A vital characteristic of a leader is that he must first be a servant. People respect a leader who practices the principles he teaches. If he speaks of the importance of prayer, he should be a prayer warrior. If he promotes soulwinning, he should first be a soul winner.
Take an employer, for instance. If he is diligent, works extra hours, redeems the time, and if he continually conveys a positive attitude even under pressure, then he will be a source of motivation for his employees to do the same. Likewise, before we can tell others to forsake their portion in this life, we must first forsake our portion by counting “all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus.”
Jesus Christ is our prime example as a leader. He laid down His life for us (2). His act of love motivates us to lay down our lives for the brethren. Jesus was not accepted even in His own town. He would not expect us to suffer for the Gospel’s sake if He had not paved the way with His own suffering. “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind” (I Peter 4:1a). We can provoke others “unto love and good works” holding “fast to the profession of faith,” by assembling together with the Body of Christ, and by setting a godly example through our lives.