By Assistant Pastor, Dr. Bernita Wright
“ be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them”
Before an individual serve in ministry, or any type of leadership, there are several terms that need to be defined. Upon learning the definitions they should always be implemented in their lives daily. These words are the following (look them up & define them): Ethics, Image, Reputation and Character. After mastering these principles and practices, one is now ready to go forth and be the example God would have you to be. This is only the beginning. It matters not what your calling may be. Everyone who is an ambassador of Christ, need to consciously prepare himself for service.
Paul instructed young Timothy in the areas of conduct and discipline so that “thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave in the house of God.” Not only in the house, but the Bible instructs all to establish a good report within and without, and have his name well respected. Without this type of influence he will not be able to reach people in order to lead them in the things of Christ. If you are not faithful, you cannot preach or teach about faithfulness. We must lead by example AND NOT BY OUR WORDS! Those in leadership, ministry, etc. should always be mindful of his or her conduct and guard your reputation. You may be in the forefront, but if you are not lining up with the scriptures, you are as a “sounding brass and a tinkling symbol.”
Paul stated in I Corinthians. 11:1, “Follow me as I follow Christ”. In other words, follow my example as I follow THE EXAMPLE! PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH! Jesus said in St. John 13:15, “I have given you an example that ye shall do as I have done to you.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith. Prove your OWN SELVES.” Failing to set an example in your personal and public life can be detrimental to your ministry or to your leadership. IF EVERYONE IN CHURCH WAS JUST LIKE ME, WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE WILL I BE?