It is not easy to lead a church well. There is a feeling of strain that affects the leaderís emotions deeply. Paul was very aware of that strain and how it affected him.
The cause of that strain is the responsibility that the leader has towards the people. For example, it is not difficult for someone to speak about a matter of no importance in public. However, a church leader should be declaring a message from God that can change peopleís lives. That is an extremely serious responsibility.
When church leaders do not care about the people, they do not feel that strain. However, that is a wrong attitude for any church leader to have. Jesus told Peter that a church leader should be like a shepherd (a person who looks after sheep) - John 21:15-17. A church leader is responsible for people; he is not just responsible to run his organisation well. A shepherd must show special care to the weakest of his sheep. In the same manner, the weakest Christians need more help from their church leader.
Many church leaders increase the strain by their own unwise choices and actions. For example, they may be anxious to impress people. They may be too proud to ask for advice and help from leaders who have more experience. They may try to act without enough prayer. They may try to advise people when they do not have enough knowledge. They may want to do things that God has not guided them to do. Such behaviour causes great strain.
Paul knew the strain of those anxious thoughts; but, like Peter*, Paul knew how God wanted him to deal with them. Paulís letters show that he was constantly praying for the churches and their members. Perhaps Paulís anxious thoughts show his weakness - but his many prayers show that God gave him the strength to deal with that weakness.
Next part: Paulís escape from Damascus (11:30-33)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.