Message 21: 3 John: Leaders Who Lead Too Much

27: The Letters That Define Us

By Dr. Larry Osborne, September 25, 2021

3 John

Leaders Who Lead Too Much

The Key Players & Back Story





Thirteen Verses

3 John 1-13

Four Signs Of Well-Intentioned But Failed Leadership

(1) The need to be : Due to

3 John 9/ John 13:3-5/ Matthew 23:1-12

(2) : Due to a

3 John 10/ Revelation 12:10/ 1 Peter 4:8/ James 4:11-12/ Philippians 1:15-18

(3) : Due to

3 John 10/ Mark 9:38-40/ 1 Corinthians 5:9-12/ Proverbs 12:15/ Proverbs 27:17

(4) : Due to

3 John 10/ 1 Peter 5:3/ Acts 17:11/ 1 Corinthians 13:1-7

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Life Group Study Questions

For the week of September 26, 2021


  1. You’ve just been given three all-expense paid vacations to three different locations—one for three days, another for one week and the other for three weeks. Where do you go for each one and in what order do you take these vacations?
  1. If you could become an expert overnight in one of the following areas, which one would you choose and why?
  • speak two other languages
  • have a photographic memory of whatever you read
  • become extraordinarily athletic and skilled in three sports
  1. This week, we learned about four signs of well-intentioned but failed leadership. Can you think of a leader you knew personally who had a positive effect on you? If so, what were two of their greatest character qualities that impacted you?
  • Quick Review: Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or something that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?


  1. None of us want to find ourselves failing to live out our faith, influence and leadership opportunities like Diotrephes. Yet, we know we can find this challenging at times, and so did the disciples. As you read Luke 9:46-48, how did Jesus redefine what it meant to have influence?

Luke 9:46-48 New International Version (NIV) 46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”

Romans 12:3, 9-18 adds even greater insight for us as to what it means to be great at serving our God and others in life and leadership. Take a few minutes and read through the verses. Then, go back and read it again, underlining or highlighting two or three statements that are good reminders for you as you follow Jesus and interact with others. Jot them down below. Be ready to share your answers.

Romans 12:3, 9-18 New International Version (NIV) 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

  1. Humility, which means to have an accurate view of ourselves, allows us to combat pride so we are able to serve, lead and have influence the way God created us to. What do we learn about the process of developing humility from the following passages?

Luke 14:7-11 New International Version (NIV) 7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

1 Peter 5:5-6 New International Version (NIV) 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

John 15:13-15 New International Version (NIV) 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Galatians 5:13-15 New International Version (NIV)
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Can you think of anything in your life that has helped you learn humility?

How would you rank these verses in order of being most helpful to you?


Looking at the Four Signs of Failed Leadership from this weekend’s message:

How are you doing? What are you doing well?

Is there one you’ve seen more growth in than the others? Is there one you would like to grow in? If so, explain.



Prayer is an important part of being in Life Group. Over the years we've found that group prayer goes better when we follow three simple guidelines.

WE PRAY FOR ONE TOPIC AT A TIME - Anyone in the group is free to introduce a prayer request either before prayer begins or during the prayer time. Once a topic is introduced, the group focuses on that request alone. Once it's covered, the group moves on to the next topic.

PRAY MORE THAN ONCE - Because the group is focusing on one topic at a time, each person is encouraged to pray several times during the prayer time for those topics they feel most led to pray about. No one is required to pray.

WE KEEP OUR PRAYERS SHORT AND SIMPLE - Group prayer goes better when members keep their prayers short and to the point. When someone prays for a long time, it's hard for the other members to stay focused and long prayers tend to intimidate those who are just learning to pray out loud in a group. No one is required to pray out loud.


Join us Friday, October 22 & Saturday, October 23 for the first ever North Coast Church Men’s Conference held at the Vista Campus! Come enjoy teaching led by pastors Chris Brown and Mark Clark! Register at


Join us Monday, October 18, 6-9pm at the Vista Campus and be equipped to lead no matter what role you serve in — as a student, single woman, wife, mom or in the marketplace. Visit