October 21, 2019
Biblical Qualifications of Church Leaders: Part – 2
With Bishop Ronald K. Powell
Leaders Are Held to a Higher Standard
- Do they have a good Comprehension of God’s Word?
(Titus 1:9, Colossians 1:28-29)
Titus 1:9 King James Version (KJV)
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Colossians 1:28-29 English Standard Version (ESV)
28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
- Does the individual have a good knowledge of God’s Word to defend the Christian faith and encourage people to take steps in spiritual maturity?
- Could the person identify false doctrine?
1 Timothy 5:17 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.
- Note that 1 Timothy 5:17 suggests that not all elders are preachers and teachers.
Does the person have the Capacity for the role?
(Acts 20:28, Hebrews 13:17)
Acts 20:28 English Standard Version (ESV)
Hebrews 13:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
- Does the person reflect a concern for the spiritual well-being of the entire church, “all the flock”, or just ministries or sub-ministries within the church?
- Is there an appreciation for the responsibility and accountability God has given the individual to watch over the entire church?
Does the person model Compassion for others?
(Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2, Ezekiel 34)
Acts 20:28 Living Bible (TLB)
28 “And now beware! Be sure that you feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his blood—for the Holy Spirit is holding you responsible as overseers.
1 Peter 5:2 Living Bible (TLB)
2 Feed the flock of God; care for it willingly, not grudgingly; not for what you will get out of it but because you are eager to serve the Lord.
- Does the person reflect a concern for helping lost people find Jesus?
- Does their heart beat fast when discussing ministry opportunities to reach people who haven’t heard about Christ?
- Is the person really called?
(1 Peter 5:2, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1)
Galatians 1:1-2 Living Bible (TLB)
1 1-2 From: Paul the missionary and all the other Christians here.
To: The churches of Galatia. I was not called to be a missionary by any group or agency. My call is from Jesus Christ himself and from God the Father who raised him from the dead.
- Does the individual consider this to be an appointment from God or from men?
- Is there a clear sense that this is God’s calling? Is it God’s will?
This list, though not comprehensive, gives us a picture of what God has in mind for Biblical leadership.
As you can see, leaders are held to a higher standard.
Not all Christ-followers are qualified to lead.
And not all potential leaders are qualified to lead now.
For some, it may take time to close a gap. Where there’s a gap in your commitment, it may take time for spiritual formation to occur.
- Where there’s a gap in character, it may take time for redemption to take hold.
- Where there’s a gap in conduct, it may take time for appropriate repentance and restoration.
- Where there’s a gap in comprehension, it may take time for wisdom and understanding to develop.
- Where there’s a gap in capacity, it may take time for coaching and mentoring to expand perspective.
- Where there’s a gap in compassion, it may take time for Kingdom perspective to expand.
- Where there’s a gap in calling, it may take time for God to speak.
Leadership development takes time. But the thing to remember is that every potential leader also needs a coach. I’ve never seen commitment, character, conduct, comprehension, capacity, compassion and calling develop in a vacuum. In other words, we should pray for God to send leaders, but we should also be more intentional about identifying potential leaders and then investing time relationally to close these seven gaps.