This is a recording of the second teaching on leadership from Genesis 16. Leaders often fall into the trap of trying to keep their people happy. Instead, we can learn to lead by biblical conviction and self-sacrificing love.
When Sarai suggested that Abram marry her servant so he could have a son, Abram blew it. We can learn from Abram how NOT to be a leader.
This is a recording of a teaching from Genesis 16. We can trust God by leading with godly conviction and love.
- Submit to God’s mission for you and your family.
- Take responsibility to lead your family.
Most of you probably did not get up this morning thinking, "I really need to find some good material on leadership in the church!" That is the topic of this free e-book, so let me tell you two things before you tune out.
1) It is important for believers who are not paid or educated for ministry to provide leadership in their church.
Often the overall direction of the church is not determined by pastors, but by the people who appoint pastors and establish policy. Unfortunately, many are sitting back and allowing the pastors to make all the decisions.
You, or someone you know, may be in a position to provide important leadership in your church, even if you are not a pastor or elder. This free e-book can be a useful tool in trying to understand what the Bible says about pastors or elders.
2) You might know someone who is interested in the topic of leadership in the church, so please pass this on to them.
There is a significant movement of people leaving the church, but it is not because they are losing their faith; they are disenchanted with the church. Some are asking questions about how we should "do" church. I don't think anyone should leave regular fellowship with a local church (even though it has problems). But we should be asking what the Bible says about church.
There are also many pastors and leaders who are frustrated and are looking for answers. One of many issues about church is leadership. "How should pastors lead?" "Who should be in charge?" "How many pastors (or elders) should there be?" "What are pastors (or elders) responsible for?"
This free e-book attempts to find answers from the Bible for each of these questions and more!
ONE LAST ENCOURAGEMENT: You do not have to read this whole book to find out what you need to know. This is a pdf version of my Ph.D. dissertation and is therefore quite detailed.
You might want to start with the conclusion and dig in where it seems interesting.
Here is an excerpt from the conclusion:
"That elders in sin are to be confronted demonstrates that the church is not to submit to their leaders blindly. Instead, they are to follow as those who are persuaded (Heb 13:17). Elders and leaders who teach twisted things are not to be tolerated (Acts 20:29–31; Titus 1:9–16). The ultimate basis of the authority of an elder, therefore, is not his office or his authorization to lead and teach. The basis for his authority is the alignment of his life and teaching with the truth of God’s word. While elders have authority de jure of position and responsibility, the primary authority that elders exercise in the community is authority de facto of influence based on sound teaching, wise leadership, and godly character."
I am thankful to God this week for two new elders at our church, Highland Christian Fellowship. R.D. Hodges and I have been elders for about four years now. Last Sunday we added Walt Stringer and James Wilkes. It was a long and beautiful process to see our fellowship seek God’s leadership in this (I should write about that, too). I love shared leadership. It is biblical and it makes sense. Having a plurality of elders was one of the primary findings in my dissertation The Authority of Church Elders in the New Testament.
I encountered in my Scripture reading this morning another affirmation of this principle. It is in Numbers 11, which is interesting in light of the fact that some point to Moses as the paradigm for a one-man leadership model.
Moses prayed, “I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me” (v. 14). God answered, “Gather for me seventy men from the elders of Israel. . . . I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone” (v. 17).
Sometimes it is difficult for men to share leadership. They become jealous and prideful. But “Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth” (Num. 12:3). When some men in the camp began to prophesy, manifesting that they also had received some of the Spirit, this bothered Joshua, Moses’ assistant. These men in the camp were not at the tent of meeting, where it seemed to Joshua that the official authorization of this shared leadership was imparted. Joshua said, “Moses, my lord, restrain them.”
How common it is to try to control such things. But Moses responded to Joshua, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” This demonstrates one of the most important qualities of a leader. His objective is not to have control, do things his way, and have all the leadership, gifting, and honor. His goal is the good of the people. And when more of the people are gifted and active in ministry and leadership, the more blessed and healthy the people are.
This is an excerpt from a larger entry in my journal. I am seeing some of my weakness as a leader, primarily that I am too reactive to my circumstances.
Leadership is obeying God no matter what anyone else is doing. Although a shepherd must be sensitive to the pace of his sheep, he cannot wait for them to head in the right direction. He must go ahead of them and show them the way with his very life.
A leader cannot allow the feelings, attitudes, and choices of his followers to discourage or distract him. A leader must be mature enough to live above the fray. He is steady and faithful no matter what his followers do.
“Woe to you, O land, when your kind is a child,and your princes feast in the morning! Happy are you, O land, when your kind is the son of the nobility, And your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness.” Ecclesiastes 10:16-17
Here we find three important qualities of good leaders:
1. Experience – It is better to have leaders who are not young and inexperienced (“a child”) but who have the proper background for their responsibilities (“nobility”).
2. Wisdom in timing – Timing is critical in effective leadership. There is a “proper time” to do things.
3. Right motivation and purpose – A leader’s reason and purpose for doing what he does is important, even if a particular action is right. It is possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason (“for strength and not for drunkenness”).