Ephesians 1: 3-6
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ..."
Key point: Christ is to be our prime focus--first, foremost, over anything or anyone else. If we are not leading our people to Christ and explaining Who He is and What He does, we are not pastoring, we are pestering. We are simply being prideful and promoting ourselves.
How do we get away from our self and focus on Christ? As Paul taught and modeled. We truly and fully realize the blessings we have as Christians, as people bought by Christ's blood and freely given grace we did not earn or deserve. Now, have we praised Christ for these? Are we grateful that He chose us? Are we grateful for being in leadership or pastoring?
What we exemplify and teach is how we praise Him! First and foremost, we must love and praise Jesus Christ as Lord ever so much. If there is no praise, there is no recognition of Who Christ is and what He has done. And this will trickle down to the rest of the congregation. Causing the real faithful sheep to find another pastor and the weak sheep to bite and fight and gripe, because they have no purpose in their lives or in the church.
What we exemplify and teach that we bring our best for Christ's glory! To make this work, we must make every conceivable effort at due diligence to do our best in all things for His glory. Why? We have His salvation, and we are formed to give Christ the Glory. We are made to praise Him out of our gratitude and for His Holiness. We have His approval; we have all we need for relationship and service to the Kingdom. We are called to a purpose that is all about knowing and growing in Christ and letting this Truth being contagious to those around us. He is gracious; He wants to enter our hearts for sanctification, for our effectual spiritual growth. He even sees you as perfect because of the Son.
What we exemplify and teach is we have a Purpose in our lives and in our church! This comes down to the purpose of your church. What the Christian life is about, after salvation. And that is Worship, what we are made to do. This is an act of awe and attitude, our official reverence, respect, and thanksgiving with our humbleness and adoration. We give our admiration and honor; in so doing, we give our love and our respect to our Most High Lord God. By not just our church service, but most importantly, our attitude and lifestyle. Which will be contagious (Psalm 150; Matt. 4:10; John 4:20-24; Rom. 12:1-3).
Praise is more about our physical and practical outpouring, where we actively honor Him by expression and applause to our Lord God, church service (Gal. 1:23-24; Eph. 1:2-15; Heb. 13:14-16; Rev. 19:4-5).
Worship is like the respect we give to a dignitary like a president or king, and praise is like the fans cheering at a sporting event. We venerate our Lord by our response to Him with our trust and obedience from a mind-set of worship, and we show our appreciation to Him by our praise and gratitude, blessing and glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ, our disposition and how we lead our life.
Once we grow our faith in the Lord, real transformation with God will occur; then, we will be able to make and maintain an impact with others. We will focus on the priority of knowing and growing in Christ and be His living example in love and service to our community. If, not, we are doing it wrong! Believers are to embrace who we are in Christ and create synergy to practice unity and peace among one another as a display of how God brings redemption to all of us. If we fight and are in disunity, "how can our love" be real? We will become obstacles to those who do not know Him, the very people we are called to reach or who are new to the faith. Paul experienced strife and forgiveness that led to reconciliation-a model for us all (Matt. 16:18; Rom. 12:4-5; Eph. 2:16; 3:6; 4:24-26; Col. 3:15).
© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/