Lead by Paul Tripp Ch. 4-6 Discussion Guide

Chapters 1-3 are here.

Paul David Tripp published the book LEAD: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church with Crossway in 2020. Drawing on his decades of experience (and, at times, misadventure) in the Church and in a variety of Christian ministries, Tripp digs into Scripture to help Church leaders understand how the Gospel impacts every aspect of life and work together. Tripp’s frank candor, poignant story-telling, and imbedded questions for introspection bring readers to their knees.

The following questions were used for discussion among leaders of a Christian non-profit, but are also profitable for church contexts and personal study.

Chapter 4: Balance

Principle:  Balance is everything in its right place doing what it was meant to do. (Shalom)

Quotes:

“In its most fundamental everyday form, idolatry is when good things are out of balance in our hearts” (p. 89).

“We still have times when momentary fear outweighs our hope in the gospel. Yet in the face of our struggle, grace frees us from the burden of denying the struggle…” (p. 96).

Questions:

  • How do Limits (Principle 3) and Balance (Principle 4) relate to each other?
  • Take a look at the list of descriptions of leadership on pages 92-95.  Take stock of your own leadership.  What is characteristic of you positively?  Negatively?  Which one of the positive characteristics do you admire in another leader in your life? 

Chapter 5: Character

Principle:  A spiritually healthy leadership community acknowledges that character is more important than structure, strategies, or performance.

Quotes:

“What has been entrusted to us is beautiful and life changing in every way. No matter your ministry, your leadership position, the daily tasks that have been assigned to you, or the leaders who stand and work with you, it is the gospel that must be in your mind and fill your heart moment by moment as you do your work. The danger in church and ministry leadership is that something else will begin to take the place of the gospel in your mind and heart, and if it does, you will no longer value what your Savior values or conduct yourself in a way that pleases him” (p. 107).

“Every leadership community needs to recognize that ministry is an intersection of many competing and conflicting motivations” (p. 109).

Questions

  • What are some idolatrous areas of your personal righteousness or talents that need to be exploded?
  • Which characteristic in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 is most challenging as you consider your life?
  • Compare and contrast the weight of God’s glory with the weight of ministry idols.
  • How might ministry and/or leadership become an idol in your life?
  • How do you see others (or yourself) use spiritual terms to defend themselves when confronted?
  • How can a leader’s performance either obscure or reveal character? 

Chapter 6: War

Principle: It is essential to understand that leadership in any gospel ministry is spiritual warfare.

Quotes:

“Because we live in a fallen world, because there really is an enemy, Satan, because there is evil and temptation around us all the time, and because sin still leaves us susceptible to attack, we live every day in a war zone” (p. 116)

“No leadership community should be naïve. No leadership community should do its work with a comfortable peacetime mentality” (p. 121).

“Remember, God’s warnings are always loving tools of his protecting grace” (p. 123).

“Theological arrogance makes us vulnerable to spiritual warfare” (p. 123).

“I am heartened by leaders who never stop listening, examining, and learning” (p. 124).

Questions:

  • How would you define spiritual warfare from the Scripture?
  • Before you read this collection of verses on p. 116-121, how many war metaphors from the Scriptures would you have identified?  How does this list inform our thinking about ministry?
  • How has your last year in ministry prepared you to better understand the war we are in?

Half way through–more to come!

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