Saturday, September 27, 2008

Good Leaders

I believe that of all the problems that we face as the Church the biggest problem is a lack of good leaders. This leadership void has led to numerous church families who are in decline. Not only are they getting smaller, but their influence in their communities is gradually being reduced to nothing. On the other end of the spectrum we have churches who have given themselves away to a cult of personality. So there is a form a leadership that exists in these church families, they are not being built up in God’s Word, and because there is no accountability for THE leader, he gets away with it and the body suffers.

The apostle Paul started a church family on the island of Crete. He did not stay, but Paul left his companion Titus to complete the work. What was the work Titus was to complete? To establish a godly and competent leadership to guide this new community of believers. These are the guidelines Paul gives to Titus to help him complete this task:
5 The reason I left you in Crete was to set in order the remaining matters and to appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, with faithful children who cannot be charged with dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be blameless as one entrusted with God's work, not arrogant, not prone to anger, not a drunkard, not violent, not greedy for gain. 8 Instead he must be hospitable, devoted to what is good, sensible, upright, devout, and self-controlled. 9 He must hold firmly to the faithful message as it has been taught, so that he will be able to give exhortation in such healthy teaching and correct those who speak against it. (Titus 1:5-9; NET)

Paul’s emphasis is not on talent, but on character. Too often in the church we appoint people to be leaders: teachers, preachers, decisions makers, based not on their character, but on their talent and personality. We judge them on their ability to teach and preach. We judge them on whether or not they are a “people person” and whether or not they are a “go-getter”. How much trouble have we brought into our church families because we settled for talent and personality rather than character?

In God’s economy talent is worthless without character. God can do more to a person is dedicated to Him who has minimal talent, than He can with the person who is load with talent but is not committed to Him. Good leadership (when it comes to the Church) then is founded, not on talent and personality, but a person’s commitment to God that is reflected in his/her character.

What does this have to do with us? First, we have to remember to support people who demonstrate Christian character (reflect Jesus in their lives), rather than the person who is talented. It is easy to be wowed by person with talent, especially if that person has a charismatic personality, but we have to look beyond the personality to see what their life is saying.

Second, it means that we, as followers of Christ Jesus, need to continue to be faithful. We may never have the leadership position that we want, but that doesn’t mean God will not use us to influence the lives of other people. When we are committed to God and when faithfully follow Jesus, God will use us to impact other people’s lives regardless of our lack of talent. It is who we are, not what we can do, that God is most concerned with. After all, if God can use a donkey to speak His truth, then He certainly can us me to touch the life of someone else.

  • Point to Ponder: In God’s economy talent is worthless without character.
  • Passage to Remember: Titus 1:5-9
  • Prayer to Pray: Lord God, help me not to be discouraged by the talent or personality that I don’t have, and help me see how I can be a leader in this world for Your Church. Provide me with the wisdom and understanding so I can live a life that is worthy of Your Son Jesus and may my life reflect Him to the world.

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