The Role of Prayer for Leaders

Prayer should play a strong role in the life of a leader. Any leader who has attempted to achieve great things has realized that he cannot do it alone. Instead, he needs the guidance and support of God. In this post I show you some of the basic ways that the apostle Paul relied on prayer during his ministry.

The Role of Prayer for LeadersPhoto Credit: Anggie



What Exactly Did Paul Say about Women and Leadership?

Today’s post concludes my biblical study on women and leadership. This has been one of the most difficult topics I have written on. Last week I wrote about Jesus’ relationship to women and women’s roles in the book of Acts. And the week before that I wrote about the Old Testament perspective on women and leadership.

Today’s post examines the most difficult of the three areas: Paul’s teaching on women and biblical leadership. A 2,000 word blog post can barely scratch the surface of this topic, but in this post I hope to provide you with a brief outline of all the important texts as well as some brief notes about hermeneutics and exegesis.

What Exactly Did Paul Say about Women and Leadership?Rembrandt’s Apostle Paul



How Paul Applies the Promises Given to Israel to the Gentiles

One of the big debates circulating right now in Christian theology is Paul and his application of God’s promises of the Old Testament. Specifically, much of this discussion is focused on how Paul applies the promises given to the Israelites in the Old Testament to the Gentiles in the New Testament. Within this discussion includes what is meant by “seed” originally promised to Abraham all the way back in Genesis 12:2.

How Paul Applies the Promises Given to Israel to the Gentiles

Photo Credit: honorbound

Below I have attempted to outline this debate starting first with the position of Elliott Johnson, Th.D., professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Johnson is a “classical dispensationalist” which means that he sees a distinction between the promises originally given to the Israelites and the promises given to the Gentiles in the New Testament. The second presentation of this topic will be N.T. Wright’s work. N.T. Wright is research professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Mary’s College in Scotland. He is a strong advocate of the “New Perspective on Paul” movement which sees all of the promises of God being fulfilled in the New Testament church. Finally, in section III. you will find a brief exposition of this topic from myself primarily based on the third chapter of Galatians. 

I. Elliott Johnson’s Position on How Paul Applies the
Promises Given to Israel to the Gentiles

Bible Philemon

Background Study on the book of Philemon

A couple years ago I wrote a series of blog posts about the Apostle Paul and how he displayed specific leadership characteristics in the book of Philemon. However, looking back on those posts now, I do not believe that I provided adequate background information on the Apostle Paul. Because of that, some of the leadership principles might have been missed.

Background Information on the Apostle Paul and His Leadership in Philemon

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Bible Philemon

Philemon with a Leadership Perspective

The book of Philemon was written by the Apostle Paul while he was in prison with Timothy and a runaway slave named Onesimus. Paul is writing to his “brother in Christ,” Philemon, asking Philemon to accept Onesimus, Philemon’s runaway slave. However, Onesimus is no longer the person he once was. Onesimus is now “a brother in Christ” whom Paul has helped become a Christian while in prison. 

A Leader Extends His Influence for the Benefit of His Follower

Photo Credit: chimothy27

It is significant that even though Paul is writing the letter to Philemon and making a request of Philemon, Paul also addresses the letter to: Apphia: Philemon’s wife,

  • Archippus: Philemon’s son, and
  • The Church that regularly met at Philemon’s house: This body of Christians serves as “accountability partners” for Philemon because they are not influenced by emotions and feelings about the situation between Onesimus and Philemon.

Sending the letter to these “accountability partners” helps to influence Philemon to do the right thing.  Even though Paul is the most powerful person mentioned in the letter (more on this later), he strategically uses his influence by enlisting others to make sure Philemon makes the correct decision and does the right thing, which is to send Onesimus back to Paul so Onesimus may be used to spread the gospel with Paul.