Thriving Through Thessalonians #7

Thriving Through Thessalonians #7

Community is so very important. Solidarity, unity, being one in heart is part of creating a thriving spiritual community.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 (MSG)
And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

The leader was tasked with the care of souls.

1 Peter 5:1-3 (MSG)
I have a special concern for you church leaders. I know what it's like to be a leader, in on Christ's sufferings as well as the coming glory. Here's my concern: that you care for God's flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously. Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way.

Church leader, not a job, it’s a calling

Col 1:28 & Eph 4:12 (Boswith Paraphrased Edition)
I proclaim Jesus, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that I may present everyone perfect in Christ. I am to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

God holds the leader to a higher standard requiring a greater degree of accountability for how well the leader carries out the care for their brothers and sisters.

James 3:1 (NIV)
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

There will always be some degree of conflict within a church family.

Yet with all these differences, God wants you to create a thriving spiritual community with one another.

Get along among yourselves.
          When you get to know someone, then you can get along with someone.

Doing your part in getting along with others.
          Your part is to make the first move.

Warn the freeloaders to get a move on.
          Don’t be a pew warmer, be a contributor, get involved, get your hands dirty,
          help out, make a difference.

Encourage the stragglers
          Straggler is the translation for the idea of being small souled.

Lend a hand to those exhausted
What really makes a difference is someone coming alongside to lend a  
hand. It creates hope, and when there is hope in the future, there’s getting on with
the task.

Be patient with each person
          The old way of saying being patient is to be “Long suffering.”
Be attentive to individual needs. 
          Be watchful for the opportunity to help someone.

Don’t get on each other's nerves
          Whatever is owed you, just charge it to the Lord’s account.

Don’t snap at each other.
          Find a way to depressurize that doesn’t involve venting your anger at                      someone else.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 (MSG)
Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

To look for the best in someone else you need to see them first.
You bring out the best in people when you say something kind to them, something caring, something compassionate.

Be gracious, empathize—feel their pain. Build them up with praise and support.
Be tactfully honest, uncompromising, at the same time being non-judgmental, critical.

“Treat a person as he or she appears to be, and you make that person worse.  But treat a person  as if they already were what they potentially could be, and you make them what he should be.” Goethe

The principle reflects a servant’s heart, you’re there for them, whoever they are, they are not there for you.


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