Church leadership requires one to dedicate him or herself to the work of God. To minister in a leadership capacity with success, one must understand what they are being called upon to do. Two web sites, www.bible.org and www.biblebb.com try to help the leader understand what they are being called upon to do.
The first web site, www.bible.org writes about leadership development. Kenneth Boa, Th.M.; Ph.D., is the writer of the article, Leadership Development. In his article, he uses Jesus as the example to use as a guide for being a successful leader. Boa explains that Jesus picked his disciples and then for the next three and a half years, he taught them and empowered them for ministry (1). He explains that God did not need man as a part of the plan, but it was God’s purpose to use men from the start.
“First, they were well-trained” (2). When Jesus sent out the seventy-two they were given instructions on what to do and how to handle things if there were not received well. Jesus did not leave anything out of their training. Their training was what had the seventy-two rejoicing when they returned with good news of their success. The devil’s powers were stopped because of God’s power working through them. This is important to know and understand that it is through God’s power that all work is done. When one prepares God’s way, the work can be done.
“Second, they had a clear vision: They were impelled by Jesus’ urgent declaration that ‘The harvest is plentiful’” (2). A great leader must take the responsibility to define a clear picture of the mission. “Leadership is not merely a cognitive grasping of concepts…Leadership, like most things, is more caught than taught” (2).
An important fact mentioned is that Jesus took time to prepare for his mission. “Our Lord developed as a servant leader through personal discipline, through ‘reverent submission’…Jesus never invites us to do something he has not done for us first…He doesn’t ask us to love unlovely people without having first loved us in our unlovely state. He does not ask us to serve others without having first served us” (3).
“God has called us into being and is preparing us for a purpose” (3). God is in fact calling us to a purpose but the process is not guaranteed to be an easy one. “The hardships and struggles we endure during the transformation process will eventually provide us the strength we will need to accomplish the tasks our transformed nature will require” (4).
The last point Boa mentions is mentoring is mandatory. “Leadership development should be an ongoing process in our own lives as well as in the lives of those we seek to prepare. We should have multiple mentoring relationships” (5). These relationships consist of the one being mentored, to also reach out and teacher someone else. In these mentoring relationships, the one being mentored will be able to learn from one-on-one contact and experience. This is what Jesus did for his disciples. He took them with him and showed them how to be great leaders.
This article was different than what I thought it would be. This article did not give a list of things one should do. The article instead, calls for the reader to examine one’s self to determine if you are first being mentored and then are you mentoring someone else. It also encourages one to count the cost of leadership. It is not an easy path to take, but all the things one faces are to better them.
The second web site, www.biblebb.com, has an article written by Dr. John F. MacArthur Jr. The article, The Call to Church Leadership, calls for the leader to first be sure of their calling. MacArthur states, “leadership is not won by promotion, but by many prayers and tears. It is attained by confessions of sin, and much heart-searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice of every idol, a bold deathless, uncompromising and uncomplaining embracing of the cross, and by an eternal, unfaltering look unto Jesus crucified” (1).
MacArthur’s purpose is to help the leader understand the importance of being sure of their call. He states “A man must sense the calling of God as a consuming desire in his heart. He is not fit for ministry if he hasn’t sensed the call or if sin in his life is muffling the call” (2). The desire of the leader has to be the work and not the title or the perceived benefits of the position. Leadership training may help one to be a better leader in application of processes, but it cannot replace the dedication or desire within the heart of the leader. That desire to do the work has to come from God. This is the only desire that will enable a leader to stand in the difficult times.
MacArthur states, “The pastor must understand the responsibility of ruling, preaching, teaching, caring for, loving, and building up leadership in the church. He must set a pattern by example” (3). Boa also states this in his article.
MacArthur states, “the office of church leadership—specifically a pastor or a elder—is limited to men…Although women such as Deborah and Miriam occasionally spoke for God, none of them had an ongoing prophetic ministry” (2). While I agree with several of the points MacArthur states in his article, on this one I disagree.
When I looked up women in the Bible I found several interesting entries. In Exodus 15:20, Miriam is named a Prophetess. The amount of times she spoke does not determine her use unto God. How often one speaks for God is not what determines they are called for the mission. Romans 16:1-2 mentions Phoebe, a servant (and some versions say deaconess) of God. Luke 2:37 writes about the unknown woman that preached in the temple. The fact that her name is not listed, does not remove the fact that she was important enough to list in scripture so that her deeds were forever known. The woman at the well that has been preached about and taught about became one of the first evangelists as she eagerly went to tell others about Jesus (John 4:29).
I included the information regarding women for this purpose; God wants all his children; men and women to prepare themselves for his service. Everyone will not be called to be a Pastor or a minister, but even if you are working with the nursery or the Sunday school children, these same skills apply. You must count the cost of doing the work of God with a cheerful heart. It is important to seek wisdom from those that have gone before you and to impart wisdom to those that come behind you.
Boa, Kenneth, Th.M.; Ph.D. Leadership Development. 2005. 4 April 2006. http://www.Bible.org.
MacArthur, John F., Dr. The Call to Church Leadership. 1986. 4 April 2006. http://www.biblebb.com.
Thompson, Frank Charles, D.D., PH.D. The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, 5th ed. Indianapolis, IN: B. B. Kirkbridge Bible Co., Inc., 1988.