Be a Leader
By Kevin Murphy
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
-1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)
If you have been on a team, chances are you’ve heard the phrases “Be a leader,” and “This team needs leadership!” Statements like those constantly remind us as players to work hard, demonstrate integrity, and display a model of intensity for other players.
Leaders are necessary on any team. They give other athletes the confidence of knowing they can look to someone for guidance, either by words (encouragement) or by example (on-field excellence). When striving to be leaders on our teams, we must remember that we are given the perfect leader to model: Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 5:1, Paul encourages us to be imitators of God, and to “live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Essentially, we need to imitate the perfect life of Christ so that we can let our “light shine before men” (Matthew 5:16). By preaching the gospel and guiding people out of the darkness of the world, we can lead them into the light and hope of Christ.
In Matthew 4:19, Jesus said to His disciples, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Even though you may have heard this verse a thousand times, I encourage you to take a look at it from a leadership perspective. As we become followers of Jesus and deny ourselves and the ideals of this world, we become “fishers of men.” In other words, we are given the opportunity and responsibility of leading others to Christ so that they may be saved.
On a team, it is important to remember that anyone can be a leader, no matter what age—anybody can lead by example or through their words. In 1 and 2 Timothy, Paul encourages Timothy, a young friend of his, to ensure Paul’s work would continue. Paul offers these words of advice: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” It doesn’t matter what age you are. As long as you have Christ in your heart and know Him as your Savior, you can set an example to a dying world. You can proclaim the gospel, demonstrate love and live a life that resembles the purity of Christ.
Today, don’t let yourself be led by a misled generation. Let your leader be Jesus so that you can lead others to Him and to the salvation we are given through God’s grace.
1. Are you letting God lead you? How?
2. How can you be a Christ-like leader on your team? What about off the field?
3. Are you setting a Christ-like example for others?
Matthew 4:19, 5:16
1 Timothy 4:7-10