Have you ever read the letters that Paul wrote to the early churches?
Most of them were a bunch of screwed up people! In fact, if you were to randomly pick a point in one of his letters, you will most likely find Paul dealing with a lack of many things. He dealt with wrong theology, fractured relationships, pride and envy, a general lack of love, legalism, and so much more.
So, I’ve got a question.
Why did Paul feel comfortable leaving them when he did, and in many cases leaving at a point in time when they still had so much to learn?
You would think that Paul felt it was necessary to stay until they had learned everything!
Might I suggest that this is the exact reason why so many leaders fail? We try to hold on, teach longer, train longer, as if WE are the reason for someone’s success.
Here’s why I think Paul decided to leave…some have verses, while others do not. If you disagree (or agree), let me know.
1. There are some things people can only learn “on their own”. As long as the original leader is in the picture, most people will tend to defer to their leadership, instead of jumping out and learning to swim in the deep end. I believe Paul understood this.
2. There were still too many places to reach. Paul couldn’t afford to stay too long in one place, therefore limiting the impact of the Gospel.
3. Paul understood that the HOLY SPIRIT is the true teacher, not him. As a result, he could entrust people into God’s hands, because God cared for them long before Paul ever did.
1 John 2:27 “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.”
4. If God entrusted broken humanity with so many responsibilities (having babies, growing food, running businesses, caring for the earth, etc), then surely He can entrust us with His church. Many people believe that people need to be controlled because they are “dumb” and can’t do things on their own. Apparently God doesn’t think so, and neither did Paul. Take a look at a verse that many have memorized.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Who do you need to release into their full “Christ-potential” today?