Something has greatly been disturbing me lately, and that is of leadership in the church. I believe we have become to loose in our approval of what a leader can and should do. In church today, there is this paradigm shift, of loose morals for leadership, and of course this boils over into the church too.
First and foremost, let me say, that I am a leader, and I am far from perfect. I mess up and often have had to apologize for my mistakes…however, my hearts true desire and attempt are to please God and not to continue in sin. Secondly, I am About Real people. People who do not cover up who they really are, and leave their masks at home. People who are open about their brokenness, and open that they are a sinner. Albeit, this serves a greater purpose. Allowing oneself to be real, allows others to do the same, and for all to encourage one another towards a greater relationship with the Lord. With that said, however; I do not believe that those who lead should be living vocal, and visual lives of sin. They should be real about their brokenness, but should be above reproach.
A leader (my definition), is anyone who leads people in teaching and or worship, in any capacity. Here lies the problem…it is often stated that Biblical leadership is only found in the Timothy and Titus passages. These scriptures relate to bishops, overseers, elders, and deacons., and therefore is said, does not apply to others in different church leader positions. But I would like to argue not only does it apply to those in any leadership position, but it’s precisely giving guidelines for all that lead.
Before we delve into those analogous passages, I would like to take a brief synopsis at some other scriptures. First, is a passage found in Numbers 27:16-17, we find a change of leadership, and from this passage it seems that leaders should look out to people’s best interest. Notice clearly “best,” that leadership is difficult and will bring challenges that will force a leader to choose to do something that someone might not like, but it is for their own good. (sounds similar to the way God acts in regard to our lives). Secondly, a passage in 2 Chronicles 19:5-7, says leaders should represent God in their decisions. These passages are intertwined with one another. Though a leader may make a decision for the people it should be godly and biblical. For leaders this is pivotal in leadership, and you (we) better darn well know a passage of scripture before you(we) teach on it, and before you (we) make any big decisions that will effect the lives of other believers.
Next, Leaders should receive advice (Proverbs 11:14), a simple but profound statement. A leader should be approachable, and open to criticism. From my own personal experience, I use to hate criticism, but now have grown to become fond of it, knowing that it helps develop my character. If you are a leader and people are afraid to come talk to you, something is greatly wrong and needs to be changed.
Fourth, Leaders must serve others (Matthew 20:26–28); this is the chief end of a leader. In our world today we find this model is backwards. Where you get into leadership not to serve, but to be served…Jesus of course the ultimate example of a servant, shows us how to lead. The role of leader is not to be worshipped and held in high esteem , but to fulfill the needs of the people, serving them in whatever way that is essential. The cross, should be the symbol, always spurring us on as leaders to serve. Fifth, Leaders should sacrifice for others (John 10:11), as already stated above and needs no further explanation.
Sixth and lastly, Leaders have to give an account to God for their actions (Hebrews 13:17). This last statement I believe is often forgotten, it is thrown aside, and leaders think whatever I say goes. This is precisely why we find cults and leaders themselves today, leading astray many, and condemning themselves. They forget, that leadership is appointed by God, and you will be judged for your actions. In relation to this, a leader should have a healthy respect and fear of God…
This brings me to Titus and Timothy. For sake of this discussion and time, I am only going to unfold Titus, but as some of you know, the Timothy passages are very similar. Titus 1:5-10,
5”For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge;
6if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having children that believe, who are not accused of riot or unruly. 7For the bishop must be blameless, as God’s steward; not self-willed, not soon angry, no brawler, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; 8but given to hospitality, a lover of good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled; 9holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict the gainsayers. 10For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision, 11whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”
That is in itself a description of what a leader should be. It highlights every thing briefly and is to the point. Now typically comes the “this does not apply to me,” for this is about overseers and elders. Though that is what is stated, let’s see how ridiculous it would be in that context and in that day to say small group leader, youth leader, worship leader, and you get the point. I wholeheartedly believe this should and does apply to all leadership roles in the church, and if your not able to be described as one of these, then I think you have no business being in leadership.
The paradigm shift became very strict to very loose in relation to leaders. And now we have leaders who are destroying whole families and congregations, because we let our guard down and placed luke-warm Christians into a role of leadership, who have not proved themselves, and elicit a bad name for there church and congregation. For if one leader is like this, why would we expect any different from the rest? They must all be the same, and this must therefore be the feeling of the church in relation to sin. Bad leaders, destroy churches one family, and one person at a time.