Good Ministry Examples
After warning Gaius not to follow the ungodly example of Diotrephes, a proud and controlling church leader (3 John 1:9-11), John points to Demetrius as a reliable role model in ministry. That man was transparent to the church; he had no hidden agenda, he was a servant of Jesus Christ whose ministry was endorsed by the apostles.
Such men are a blessing to the church, not only by their fine godly service but because they inspire others to use their gifts in a way which pleases the Lord.
John's final greetings show that he is a relational man, a true elder and pastor. Letters were necessary because of being in two different locations, but he longed for the opportunity of personal fellowship again with Gaius. He wanted to encourage this man to keep walking in the truth (3 John 1:3-4). Yes, he was a loved brother, a trusted worker who was well respected; but John wanted Gaius to grow more and more in Christ and learn how to serve Him better.
Other believers influence us more than we can know. Without soaking in God's Word and praying, we cannot properly understand how much of their example is good for us to follow. We can be so easily misled. And yet, when we do find a person whose integrity is transparently godly – that is a good role model to copy. In the same way we all provide an example for others. Let us be sure that it is a good and godly example, then we can encourage other believers.
© Dr Paul Adams