Leadership is such a vital role to be taken in the Church. We have elders, deacons and in places where there are none able to fill those positions the men of those congregations take the oversight. Leaders need to be considerably careful, as they are the men that will lead us down one path or the other (the straight or broad & wide Matthew 7:13-14).
One problem that seems to plague the Church of Christ is leadership. There are many that I have found in the position of elders that do not meet the Scriptural guidelines of the New Testament. Many are not apt to teach for they have not the knowledge; some have been victims of divorce and broken homes. There are guidelines listed for elders in (Titus 1:5-9, and I Timothy 3:1-11). Paul urged the Ephesian elders with these words. (Acts 20:28) “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Elders need to be leaders that will protect the Church! That is their God given responsibility. There are congregations that want to have an eldership so badly that they appoint unqualified men to hold that office. This is not a cure; it is the exact opposite. It causes the men who take that office to sin, and those who worship with them to sin. Elders need to recognize that they will answer for the actions of the flock. (Hebrews 13:17) “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” October’s issue will deal more with elders and leadership in the Church and should be read by those having or considering a scriptural eldership.
Bad leadership hinders growth because the Church ceases to be biblically centered. We have seen it happen many times. A good elder or even in more cases preachers begin to fall and boy do the followers follow. A preacher will get up and make a statement that is inaccurate to the New Testament, and being ignorant to the word people will follow. The Church needs to be about the truth and teach the truth (I John 1:6-7 and I Timothy 3:15). A way to prevent these things from happening is for the members of each congregation to take it upon themselves to study and note all that is said from the pulpit, as did the Bereans. (Acts 17:10-11) “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” They received the word then examined it in the light of the scriptures to see that it was truth. It was a joy for me in July when a male member of the Church, who has been growing considerably, noticed and mentioned to me that I misquoted the place where a scripture appeared. I was accurate in quoting II Thessalonians 1:8-9, but stated that it was found in I Thessalonians 1:8-9. Not only did he observe the error, but brought the proper placement of the verse to my attention. It was an honest mistake on my part, but a good deed on his. What if that had been a serious error, and I would have taught false doctrine? I would want to know that I did, and it would be the members of the Church jobs to tell me. Elders, Deacons, Preachers, and Teachers are not the only ones that need to study. (II Timothy 2:15) “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Good Christians can detect bad leaders if they know the word of God and are wearing the armor (Ephesians 6:11-17).
How can we identify bad leadership? First of all leaders are followers just as non-leaders are. We are all subject unto Christ whom is the head of the Body the Church (Ephesians 1:22-23 and Matthew 28:18). Therefore, one sure way to identify bad leadership is to know that they are not following the head of the Church. We can know bad leaders because they do not heed to Christ therefore they become blind and lead the sheep into the ditch. (Matthew 15:12-14) “Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” The last thing that Christ wants is His people being lead astray. We need to be sure that the leaders of the Church are not hindering spiritual growth. If they are, we need to apply the scriptures and do that which is right before God. It is the word of God that is our guide (Psalms 119:105), without the light of the Gospel we would fall into darkness. (II Corinthians 4:4) “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Regardless of whether or not we have elders, let’s let Christ lead us in the paths of righteousness. After all, it will be his words that we are going to be judged by (John 12:48).
Let us all study, continue to grow in knowledge, and we
will prevent the Church from having bad leadership. Bad leadership
will hinder spiritual growth! We need to change our lack of leaders
into men whom desire the office of an elder, and study their way to the
knowledge required living their lives as a light unto this presently dark
Copyright 2001 by Brian
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