Being a pastor is the best job in the world. I love doing what I do, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. Some days try my patience. If I didn’t trust in the presence of the Holy Spirit, I wouldn’t have made it this long. People will test you in ways you never imagine. Leading with patience is essential for any leader.
The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth.
The Lord’s Servant
When Paul talks about the Lord’s servant, he is mainly referring to those who are Pastors or in leadership, like Elders. He is instructing Timothy on how to respond to difficult people. In the church in Ephesus, Timothy was battling a group of people that were challenging his leadership. Paul, in his two letters to Timothy, is constantly encouraging him to embrace his role as the leader. Paul has appointed him, and God has confirmed it, so he needs to step up into his role.
A good leader is one who is gentle, patient and can teach those in his care. That doesn’t mean they are not going to have opposition. Paul tells us to instruct them with gentleness. The leader who likes to quarrel and is rude with those he leads will end up reaping what he sows. People will leave, and his reputation will have a hard time recovering. Being a patient and gentle leader can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit. When His fruit starts to grow in our life, we will discover that we are becoming more patient and kind.
Kill them with kindness
Leadership is hard. There are going to be people who get under your skin. You can’t change them, and you will drive yourself and others crazy fighting with them. Kill them with kindness. Paul says that when we do, it’s like pouring hot coals upon their head. Jesus told us to pray for those who oppose us. In doing so, they may repent of what they are doing.