The Apostle Paul was routinely criticized as being a boring speaker, especially compared to Apollos, and a second rate Apostle because he wasn’t part of the original group that was with Jesus during his days on earth. He was like a Rodney Dangerfield in his time, “I don’t get no respect!”

It seems that people even called him ugly! Maybe that was because his personality was intense and lacking in charm. Maybe it’s because he was short. Or maybe it’s because his body was covered with scars from the being whipped, beaten, and stoned.

The Apostle Paul’s Dynamic Leadership

In any case, people weren’t drawn to Paul, but they were drawn to the Spirit of Christ that shined gloriously through him! That’s dynamic leadership! When people saw Paul, listened to him preach, bought tents from him, or read his letters they became enthralled with the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was amazingly magnetic for Jesus. No single person has had a more powerful effect on other people for Jesus than Paul.

What was Paul’s secret? How did he have so much power to attract people to Jesus? 

He shares his secret in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. It’s powerful! I spent some hours memorizing and meditating on this passage, including praying that these words would be more true of me and those I minister to.

Let’s meditate on this Bible passage in the spirit of Lectio Divina, but with some modified questions (below).

Scripture Meditation on Dynamic Leadership for Christ

He shares his secret in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. Let’s meditate on this Bible passage in the spirit of a Lectio Divina group, but with some modified questions. (See our “Lectio Divina Guides” for a number of Scripture passages with one page small group handouts.)

1 Corinthians 2

1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

1st Reading

What is one word or phrase from the Bible passage that the Holy Spirit draws your attention to?

2nd Reading

Imagine Paul preaching the Gospel…

Also imagine him making tents with his hands (probably his hands get sore and maybe cut up and calloused) and then selling the tents to customers. Imagine him talking with fellow disciples of Jesus or writing a letter to one of the churches he planted (his words apply just as much to these other situations)…

The people with Paul are impressed by Jesus, not Paul. The Spirit of Christ warms their hearts and captivates them…

He’s not relying on eloquence or superior wisdom as he shared “the testimony about God” — the Biblical revelation, the witness of the apostle’s, and his own experience with God…

As he’s with people doing what he’s doing he’s resolved to know nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified (that’s two things: the person of Jesus and his crucifixion)…

Paul comes before people “in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.” Certainly not because he’s insecure or afraid of what they think about him! He has great reverence for God, is concerned for the eternal souls of the people he’s with, and is concerned to be faithful to God’s call on his life…

What he says (his message) and how he says it (his preaching) is not about his wise and persuasive words (which he has in abundance!) but manifesting the glorious Spirit of Christ and demonstrating God’s power…

What about Paul and his ministry are you especially thankful to God for?

3rd Reading

Imagine yourself in your life doing one of the main activities of your ministry or life (e.g., preaching, teaching, counseling, leading, serving, or parenting). Pray that you would do this work in the way that Paul did his so that the power and glory of the Spirit of Christ is demonstrated through you…

What is an example of something you need to learn to do not just in your own abilities but by relying upon the power of the Holy Spirit so that Jesus Christ is revealed through you?

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