This week’s session covers the pastoral epistles that Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus and provides us with a fantastic opportunity to help our kids develop a heart for the pastors, elders, deacons, teachers, and other leaders in the church. Here are three take-aways you might want to consider being sure to address:
We Should See Leaders as Gifts
This lesson might be the most important—God has given us leaders as a gift. This means we need to consider two follow-up ideas.
First, leaders are given to us to bless us for our good. God did not have to design the church the way He did, but He chose to. And part of that design—an important part of it—is the role leaders play in helping to teach us and guide us. Just as God did not place parents in the family to be a burden to children (although children may feel that way at times), neither did God give the church leaders to be a burden. Their role is not to break down, but to build up. We could surely grow in our faith without godly leaders, but they sure help us to do it better.
Second, leaders are not merely hired servants of the church. Unfortunately, some churches view leaders this way, as the hired help. Yes, there is accountability to the church, but we cannot fail to remember that God has given us leaders to do just that: to lead. Leaders are to be servant leaders—the best leaders are the ones who are not above unclogging a toilet—but that does not mean that we are not to treat them with dignity and respect.
We Should Not Expect Too Much from Leaders
It’s true that some churches see their leaders as hired help and expect too little of them. But other churches make the opposite mistake and expect too much from them, either in terms of demanding too much of a leader’s time and energy, or requiring the leader to be perfect.
We have to remember that no leader is our savior, Jesus is. No leader is perfect. They all make mistakes. They all sin. They all will fail us at times. We should expect no more perfection of leaders as we might expect of ourselves. We should be quick to extend lavish grace.
At the same time, our leaders also have the same limitations we have. They do not have limitless time and energy. They too are under pressures of life. They can have a hard day. They have bills to pay. They have irritating neighbors to love. Again, we should be quick to extend lavish grace.
We Should Support Our Leaders
This all takes us to the third important take-away: that we should seek to support our leaders. Here are some ways to do this:
Follow them joyfully.
Pray for them.
Share words of encouragement with them.
Ensure they protect time to rest and be with their families.
Bless them. Even a small gift can go a long way.
Work alongside them.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: support your leaders in a way that when they see you coming, they smile and walk toward you, rather than frowning and ducking away.
I’ve come to the conclusion that, with rare exceptions, the godly person is a busy person. The godly person is devoted to God and to people, and that leads to a full life.” — Donald WhitneyDonald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2014), 288.
Tips for Teaching this Week’s Session
Every week, Karen Jones and I offer guidance to help you as you prepare to teach every session of The Gospel Project for Preschool and Kids. Listen in as we discuss:
- The big idea of the session
- Any areas of caution or requiring additional prep time
- What we hope God will do through this session
This training is available on Ministry Grid, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.