Follow The Leader

following our spiritual leader

Follow The Leader

Book of Hebrews:

– One of the documents circulated with the letters of Paul, to the persecuted 1st century churches.

– Most scholars believe that it is was a sermon, not a letter, and the author is unknown. (Not Paul)

– It is an encouragement to remain faithful. A reminder of what they believe, and why they believe it.

Hebrews 13:7Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of faith.

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  1. Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God.

– Pastoral leadership is a tricky business.

– No one has to listen to you, or even show up, but you have to be ready to meet their           spiritual needs when they do.

– Leading is done by building relationships and preaching the honest Word. That builds trust.

– When the people trust you, then they will listen to you. You can’t make them follow you!

– Here are some verses that describe a biblical spiritual leader:

– Titus 1:9He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he      will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it           where they are wrong.

 1 Timothy 3:2So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must           be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation.           He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.

– Who does that sound like to you?? (Pointing at Matt & Crystal)

– What makes OUR pastors different is that they are attainable(Not distant from us…)

– Every “job” I’ve ever had, there was someone who thought that they could be a better boss. (Coach, Sgt, Teacher, Fire Lt, CEO, Politian, President… or Pastor)

– It’s easy to talk about “what you would do”, when the weight of accountability is not on           your shoulders.

– James 3:1Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the           church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.

– Unfortunately, this verse is often interpreted by some to mean, “I don’t have to obey the           tenants of God, but YOU (the pastor) does because you are held to a higher standard.”

– People won’t be faithful or obedient in all areas of their own life, but are quick to point out    the failures of their leadership. (Hello pot, I’m the kettle. You’re black!)

– I have some bad news for you:

– Matt & Crystal are just human, imperfect people (NOT cyborg terminators… I’ll be back!)

– They sure try hard to honor God, and serve His kingdom! They are FAITHFUL!

– What James 3:1 really means is, “You should recognize the weight of accountability that they carry, and show them extra grace because YOUR burden is lighter that THEIR burden is.”

– Don’t try to hold someone else to a higher level of accountability to God than you    are willing to hold yourself.

– Maybe instead of criticizing your bosses work, you could use your gifts to help them out?

– Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God:

– Remember their sacrifice and service. Remember how they have blessed you!

  1. Think of the good that has come from their lives.

– The most interesting part of a memorial service, to me, is the part when people share the impact the deceased has had on their life.

– Example: Capt. Swift memorial. Quiet and unassuming, what would be his legacy?

– I didn’t know he served his church, burn camps, wrote all the grants… FAITHFUL!

– It wasn’t until he was gone that I learned of his impact. I missed my chance to thank him!

– Today we are celebrating Senior Pastor Appreciation Day. Think of the impact our Senior Pastors have had on the world around them.

– I remember sitting on their couch at Ft. Lewis when he told me they were starting a church.

– I remember Pastor Matt handing out cold sodas on the street corner on a hot summer day,           just to invite people to church, and tell them that Jesus loves them.

– Now I look around the room at all of you. People who are closer to Jesus because of the     Krachunis’, and their faithfulness.

– None of us would be here today if it weren’t for them. I’m glad I followed him on this           journey!

– Their greatest legacy is teaching you the word of God, so that you can teach it to others:

– 2 Timothy 2:2You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable         witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them     on to others.

– 2 Peter 1:12-15Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you    already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. 13 And it is only           right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. 14 For our Lord Jesus Christ has           shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, 15 so I will work hard to make sure you           always remember these things after I am gone.

– The legacy of the leader in Christ is teaching you the word of God. This is what your pastors do!

– Today is a great day to tell them how the lasting impact of their legacy, and their faithfulness has affected your life!

  1. Follow their example of faith.

– Example: Micaiah (mai-KAY-yuh), a little known prophet from the Old Testament:

– In 1 Kings 22, The King of Israel wants to go into battle, but he is encouraged to clear it with God first. He turns to his 400 prophets to tell him what God wants him to do.

– All of the prophets take turns telling the King how great his is and that he will be victorious.

– In verse 8 the King says, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I           hate him he never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah.”

– Read 1 Kings 22:12-14

– Micaiah wouldn’t betray God by telling the King what he wanted to hear when it wasn’t the           truth. The prophet predicted the Kings death, and he was thrown in jail because of it.

(SPOILER ALERT: The King dies in the battle.)

– We get so used to reading about the prophets of the Old Testament that we forget the courage it took to speak the truth of God’s word.

– Even in a country that claims it loves God, who’s guiding principle are shaped by scripture,           the Man of God is still the lone voice of truth, in a culture that is only concerned with itself.

– How easy would it have been for Micaiah to just be silent, or go along with the crowd?

– THANK GOD, he was faithful to set the example, even if nobody was willing to follow it.

– This story makes me this of Pastors Matt and Crystal, and their examples of faith:

– COURAGE amidst the culture is their example of faith:

– They speak the truth, even when it is unpopular and other “religious leaders” are saying           something different. (The bible must be THE truth source.)

– It seems like a lot of church leaders have been forced into changing their views to           something more acceptable to the world around us. No one wants to be “socially jailed” for           upsetting the powers that be.

– It takes courage to go against your peers, and the culture, to stand up for God’s word.

– Seeking to be like Jesus is their example of faith:

– No one has arrived, and no one is perfect. Their authenticity makes their message about           Jesus more powerful.

– They seek the throne. They seek to grow. They point the way to Jesus.

– 1 Cor. 10:33b-11:1(Paul says)I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for           others so that many may be saved. And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

– As you see your spiritual leaders follow Christ, you can trust them to lead you there also.

– Follow the Leader:

– Hebrews 13:17Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

– The legacy of the Krachunis’ doesn’t stop with this church. The impact of FVC doesn’t stop w/ us.

– This church exists to teach people the gospel, and to equip the saints to do the same.

– We are here to learn who Jesus is, and work at living how Jesus lived.

– Your pastors have had an impact you. You have had an impact others. A legacy has been created for the sake of the Kingdom of God. We are all now a part of it!

– God is calling you to follow the leader, as they follow Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 13:7Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of faith.

**** Close by praying over Matt & Crystal ***

– If you brought a card or love offering for the senior pastors, you can put them in the box in the foyer.

– Visitors, I want to invite you up to meet Pastor Matt & Pastor Crystal, after the service.

– There is cake in the Ministry Center!!

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