Ever feel overwhelmed by the task of leadership? Or perhaps unprepared or unequipped for what it takes to lead others? That’s a good thing! The reality is: the task of leading others toward transformation into the likeness of his Son is overwhelming and quite outside the scope of our own capabilities. Leadership is not merely a skill-set to be acquired or developed, but rather the undertaking of leading others is the act of stewardship. In 1 Tim. 1:4, while drawing comparison with those with misplaced priorities, Paul says: “…These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith”(NIV). He’s not talking about our faith as related to salvation, but rather the work of God that is given to us in a trust relationship. Literally, it reads “God’s entrusted stewardship.” The ESV translation brings this out more clearly: “…the stewardship from God that is by faith.”
Though often called the “Pastoral Epistles,” neither Timothy nor Titus were pastors and Paul’s instructions reach much further than the office of pastor. Because the Community Group is a microcosm of the church, you as group leader are the front-lines for pastoral care and support, theological teaching and training, and leading in the general spiritual formation of those in your group.
Stewardship becomes the larger subject of Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. Leadership is stewardship. 1 Timothy is written in the style of a first century “household code”: a legal document drawn up by the master of a household outlining the conduct, responsibilities, and expectations for a slave-steward who was put in charge. The steward’s authority came solely from the master and was the focus of his entire life. The authority granted to him was never to be used for his own self-interest. He was to use it to advance the interests of the master to whom he was accountable.
Warren Wiersbe says,
“…ministry is not something we get for ourselves and keep for ourselves. We are stewards of the spiritual treasure God has given you. It is our responsibility to guard the deposit and then invest it in the lives of others.”*
Transformation is a community effort. The best leadership gift you can give those in your group is to passionately pursue Him and thereby to inspire others to fully embrace the experiential, realized life of the ascended Christ living though you. This is just one way in which we can steward the gift with which we’ve been entrusted.
I’m giving thanks this season for the way you are investing your life in the lives of others! Keep on stewarding the gift with which you’ve been entrusted!
* (Bible Exposition Commentary, Vol. 2; pg. 244)