We’ve now started a preaching series on leadership, called “Who’s Minding the Church?” This is rather appropriately timed, since our next congregational meeting involves the election of elders.
Craig was in good form as usual, and didn’t even seem like he was reading his notes (as he said he was doing, that he hadn’t done in years). Don’t know if someone told him he wanders, but I’ve never found so! :)
In his opening comments, he reminded us that women are valuable in leadership, directing us to study Romans 16 for proof. Also, there is a difference between leadership in the world, and leadership in the church–although the church of course, is meant to impact the world. The church is not a human organization, but it IS a Family.
So Craig’s sermon was based on answering three questions. (I found some of the last question’s answers most enlightening!)
1. How does God see leadership?
- as absolutely critical–absence brings disaster (think of the Israelites when there was no king, and “every one did what was right in his own eyes”);
- as having implications for the eternal;
- as a matter of the heart (think of David, the last to be chosen over his brothers, but he ended up being a man “after God’s own heart”);
- leadership is servanthood, according to Jesus’ example.
2. Are leaders born or made? (by “nature” or “nurture”): They are BOTH: requiring skills, talent, temperament, personality traits; as well as time and circumstance to bring leaders to the forefront, and including hard work. God ordains both. And because power so easily corrupts, and leaders are also “unmade”, it requires humility and holiness to overcome temptation. (Think of both David and Peter, who made such mistakes, but God was able to use them, their pride turned to humility.)
Making disciples also includes cultivating leaders. [This is why we give the older children little leadership-roles as Helpers, and giving more & more responsibility is what helps to keep the Youth in the church.]
3. What are the essential elements of leadership in the Body of Christ, and how does this differ from leadership in the world at large?
- People who are leaders in the world, are not necessarily suited to leadership in the church.
- Leadership “roles” and leadership “gifting” are not always the same thing. Pastors can be official/organizational OR simply spiritual pastors.
- Pastoral Leadership (spiritual) and Management Leadership (stewardship, administration) are two different things; but both are critical to the church, and both require faith, commitment, gifting, etc. And some people are good in both areas.
As far as essential elements–integrity of heart and spiritual depth is required, as well as skill and competence. But the one thing that is most important: servanthood. This means an orientation towards the needs of others. Doing what needs to be done, as God shows you.
Craig concluded by saying that our faithful God can be trusted to lead us, when we look in the right place. Wonderful encouragement, when you are looking for leaders!