Having finished reading Thessalonians, we are about to start 1 Timothy, and already the introduction seems especially appropriate–since our church is in the “throes” of a search for a “lead pastor”. You see, it’s obvious that at least some of the people in our congregation want someone (“dynamic”, “with vision”) who is a flashy sort of speaker, who will attract millions (of dollars, that is)–and that’s understandable. How can God’s work proceed without enough people to donate (their time & talent too!) We’re not pointing any fingers without pointing more back at ourselves; when you really WANT something, it’s SO hard to see past that to what God’s will really is. We know that God works outside of man’s realm, but how hard it is to act on that!
Peterson reminds us in his introduction to 1-2 Timothy and Titus, that we should avoid “ego-centred, ego-prominent leadership”, and that the “best leadership in spiritual communities… is inconspicuous, not calling attention to itself, but not sacrificing anything in the way of conviction and firmness either.” He urges us to read these books of the Bible, “because ill-directed and badly formed spiritual leadership causes much damage in souls.” Even Paul (the writer of these letters) said how he didn’t use fancy speech, yet what an evangelist he was!