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Paul on Leadership – Part II

Week 2: A Leader has Vision: Acts 13:1 – 12

It is good to see you back this week, I am excited to continue in this journey about leadership with you. Last week we observed through Paul’s conversion experience that God calls each of us for a purpose and specifically he calls individuals that he chooses to be leaders. You are back here because you have wrestled with this last week and sought Godly counsel or encouragement that God is indeed calling you into a leadership area. Now that we are all on the same page, let us continue into what you are excited about. What is a Biblical leader like? What are the characteristics that we can see in the great Biblical leaders and specifically Paul? How can I learn from Paul and develop those characteristics and principles in my life? Well let us dive back into the life of Paul in the book of Acts chapter 13 verses 1 – 12.

This is a great passage with full of truth and for our purpose we will predominately focus on the things we notice in Paul, still Saul at this time, about leadership. What do you notice about Paul in this passage? This is a great story about Paul beginning his missionary career and his first encounter on that journey. However, as I look at this passage I notice a significant emphasis on one particular character, and that being the Holy Spirit. There are three different times in this passage that the Holy Spirit is shown in action and all of them have to do with giving direction and guidance. Paul is worshipping at his church when the Spirit speaks and calls him and Barnabas out for a mission. Now here is where things get interesting. In the context of the passage, God speaks to the church body and calls Paul and Barnabas out for his service, but this is only a general call. The church heard this calling and agreed to send out the two from among them for God’s greater work. We see then that all are able to hear from the Spirit, but we also see the characteristic of the leader specifically.

The key for us to see in all of this is that a leader has vision. Now as I say that I do not mean a leader has visions, although one may, but what I mean is that a leader hears from God’s Spirit and is given direction and guidance so that the leader knows the direction to follow. We see that Paul responds in obedience and that the church heard this call as well, but the church simply sends them out generally. It is not until verse four that we see the Holy Spirit give Paul and Barnabas a specific vision or direction and guidance as to where they are suppose to head and what they are suppose to do. They are sent by and directed by the Holy Spirit.

You may see this as a small detail without much significance but it is no small detail. If you are here it is because God has been generally calling you to leadership. Well my friends now just like Paul, God will begin giving you specific direction as to his plan and purpose for you as you allow yourself to be guided and directed by the Spirit.. Where is God leading you? What is the direction and guidance or vision He has been giving you for this ministry? He will give that to you as the leader.

As we continue, we see Paul and Barnabas begin their ministry and come quickly in contact with evil and then once again we see that Saul who was filled with the Holy Spirit speaks and works in the power of God. First, let me be clear that just because you are obedient to God’s call and the vision he gives you in your place of leadership, does not mean that you will not come face to face with evil along the way. In fact, let us be clear, if you are being directed and guided by God, you will come face to face with evil all the time because you will be used as a light in a dark and evil world and we see that here in this passage.

In addition, as we respond in obedience to the direction and guidance God gives us we must rely on and work our of the power of the Spirit. It is not just enough to receive a vision for your leadership, you must obediently respond to that vision and work in the power of the Spirit and speak out of the power of the Spirit just as Paul does in this passage. It is all about the Spirit’s leading and guiding; and when we submit ourselves to the Spirit, then we find that people believe in the Lord as a result of what they have seen and heard through us and our ministries. This is what God’s calling to leadership and vision for ministry is all about, that more may know Him and know Him better, thus, it is important that we lend ourselves to the Spirit’s leading as we move forward.

Are you listening for the Spirit’s leading? Are you asking for the Spirit to speak and give you direction and guidance? When you hear are you responding in obedience and in the acting out of the vision are you relying on the Spirit’s power in all you do and say? We must rely on the Spirit and his leading if we are move forward in responding to his call.

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