Today's Devotional Insight...
Expecting Biblical Leadership
It should come as no surprise that if we are going to lead others well, we have to be credible leaders ourselves. Not only is the church watching; other leaders are watching us too. But soon, rather than later, we need to expect others to display and practice biblical leadership. Since seminary, I’ve learned three important lessons that help me to lead other leaders.
1. Identify and Invite Biblical Leaders
I remember asking a well-respected church planter in our area to reflect on his early mistakes and share with me what he would do differently. Without hesitation he said, “I would be slower in bringing new elders on board.” It’s good and healthy to want to share the leadership burden, but too often we are tempted to bring on men who are not qualified or ready.
It’s okay to go slow in identifying leaders (1 Tim. 5:22). It’s better to bring on new leaders slowly than to have to remove leaders who are not qualified, competent, or caring. In fact, unqualified men are most difficult to lead, and they’re the most likely to create trouble.
Be sure to work through healthy biblical processes that help identify godly, biblically qualified leaders. Then invite them to serve alongside you.
At High Pointe, we are constantly on the lookout for men who have godly character and faithfully love the congregation. We expect that they are regularly sharing the gospel with unbelievers and diligently discipling other men. We expect them to be faithfully engaged in congregational life. And we expect they would do all these things whether or not they were officially recognized by the church as leaders. When men like this show up on our radar, we give them opportunities to teach publicly, and we observe and evaluate their teaching competency. During our elders’ meetings, we review a list of such potential men who seem to be on a trajectory to becoming elders, and we pray that God will grant us wisdom in nominating future elders.
Once a brother’s name is on most or all of our lists, we ask him about his interest in serving as an elder. If he shows interest, he fills out a questionnaire that focuses mainly on the biblical qualifications of eldership. The elders review the questionnaires, and if we’re in agreement, we invite him for a thorough interview. If all parties agree to continue, we invite the prospect to sit in our meeting up until the “elders only” time. Then we ask him to choose an elder to mentor him. During our time together, the candidate not only observes how we care for the congregation; he also observes the character, competency, and care of the elders.
You may wonder what all this has to do with leading leaders. Think about it: it is easier to lead brothers who are biblically qualified and united in mind, heart, and voice, than those who aren’t. At High Pointe, the elder nomination process is a means by which we protect the congregation in advance from unbiblical leadership. When we work hard to find faithful men who love Christ, love the gospel, and love the church, we have a better likelihood of having a team of leaders who know when to lead and when to follow for the good of the church. Never assume without evidence that someone is qualified for biblical leadership—you will live to regret it. And don’t imagine biblical leadership will spring up down the road simply because you put someone in a position. Instead, expect biblical leadership to manifest itself from the beginning as you identify and invite brothers to join church leadership.
(To read the full article, click here.)
Today’s Pastoral Resource...
Is it time for a new career? Or possibly a career change? Head over to Preaching Jobs and you can search for ministry jobs all across the country that may be a perfect fit for you and your giftings.