Leadership: Vision and Problem-solving

The Apostle Paul was a doer. A leader. A problem-solver.

Did you ever think that it was interesting, or even meaningful, that Paul only wrote letters?

He didn’t write a philosophical treatise. He didn’t write a scholarly book of theology (not that that subject existed in his time). He also didn’t write (to the dismay of many of my legalistic friends) a book of laws and rules.

Paul founded little communities of Christ-followers. Many of them. His letters reflect the problems presented to him by these various communities as they sought to live out this new life in the spirit.

Leaders must have a vision. We can see glimpses of Paul’s vision in his letters. Often, I think, he assumed knowledge on the part of the listener–knowledge we don’t have 2,000 years later. But his vision is clear.

How God revealed his “glory” through Jesus. How Jesus was killed and then resurrected. How the spirit came to dwell in believers. How we should live in community.

As his followers struggled to live in a multi-cultural and often hostile world, Paul wrote to them to give guidance and reproof as necessary. Sometimes we see the questions they asked. Sometimes it’s implied.

There were many other leaders in the movement at the time. Paul stands out, his writings are timeless.

Paul shows us the example of great leadership–a vision planted deep inside articulated clearly and often; action bringing the vision into reality; follow-up, care, and nurturing of followers; development of the next generation of leaders. And, like all great leaders, often misunderstood by outsiders.

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