Speaking to the Soul – Saturday October 2

A short reading and prayers for today

Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. Acts 14:23 NLT

Paul’s first missionary journey is incredibly impressive. Having been nearly lynched in Iconium, they went on to Lystra where Paul was so badly stoned that some people thought he was dead. However, he summoned the strength to go on to Derbe where he and Barnabas preached and got a wonderful response. Then with massive courage, they headed back to Lystra and Iconium where there had been all the problems. You wouldn’t have blamed them if they had given those cities a wide berth. Not so. On their return journey they did what they had failed to do on their first visit and appointed elders. They knew that, it they were to flourish, these young churches needed leadership.

As we watch the amazing growth of the early church, there is no question that leadership was an integral part of God’s plan. And if you look at the church today there is no difference. Good, godly, leadership is vital in every age and so it is important to reflect on what it should look like. It is all too easy to assume that it is the same as the leadership that you might find in a business or sport. No doubt, there are some elements in common but Christian leadership is distinctive in that we are called to be servants. Jesus modelled this. He told the disciples that their earthly leaders exercised leadership by dominating their subject and then said sharply, “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10.43-45)

Christian leadership is always incredibly rewarding but immensely tough. There can be nothing more wonderful than to work for Jesus and to base one’s life on him but, at the same time, it shouldn’t surprise us if we face the pain of rejection just as he did.


What are you able to do to support Christian leaders?


Loving God, thank you for the gift of leaders in your church. Help me to love and support them in their demanding work. Amen

Lord, we beseech thee,
Grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations
of the world, the flesh, and the devil,
and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee
the only God;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Almighty and everlasting God:
Increase in us your gift of faith
that, forsaking what lies behind,
we may run the way of your commandments
and win the crown of everlasting joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.