A group of church leaders that I have the privilege of journeying with is currently working to memorize Acts 20:16-24.
“Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.
From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.
When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears…However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me– the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:16-24
In summary, the passage summarizes the Apostle Paul’s passion for repentance, faith, and the Gospel of Grace. It’s his impassioned plea for his co-laborers in the Gospel to see how he has given his life for the furthering of God’s Kingdom.
In the center of this Paul’s words, one proclamation captures my attention—and I hope yours: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you.”
As a leader of a small group, or any other Christ-centered community, these words must cause us to evaluate our own faith journey. They must cause us to consider our own leadership. Do those in my Christ-centered community truly know me? Do they genuinely know how I have lived? And how I am living today?
Transparency and authenticity is critical to the life of a spiritual leader. How can someone follow your lead if they don’t know you? How can those in your community support you if they don’t know your heart?
Living openly and honestly about your pain points, your struggles, your joys, and your victories is crucial to the health of your community—and ultimately the ministry that comes from your hand and from those in your group.
The Apostle Paul made a bold proclamation—“you know how I have lived.” Can you say the same?