If you are in any role of leadership, I urge you to study this section with intensity. If these principles were applied to churches today, leadership would look much different and become more effective in their mission. While every believer is responsible for their own walk with the Lord, God has ordained godly leaders to model this walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 20:17. In Miletus, Paul sent for the Ephesian church elders to come to him. He may have sensed this was the last opportunity he would have to invest in their development.
Acts 20:18-27. Paul recounts how he served among them; “with all humility, and with fears and with trials…and did not shrink from declaring…anything that was ___________.” Even though he knew what “affliction awaited” him, he did “not count his life of any value nor as precious to” himself. Paul only wanted to “finish his course and the ministry [he] received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the ________ of the grace of God.”
Acts 20:28-31. In these verses Paul lays out clear instructions for the elders that must be applied to all church leadership:
- “Pay careful attention to ___________ and to all the ______.”
- It was the _______ _______ who made them elders; “overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.”
- Paul predicted that after he departed, “fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.”
Acts 20:33-38. Paul points again to his motive for serving and personal acts of helping the weak.
How careful we must be in discipling leadership, not just with instruction, but with a witness in our personal lives in public and private. If no one has invested in this way into your life, I urge you to find a true “Paul” who will equip you with these key principles so you can pass them on effectively to your “Timothy”.