We are all leaders. Whether or not we have a title or a corner office, we all have influence. And that is what leadership is: influence. So, wherever you have influence, you have the opportunity to lead others.
As Christians, we have the responsibility to think biblically regarding all aspects of life.
With this in mind, we turn to Paul. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul demonstrates several leadership qualities that are worth our attention.
We will explore 10 leadership lessons over the next two weeks.
1. Paul identifies with his people (1:6-7)
In these verses, as elsewhere in the letter, Paul reveals a deep connection with the Corinthian church. He shares in their suffering as well as their joy. These two realities of life seem to be points of contact for Paul, and he magnifies that connection by sharing it with the church. We can lead by identifying with others and building strong relationships.
2. Paul rallies the church to hope, courage, and steadfastness (4:16-18)
Despite the momentary afflictions that these people were facing, Paul
encourages them toward hope and courage. He reminds the Corinthians of eternal realities that bear weight in their current situation. Steadfastness in the face of opposition is a communal endeavor. They are to bind together as the people of God to stand up under adverse conditions and not lose heart in the face of opposition. We can lead by proclaiming the truth of the gospel and the hope we have in it. Further, we can encourage other believers toward hope and steadfastness through intentional accountability and prayer.
3. Paul values the power of reconciliation (5:11-21)
He leads the church in reconciliation. He ground their ability to reconcile with one another in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not only the example for us regarding forgiveness, but it is the power we need to extend reconciliation to others.
Further, Paul encourages his readers to extend reconciliation to non-believers. We can lead by being agents of reconciliation in this world. We have a unique opportunity to share the forgiveness of God with others and to extend that forgiveness when we are wronged.
4. Paul speaks freely, openly, and honestly (6:11-13)
In this section, Paul admits to the Corinthians his openness with them. He and his team have dealt honestly with the church and desire that the church reciprocates the same freedom with which they spoke with the church. Paul is leading again by example. We can lead by being honest and open with others. We should be people marked by truth and not lies. We lead when we speak and live honestly.
5. Paul verbalizes his pride in the Corinthians
He praises them for what they do well even in the midst of tension (7:2-13, 16) Paul expresses his admiration for and pride in the Corinthians. They are a source of comfort and joy for Paul. Yet, there is tension and grief in their relationship. Paul, here, uses this godly grief over sin as a chance to point the church toward repentance and their Savior. These things give Paul confidence, knowing that the Lord is faithful to forgive and restore and uphold His people. We can lead by praising others when they do well. We can encourage each other and spur one another on toward love and good works.