PAUL: A LEADER MUST BE TRUSTWORTHY (1)
Paul is one of the greatest leaders in the history of the church. God used him in mighty ways to start churches and to write more books in the Bible than anyone else. There are many wonderful leadership lessons we can glean from his life, but we will look at some from the final chapters of the book of Acts, Paul’s shipwreck experience. It is said that trials and difficult times bring out the best in leaders, and that is certainly true of Paul.
Paul was converted on the road to Damascus (Acts 9) and went to Arabia to learn and grow spiritually. He spent most of his ministry on three missionary journeys, starting churches and writing letters to other churches (Acts 13-20). After 30 years of ministry, he was arrested in Jerusalem for something he didn’t do and eventually transferred to Rome for trial (Acts 21-26). Although traveling as a prisoner in chains, Paul showed his leadership skills in several ways on that trip. There are important lessons we can learn from him. Read Acts 27:1 – 28:10.
- A GODLY LEADER CAN BE TRUSTED Paul was a prisoner under the authority of a centurion named Julius who was assigned directly to Caesar (Acts 27:1). He was in chains, kept in the hold of the ship. His faithful friend Luke traveled with him at his own expense. In order to accompany Paul, he would have had to sign papers becoming Paul’s slave. That was the only way he could go. While Paul gets the recognition and credit for all he did, it wouldn’t have been possible without Luke’s help and support in addition to his medical skill and help. I have been blessed with several men like that in my life, including P. K. Moses who helps me with my books and conferences in India. He is a fine man of God and a great servant who makes all I do possible.
At the first port where the ship landed, Julius allowed Paul to go ashore to get some medical help for conditions that developed or worsened while in prison (Acts 27:2-3). Paul had friends there who could provide what he needed.
What was unusual was that the Roman soldier, Julius, allowed Paul to go ashore. It means he must have trusted Paul and his friends. If he lost any of his prisoners, he would be put to death, so he had to trust there was no trap on shore to free Paul, and that he would return as promised. What did Paul do to earn such respect and trust from a man who had just met him?
Those who knew Paul were convinced he cared about them and did all he could for their good (Matthew 20:25-28). He could be trusted to keep his word. They knew he wasn’t just using them for his own purposes. He treated everyone this way: free and slaves, adults and children, men and women, high social standing and low standing. Jesus did the same thing. Paul served others and didn’t expect them to serve him. Trust comes through integrity and character (1 Timothy 3:2, 7).
Do people trust you? Do you have a reputation, even among those who don’t know you, of being honest and keeping your word? Do the people you work with know you put their needs before your own? Do you treat all the same, whatever their age, sex, wealth or social status?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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