Leaders lead by example more than by dictate.
It’s true whether you are a good leader or a poor one. You are setting the example and people are watching. The question is, what kind of example are you setting? Or, to put it another way, which way are you leading them? Toward God? Or away from Him?
How powerful is leading by example?
The following passage is chapter 1 of Paul’s first letter to the church at Thessalonica. Paul was the first to share the gospel with the Thessalonians. His team (Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy) planted and developed the 1st Church of Thessalonica.
Read this chapter and watch for the example set by Paul’s team, and also by the Thessalonians.
1 Thessalonians 1
- Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
- We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;
- constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,
- knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;
- for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
- You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
- so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
- For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.
- For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,
- and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
What you learn about the Thessalonians?
What do you learn about them in verses 8-10?
Vs. 7 They were an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. vs. 7
Vs. 8 The word of the Lord has sounded forth from them.
in every place their faith toward God has gone forth
Vs. 9 They turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God
Vs.10 Waiting for His Son from heaven, Jesus.
According to verse 6, whose example were the Thessalonians following?
What sort of example where they setting?
The Thessalonians followed Paul’s example, and all of Greece was watching. They were leading by example.
All of us as believers are in a sense leading by example. We are all to be light shining in the darkness. And what applies to believers generally, also applies to leaders specifically. Everyone around us is watching the example we set and they will imitate what we do.
What sort of example are you setting as a leader?
Are you loving? Kind?
Are you passionate about and unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
As Bible study leaders we must be aware of everything we are doing, because with every action and reaction we are leading.