should never be placed on a pedestal or idolized. He or she is just simply God’s instrument in helping others to grow in spiritual maturity and to take their place in the church family.
I am thankful for the team of leaders that God has put together for our Grace International Church family. This includes our Sunday school teachers, youth group leaders and Grace Group leaders who assist Pastor Ernest and myself in the teaching of God’s word. Let us never seek to compete with one another when it comes to building one another up in the Lord. It must always be a team effort where we sit under the leadership of our Lord. He is the one who turns our labour into something that is everlasting!