ESSAY ON LEADERSHIP
Response by Bill Bowman
WHAT IS BIBLICAL LEADERSHIP
Your thrust is to study how Jesus led his followers. And by this study you can conclude how we are to be leaders. There is an aspect that, to me, is somewhat a mystery. When we are baptized the Spirit comes into our lives somehow. Acts 2:38. Also the metaphor of “putting on Christ” as a coat is used.
Implied in this are some added features that we are endowed with that are not gotten through worldly means.
John 10:10 states a purpose of Christ: “I am come, that they might have life, and that they might
Have it more abundantly.” Another purpose of his mission was to destroy the works of the Devil. I John 3:8.
Once you have defined the Mission Purpose, you say your goals become more obvious. This puts emphasis on human endeavor. I believe we need to make room for the Spirit to somehow to operate.
Here are some ways revealed to us how the Spirit has operated in behalf of the church:
*Acts 5:32 The obedient are given the Spirit.
Acts 9:31 The Spirit gave comfort to those multiplying churches.
Acts 16:6 The Spirit blocked preaching in certain geographical areas.
Acts 20:28 The Spirit had part in elder selection.
Rom. 5:5 The gift of the Spirit given. (Also I Cor. 3:16)
Rom. 8:14 Led by the Spirit
Rom. 15:13 We may abound through the power of the Spirit
Gal. 5:18 Led by the Spirit
Eph. 3:16 Strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.
2 Pet. 1:21 Holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Jude 20 Building up on your faith praying in the Holy Spirit.
Setting goals emphasize man’s part. There needs to be awareness of the presence of the Spirit in all this. Goals are set based on logic and wisdom and experience and emotion. I believe God through his Spirit may somehow show the way He wants us to go.
“VISION” and DREAMS are akin to each other. Look what happened in these dreams: Cornelius’ dream concerning Peter, Acts 10:3-6; Paul’s vision of Macedonian man crying, Acts 16:9; Paul’s shipwreck, Acts 27: 23-24. I believe the Spirit can have an influence on our dreams in today’s world.
When it gets down to choosing a dream or vision, those who do the choosing must be humble people, not vain or proud. They must be men open to God’s leading.
You discourage negative criticism. I agree especially at the beginning of the process. Once the process is maturing, I believe there comes a time where negative criticism can help fine-tune the decision. For instance, there are definite lines not to cross in dealing with sexual situations as in a half-way house.
RECRUITMENT of TEAM
The men Jesus chose had flawed personality characteristics. But men such as Peter, James, John really had hearts with the right ingredients for change. What about Judas? I wonder if it could be said he had the same kind of heart, but chose the wrong path (We are free moral agents).
All we can do is make the best judgments based on history and psychological tests.
Gross past behavior must be addressed before one is selected. Humility is a prime attribute even though it is not listed in I Corinthians. But in Micah 5:8 there is no doubt it is a chief quality for one to be selected in my opinion.
TRAINING OFA TEAM
IMPLICATIONS OF TRAINING
You have spelled out an excellent outline for elders to fulfill. But the outline is impractical as you pointed out. Who has the time? What is wrong choosing one or two elders and give them a salary to be full time in helping train other Christians?
We tend to exalt the Eldership because the Bible encourages that. Or does it? We are to be thankful for them and show them our appreciation. Some elders let the “eldership” go to their heads and do not want to get their hands dirty! In that capacity they tell others what to do without doing it themselves. After all, they are department heads in their secular work!
IMPLICATIONS OF SERVICE
Is it true that some elders limit “service projects” to only the deacons. They have a reluctance to want to spread the work load throughout the church.
IMPLICATIONS of INTEGRITY
Perhaps each elder should define his “specialty” of church activities so that fairer judgments can be made toward them. When a member judges an elder, it may be unfair because that elder had nothing to do with
the subject under discussion.
Perhaps there is a better way to organize and operate the church of today. God gives us a lot of latitude in
operation of the church.
We talk about the “staff” and elders. The idea of a staff in the church is of recent origin. I grew up in a church of some 1100 people and it had elders, preacher, and one secretary. Its goals were different then
what you are suggesting here.
Thank you for forcing us to sit back and analyze where we are going.