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“Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity … Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:12, 15-16)

Ok – we’ve heard it all before. It’s read out at ordinations and the like. But as I was reading it again (as I’m editing Porterbrook material) it struck me how fundamental, simple, challenging and life-changing it is.

Leadership isn’t about all the upfront stuff, though that’s often what we talk about, what we promote (by implication) at conferences and the like and what we aspire to. However, what Paul promotes here is a simple life of godliness, lived out in front of believers, that, coupled with sound taught doctrine, leads to salvation. No big speeches, no grand conferences or platforms, no book deals or church TV channel. A life of example.

Apparently Don Carson once asked “when was the last time you said to someone ‘You want to know what a life lived for the gospel looks like? Then watch me!’?” But if we don’t (or can’t) ask this, then we’re neglecting the fundamental duty of leadership…


Was watching an episode of West Wing tonight with my son, Jonathan. I’ve got a feeling most of it passed over little Jonny’s head given that he’s only 2 weeks old today, but I thought I’d share a few thoughts with you.

The episode was called ‘Disaster Relief’ (episode 6, Season 5) and in it President Bartlet responds to a disaster in Oklahoma. He’s persuaded to personally visit the disaster site by his press secretary, C.J. Cregg, though as his visit starts to move beyond the 6 hours planned (they end up being 20+ hours over schedule) C.J. is less than impressed.


It comes down to her view of leadership.

Her reason for wanting Bartlet to visit was to show the country that the President cares about people. But as he starts to spend time just listening to people’s stories, even stooping so low as to help with the washing up, C.J. is uncomfortable with what this is saying. She impresses upon him that he must be first out at the memorial service – she wants a President who ‘leads’, who is strong, who is at the front, not one who washes pots and pans. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Tinker is a professional musician and part of the Crowded House which is a church planting initiative in Sheffield and around the world. He's a follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, member of a Gospel Community, Musician and avid follower of fashion...

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