I’ve been reading the accounts of biblical leadership in several New Testament books. What did this biblical leadership look like and what did they do as Christian leaders?
In the case of the Apostle Paul we see great hardship and sacrifice on behalf of Christ and believers. Being a strong leader to the Gentiles he often took the brunt of opposition. He was the one who faced jail and frequent beatings by officials and stoning by the mob. Paul says in I Cor 4:9, “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.”
Sacrifice and service is a recurring theme within the books of the NT concerning the apostles. Paul encourages Timothy to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Certain of the apostles became pillars in the House of God, teaching, establishing doctrine, and encouraging the faith of believers. They nurtured new believers holding these converts in special care and regard for Christ and for their future eternal hope as joint heirs with Christ. Paul stated, “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.” (Philippians 2:17)
II Corinthians 12:15 “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”
II Corinthians 12:19 “we do all thing, dearly beloved, for your edifying.”
There was great reliance on the Holy Spirit by these leaders. There is no doubt that the early church apostles and leaders could not have done what they did as testified to in the New Testament scriptures without God’s help and strength.